Balance is important for autistic people. Social events, sensory differences and trying to ‘fit it’ can cause high levels of stress and anxiety and need to be balanced by doing things that bring you calm and joy otherwise this can lead to meltdowns, shutdowns, and burnout. ‘Spoon theory’ is a useful way of explaining the need for balance. Autistic individuals may only have a certain number of ‘spoons’ (energy) each day, and each social interaction, work task, household chore or shopping trip will use quite a number of them. In order to gain some ‘spoons’ back and re-energise it helps to spend time doing the things you enjoy like reading, being outside or spending time alone.
Some autistic individuals are more anxious than others. If your levels of anxiety are high most of the time, your ability to cope with every day tasks becomes more limited and finding that balance is harder. You may find yourself in a permanent state of ‘flight or fight’ and meltdowns shutdowns and burnout become much more common.
Scroll down for resources to help with anxiety, burnout, spoon theory and balance.