The shops are full of last-minute advent calendars, and carols blare out in pubs; Starbucks has its red cups, and lights are outside the neighbour’s house. Christmas must be finally around the corner.
Ever since I was a little girl, I looked forward the almost ritualistic rigmarole of wrapping gifts, decorating the tree, spotting the lights outside, glittering in the dark.
If I am completely honest, I sometimes find ‘this’-the whole collective celebration-a little bit, well, overwhelming. In January 2015 I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome (noted as Autism Spectrum Disorder, as this was just before it was no longer a diagnosis.) I often write about this over on my blog, mademoisellewomen.com, as well as around the web.
Often, there’s a lot of new sensory output; there’s the loud music in shops, lots of people to see, having to be organised, etc. This got me thinking; what can I do, to work my way round this?
Use headphones liberally.
Headphones are virtually always in my bag; where I go, they go. (The same goes for my notebook.)
Whenever there is a lot of noise-and I have written about this previously-these are used to block the sound. The louder the music, the less noise there is; generally speaking, I prefer more of a ‘rock’ sound.
I often find it tricky to go into shops where there’s a lot of people around, or to navigate my way through a shopping centre. (Best go not at ‘peak times” ?) Anyway; headphones are one of the things I like to take with me. That way, I can concentrate, and get on with what I came for.
Lists. Use them well.
One of the things that is constantly commented on is apparently how organised I am. Here’s the thing; I’m really not.
My memory for really basics tasks, or something simple like “email x on this date to chase up y for z reason” is poor. If I wasn’t able to write it down, I’d be fairly lost. (Thank goodness for my Filofax and notebook!)
Anyway, what I do is plan ahead; I also use a lot of lists. That way, I can break down what I need to do into sizeable chunks, get it all done, and not forget anything.
Have a quiet space and time away.
Ah, silence; how I miss you!
One of the things I find hardest to deal with is sound; the best way to describe it is that I don’t have a filter. So, I can hear more than just the door scraping; in one room, it could be something as tiny as a clock ticking, or a cat yowling. If this is prolonged, it’s overwhelming, enough to block my thinking, mess with my speech, and more. (Yep, it’s not pretty.)
If you have problems with noises, like I do, I’d suggest finding yourself a quiet space; lock yourself away from the noise, and be quiet for a while. (After this, I virtually always feel better.)
I just wanted to say a massive thank you to Lydia for writing this guest post. As well as a blogger, Lydia is a freelance journalist, and has lots of exciting projects coming up in 2019! Be sure to follow her on Twitter and Instagram to stay updated.