Sometimes its easy to get so caught up in life and all the pressures unfolding around you that you stop taking care of yourself and listening to what your mind and body need.
I've spent the past 5 weeks living life at (for me) a fairly non-stop pace; trips to visit family, rugby games (home and away), postgraduate assignments and exams, autism research and advocacy work. All of this on top of my full-time job. No wonder I've been so damn tired recently!
So I decided this weekend I was going to take some time to myself, not the whole weekend as I'm going to the Diamond Wedding Anniversary of close family friends for some of tomorrow but for the most part this weekend has been about looking after me and getting some much needed rest.
Rest doesn't just mean sleep however, though I will admit it does play a large part for me (14 hours last night!), its about not having any social demands put on me. I watched the Saracens game on TV from my own living room rather than making the trip to Allianz Park to watch it with all the other fans who couldn't make the trip to Lyon. This was a choice I made very definitively earlier in the week when I realised just how exhausted I was getting and how close to breaking point I'd unintentionally let myself get. The fact of the matter is that as an Autistic person I have to be realistic about what I can manage and no matter how much I may want to do something I still have to consider all the ramifications and consequences before committing to a course of action. This is particularly true when I'm asked to take on/do something with little notice - I need to think through the ripple effect before giving a response; often saying 'no' is incredibly difficult for me.
I don't regret anything I've done recently and I know that certain parts of the stress I'm under are completely out of my control but I just wish that people could be a little bit more understanding of the concept of 'Autism Fatigue' and realise the implications that can have on me and my sociability - if I'm having a tough week please don't criticize me for not conforming to the social norm and saying 'good morning' to every Tom, Dick and Harry that I see first thing in the morning at work!!
I can already feel the change in my mental state just from a single day away from people and their subconscious pressures, hopefully the feel-good factor from todays win and the general relaxed approach to this weekend will be enough to see me through to half-term now!