We can best meet daily challenges when we relax. But how many teachers and therapists and parents of individuals with challenges related to autism find time to relax? Is it unrealistic to strive toward an impossible goal of relaxation?
Unless a person is just oblivious to all that is swirling around in life, it is difficult to just relax. But we can take some steps to decrease the stress that makes clouds hang over our lives.
1. Prioritize. Pick the MOST important issues for each day and do what you can to address those issues. Make a list of things that MUST get done, and spend your time and energy getting those things done.
2. Don’t get obsessive about items on the lists. Let some things slide occasionally.
3. Learn to ignore issues or circumstances or situations you cannot control or change.
4. Take a look at your day. When does the stress-level gets out of hand? Take specific steps to make those times more calm. For example, you might anticipate the craziness of the morning rush. Rather than barking orders and fussing all morning long, insert a bit of humor so everyone can relax.
5. Don’t forget to take time to enjoy your relationship with your youngster and other family members.
6. Forgive yourself and others. Perfection is not a realistic goal. You make others miserable if you hold grudges or if you criticize others.
TIP FOR THE DAY. Although a certain amount of intensity and dedication is certainly critical to the well-being of our friends with autism, we need to walk away from the edge of that cliff called “Perfection” so we don’t drive ourselves or our loved ones over the edge. In the end, everyone benefits when we learn to just relax.
NOTE TO READERS AND LISTENERS: I am Cathy Knoll, a board certified music therapist and long-time friend of many folks with autism. At FAQautism.com we are committed to providing free, practical, everyday tips for making life better for people with autism. Feel free to send me a confidential email at talk@FAQautism.com with your thoughts or challenging situations or innovative solution. And don’t forget to check out our website for a wealth of ideas and a glimpse into the world of autism. http://FAQautism.com