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The personal site of Jamie Knight, a slightly autistic web developer, speaker and mountain biker who is never seen far from his plush sidekick Lion. View the Archive

Topics: Autism Development

How i manage anxiety and insecurity.

Tonight is a big challenge for me. I’m in the USA and I am spending the night alone.

I’m staying in a really lovely place, it’s a smart little apartment in Santa Clara It’s lovely. It’s on a secure development with 3 gates between me and the outside worlds. It’s lovely.

However, for whatever reason this scenario has kick my anxiety senses into high gear.

Here’s how I am dealing with it:

1: retreat to a close small place

I’ve setup base in the bathroom. It’s furthest from all the sensory inputs I don’t enjoy (air conditioning noise, bright windows, excessive mess) it also adds an extra locked door. One of the plushies i trust is also standing gaurd. Mostly because it helps me feel safer. I know it’s a toy but it works so im not discounting it.

The bathroom has no windows and has a low light level. So I have control over the lights. Cool, quite, controlled and secure. Perfect.

2: low input entertainment

Within the bathroom. I have moved all my favourite low input entertainment in with me. Top gear magazines, podcasts, audiobooks etc.

3: relaxing activity

I have also hopped into a warm bath. I rerun it every four or five hours once it goes cold. The baths help ease my tummy cramps (warm water is still more effective than drugs).

I also like the way a deep bath feels. It provides resistance to my movement and I really like how it feels to lie deep in the bath. Completely covered in water feels great. Relaxing and calming. Nothing feels like it’s disconnected. I know where my elbows are without looking.

4: contact

I’m keeping in continuous contact with my two friends currently in the U.S. Neither is all that far away, but staying in contact keeps me calm. They are both doing cool things (one is touring a wine place, the other is currently cooking pasta for dinner).

5: make space timetable

I have a big visual timetable on the wall here. When I started struggling I first retreated to the bedroom and cleared my timetable. I have re planned today’s activity into tomorrow and that means I know that I have time to manage the anxiety and not be late for work projects.

6: next steps.

From a place where I am feeling safer and calmer I am now planning my sleep. In about about an hours time (when my phone runs out of battery) I am going to watch some DR who in the lounge if I can. Then after that I will either start making some lego things or do some others focus activity (like coloring or coding) untill I feel sleepy. Once sleepy it’s time to figure out what feels best for sleeping.

So if you ever wondered how I deal with anxiety. Theres a rough outline of my day to day methods.

Published: 26 February 2015 | Categories: , Permalink

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