Ways to be Mindful as the World Opens Up Again…
Hope you have all been and are continuing to manage well in this quarantine so far, and find ways to effectively find structure and create routines to keep yourselves well and sane while working from home or staying home as these routines and sense of structure can be an important part of what keeps us mentally well and feel more secure as individuals in whatever we are doing. I know for myself that the routines I’ve created and the ones that were created for me, are the ones I’ve practiced and have become comfortable with over time that have helped me embrace the little uncertainties often felt about navigating life itself, as an Autistic individual. You know, like sudden shifts in the schedule, added tasks, unexpected events and more that throw me off a little in terms of knowing what to expect. However, with all the circumstances in place and new procedures gradually rolling out around the post quarantine adjustment, it’s going to be a bit bigger adjustment going back that we all are going to have to adjust to and with it will introduce new ways of doing things and interacting with others; especially when it comes to our post quarantine routines outside the house.
So, like I’ve done in the past have began to reflect on ways to prepare myself mentally on how to go back and find simple strategies to become mindful of what the experience may be, and the fact that like many of you it will be a big transition for myself as well.
Mindful Strategies, and Visualization:
#1: The recognition!
From experience I know that simply by recognizing the fact that change can be tough and that it will be an adjustment has helped me better prepare for it in a way that I am at least taking the surprise out of the fact that there will be changes, and hopefully going in can better focus on adjusting to whatever they may be. However, this strategy also helps me set my own expectations about the experience of adjusting to it and can help me create the motivation needed to find solutions or strategies that I can use beforehand to prepare for the transition. One strategy when it comes to returning is re-familiarizing myself with a part of the routine that remains unchanged, like that of taking occasional trips to the parking lot of my work.
#2: Take Notice and Visualize!
Next I encourage you to on your next outing to take a second to look around and notice- if you can- what hasn’t changed about that experience. It could be the layout of the store, if you only get as far as the parking lot it could be that or the building itself, the route you took to get there- and take that as an example that while may it seem in your mind everything is going to change completely, right here in front of you is an example that there are a few things that have stayed the same. Once you get a sense of what it’s like out there you can use that to help you visualize what your own experience might be like. For instance: what types of protective gear is used, new precautions and steps taken in that instance to at least give you an idea of what it might be like for you and how the new guidelines are put into actual practice.
Lastly! It’s okay to feel uncertain!
Above all else, I want you to know that it’s okay if you are feeling nervous or uncertain about what life post quarantine will look like, I’ve felt that too and it’s totally normal. There’s only so much we can do to prepare for what scenarios like this are like, and ways we can visual what it may be without getting our subconscious in a knot. So, if you are simply having one of those moments where the uncertainty gets to you, then allow yourself to have it, find ways to calm yourself through and then eventually refocus your attention on something productive as a way to redirect that energy and help stop your mind from dwelling down the “what if” rabbit hole of possibilities.
Until next time.
Hang in there friends,