Autistic burnout is a real thing, experienced by many of my clients, and a beast to battle. More intense than “just work burnout” or “feeling burned out at work,” autistic burnout can take a person down, requiring a looong time to recover.
My friend, Michael John Carley, offers up these 2 latest resources:
- For a shorter read: try Robert Naseef, Ph.D.’s blog on “Understanding Autistic Burnout.”
- For a longer read: try Carole Jean Whittington’s forthcoming book A Strategic Approach to Transforming Spicy Burnout.
As a reminder, if you have been working with me, look to your strengths:
- Remember what you enjoy doing, and do it, for a few minutes.
- Spend extra time with your cat
- Limit activities that seem like too much
- Think about your optimal environment/day, and take tiny steps to achieving that
- Mind your sensory self – do you need more/less stimulation? Can you access what you need?
- When you get all tangled up in the “Do I deserve this” where you convince yourself that you aren’t worth it, ask yourself, “Would I let my favorite person feel this way? Would I encourage that person to tend to themselves?”
- When you are ready, try exercise, outside time, sunshine, nutrition, adequate and restful sleep.
- When you get mad at yourself for “failing” at these tasks, remember to talk to yourself as though you are talking to a friend or a small child. No mean words, just support and kindness.
- If you can, catch yourself being kind to yourself and “note” it.
- Know that while burnout is not actually typical (as in, not healthy), you are in good company. Burnout is rampant, and thus kinda typical (but in an unhealthy, we gotta find some better spaces and expectations for you kind of way)
- Please, if you can, drop the shame. You possess a sensitive system, and are a neurological minority living in a sometimes unkind majority culture. You didn’t do this to yourself. But you do have to address it and help yourself feel better. It isn’t fair, but it is reality.
You got this😊 If you need me, let me know!