So, last week was BUSY. It was spring break (meaning White Fang didn’t have school). There were scheduled Early Intervention meetings, visitors, doctors’ appointments, and a book launch. (Massive yay to that last one, though!)
Being busy is not necessarily my favorite thing. Doing a lot at one time can be bad for autistics. A busy life translates to a major challenge for our nerves.
I’d like to think mine survived more or less intact, but the long-term outcome has yet to be determined.
So here are some tips on how to cope when you’re really, really busy, and have the tolerance for busy-ness of a cat waiting for the tin of Fancy Feast to be opened.
Breathe. It seems so simple, and yet, how many of us forget to do it? When our sensory perception is beginning to get overloaded, just stopping and taking a few deep breaths can make a huge difference to how the rest of the day goes.
Try not to hit overload. Sometimes this is a bit tricky, I know. There are instances when we can’t just walk out of the meeting, or the store, or simply quit what we’re doing mid-way and abandon it. Finding coping mechanisms to get you through those really rough moments may become vital to not melting down later.
Have something to look forward to. Give yourself a reward for achieving a goal or making it through a tough obligation. Dig out that coupon for a free latte you’ve been saving. Or start that long-awaited new release (to hell with it being halfway down the TBR!).
When you can manage it, go hide. Seriously. Even having half an hour of sitting alone, taking a walk by yourself, or only interacting with the curtains, will help soothe those frazzled nerves. Make sure your family/friends understand that it’s not them, it is so you, and you need this.
If you can, take something off your plate. Tasks with a time limit should be addressed, well, on time. Things that you can put off, do it. If the paperwork police have told you that form has to be filed by tomorrow, then fill it out and put it in the mail today. If the kitchen floor can wait another day to be mopped, make it wait. Designating things on the to-do list is important, too. If you have older kids who can put away their laundry/finish their homework/empty the dishwasher by themselves, then draft them to do so.
Remember that it will be over eventually. Soon the appointment will come to a conclusion, the meeting will end, the children will fall asleep, the TV shall at last be yours.
Start each day afresh. When you get up, whether you have a lot or a little on your calendar, don’t tie your brain in knots before you even commence the tackling. Accept that while having a plan is good, it may change, and you will survive. Don’t anticipate a million things going wrong; take each step as you reach it, then pray for the next step to go as smoothly.
And when you’ve made it to the other side of intense busy-ness, go play with the dog. Blow bubbles with the kids. Lock yourself in the basement with a bag of cheese puffs.
Or, my personal favorite — read that latest Warriors release in less than 24 hours.