Monthly Archives

November 2018

Lifestyle Mental Health

How I Detox My Mind At Weekends

Detox

I bet that you can think of more than a few times this week where you have been stressed and overwhelmed by work or just life in general. I’ve definitely been there and it’s why I sometimes need to have a total detox. The great thing about doing a social detox is that it can be different for every person. For me, I love having at least one day a week where I just don’t talk. I don’t mind being social when I’m at my placement or even on Twitter, but it really tires me out by Friday. I did one of these days yesterday and that’s why I wanted to chat about it!

Have an hour of not talking:

I know this would be really difficult if you have kids or live with someone, but find a time in your day when you have a chance to do nothing. There’s nothing like the freedom of silence! I didn’t talk at all yesterday and I loved it. There was no pressure to make a conversation or be social.

Treat yourself:

It’s the weekend! It’s been a long week and hopefully you won’t have to work. When I say treat yourself, you can choose whatever feels like a treat to you! It could either be a piece of cake, a TV show, a podcast. Whatever makes you feel relaxed or happy is a treat. My personal treat is curling up on my sofa with a new book and reading. It just feels amazing and I can escape into a different world for a bit.

Take a walk:

It’s kind of hard when it’s freezing outside and looking as gloomy as you’ve been feeling, but it’s true when they say you can clear your mind after a walk. You find that moment where it’s not freezing cold or when it has that hint of sun and you walk. I’m still trying to figure out where the best places to walk in my new area but there is nothing like walking in the countryside! It’s one of my aims to walk in the Peak Distract next year like around Castleton or something!

Cuddle your furry baby for a bit:

My cat has never really been the cuddly type. She always put up with a slight hug and then she’d want to go and do something on her own. Now that she’s older she is always meowing at me and just wanting to sit on my lap to sleep. She’s even on my lap now as I’m typing this! It’s really calming to randomly stroke her fur when I’m thinking.

Stay off social media:

Sometimes social media is one of the worst places to be when you need to detox. Yes, you have your friends on there and share your posts if you’re a blogger, but it can be worse than being offline. Instagram can make you feel self-conscious about your body, Twitter can have some crazy retweets and I don’t even go on Facebook anymore. I know if my anxiety is there when I wake up that going online is not the best way to go. If people want you, then you can either reply tomorrow or wait until you feel up to it.

Have you ever tried a detox day before?

Lifestyle

My Autism Diagnosis and Journey

Autism

Today marks 2 months since I was finally diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a mild form of autism. I’ve known a few people with this but, even though I thought I was different and everything else, it wasn’t until I spoke to the brilliant Ali Caitrin that I decided to go and get myself assessed. Do you know what I was told by my GP? That it was going to take up to 4 years to get diagnosed. 4 years!! That is horrific! No person should have to wait that long to get medical help. Though I have technically been waiting for 30 years so what’s another four?

Last October my GP managed to get me an appointment with a mental health service to do my first assessment. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it was going to be. The guy was actually really nice and looked like he wanted to hear about me. He gave me a questionnaire called ‘The Autism Spectrum Quotient’ (AQ). It’s basically a test to see how many of your traits match with the whole autism spectrum. If you get 32 and more, then it’s a good indicator that you have Aspergers. I found out this year that I scored 41!

After that, I spent at least an hour chatting about my life story from childhood to now. All the little things that my mum and dad were told were different about me compared to all the other kids. Some of the things were that I had never felt like playing with the other kids and preferred my own company, absolutely hating sudden change and only being able to write in black and red ink. It sounds weird but all of these things are still with me today and I’m not embarrassed by them.

It’s just me!

I had to get myself comfy since I had to wait another whole year to get my proper assessment…which I almost missed!!

My letter from the NHS had been sent to my old address and it was only after the doctor who was assessing me called to ask where I was that I found out it was happening that day! I’ve never got dressed so quick in my entire life! I kind of dived onto a bus and then did a speed-walk through town to get there. I was late but I got there. What I didn’t realise was that my assessment would take 4 hours to get through. Blimey!! We talked about everything, I did another AQ, she gave a bag of marbles to play with as I spoke (which really helped), had to look at a picture book and explain what was happening in the story. Oh, I also had to look at pictures of eyes and guess what emotion was in there.

The best thing was that I was told after everything the results…I had definite Aspergers.

Without any doubt.

I feel some relief that there is a reason for why I’ve not been like other people and that I’m not just ‘quiet and a little odd’ like my teachers called it. Another part of me wonders whether it will make any difference in my life having this autism diagnosis. I did get given a long list of places to get in contact with for different kinds of help. One of them is the National Autistic Society who are the main UK charity for kids and adults with autism. They’ve got some really handy information and I’ve even watched a Youtuber called Connor Ward who works along with them! Something to work towards…maybe even help someone myself!

Have you ever thought about being diagnosed? Do you know anyone who is on the spectrum?