Focusing on an autistic individual’s strengths is one of the best autism coping skills to draw on during the pandemic. While lots of people may find that social isolation is detrimental to their mental health, many individuals with autism take solace in their alone time. Social distancing may make these individuals feel more at ease, and the time spent alone allows them to feel less overwhelmed, thus improving their mental health. To further aid your loved one in coping with the pandemic, you can encourage them to use this alone time to focus on mindfulness exercises.
Looking for Autism Coping Skills During the Pandemic? Try Mindfulness Exercises.
One of the many fantastic autism coping skills during the pandemic is mindfulness exercise. Mindfulness is honing in on self-awareness to identify how you are feeling, what you are thinking, and the bodily sensations that you are experiencing at the moment. The focus should not be on the judgement or interpretation of these feelings but simply in the acknowledgment of the feelings themselves. Mindfulness helps people engage with the world around them. Its benefits include:
- Improvement in mental health: Helps with depression, anxiety disorders, and other issues.
- Improves in physical health: Helps by lowering blood pressure, relieving stress, and improving sleep.
Examples Of Mindfulness
1. Sitting in the Present
There are several activities that your loved with autism can do to feel as though they are living in the moment including singing, painting a picture, dancing to music, or even taking a walk outside. The key is to have them take note of the sensations they are experiencing as they participate in the activities and how they feel while doing them.
2. Focused Breathing
Activities that help your loved one focus on their movements and their breathing patterns include doing yoga, stretching exercises, singing, or playing an instrument. Even non-aerobic activities such as or knitting or crocheting help to clear the mind and focus on breath.
3. Practical Focus
Mindfulness in other practical tasks, such as learning something new or cleaning, allows your loved one with autism to sense how they feel about what they’re doing and how they feel about the space around them. Focusing on practical household tasks as a form of mindfulness also allows them to focus on the present moment.
4. Body Scan Meditation
To do this, have your loved one lay on their back with their arms at their sides and palms facing upwards. Instruct them to close their eyes and focus their mind on each part of your body, slowly scanning from head to toe or toes to head. This allows them greater awareness over any thoughts, emotions, or sensations they might feel about each part of the body and aids in meditation.
5. Walking Or Sitting Meditation
Have your loved one find a quiet place about 20 feet in length and instruct them to walk the length of the space very slowly. While walking, have them focus on the experience and subtle movements that they’re going through in order to keep their balance and facilitate their path from point A to point B.
Looking for more Autism Resources During the Pandemic? Contact ShineLight.
ShineLight focuses on the specific needs of individuals with autism during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing supportive employment services, as well as residential services, educational tools and community outreach. Contact ShineLight today either by phone or through our online form, we look forward to hearing from you.
About ShineLight | Autism Coping Skills During the Pandemic
ShineLight is a unique organization created with the distinct purpose of providing a brighter life and future for individuals with autism. ShineLight serves as a guiding light for individuals and their families by leading the way in support services and community advocacy. Their service areas include: Fayetteville, Wake, Sampson, Scotland, Duplin, Wayne, Lenoir, Greene, Wilson, Edgecombe, Durham, Johnston, Cumberland, Hoke, Robeson, and Bladen Counties.