Neurodiversity consultancy Perfectly Autistic has shared some tips on how to handle the change that the country is going through following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Change can be very difficult if you are autistic, so there may be a number of concerns people have as the country transitions and we welcome King Charles III as our new king.
Whatever your views are of the monarchy, it may be difficult to know how to handle this unsettling time. With talks of the many changes we can expect to see with our stamps, coins, notes and passports as well as the current cancellation of sporting events and the changes to the TV schedule, it can feel incredibly overwhelming.
Kelly Grainger co-founder of Perfectly Autistic and an international neurodiversity speaker who is autistic himself, shares some ways you can get through this unsettling time:
Be kind to yourself
The news is overwhelming at the moment. For some, it may feel like you’ve lost a member of your family so you will be grieving and for others, they will feel frustrated that everything has changed. Take some time out and limit where you spend your energy right now.
Write it down
There are a number of books of condolences up and down the United Kingdom and online, so you could sign one of those or write your own letter or note about how you are feeling right now. You don’t have to do anything with it, but writing can be very cathartic.
Light a candle
This can be a time for reflection or just to re-set yourself and take time to breathe. Lavender, jasmine and chamomile all have relaxing properties. Many autistic people can suffer from sensory processing disorder, so if these fragrances are too strong for you, vanilla is also a relaxing choice.
Stop doom scrolling
Social media feeds are awash with images of the Queen, flowers, tributes and photos of people who have visited places to pay their respects. You can temporarily mute social media accounts or unfollow people whose views you don’t agree with. Set a daily limit on your devices so that your social media platforms close down after a set amount of time.
The TV schedule has completely changed and with sports and other events having been cancelled, this may cause a lot of anxiety in autistic people, as it is a change from structure and routine and specific TV programmes or sports teams may be one of their special interests. Monday 19 September is now a bank holiday, and many businesses have announced they ae closing, including shops. All these changes can cause anxiety and be very unsettling. By planning ahead and making changes now, you can hopefully help to manage the uncertainty.
Kelly commented: ‘These are unprecedented times and it’s difficult to know what to feel or what we think we ‘should’ be feeling. Being autistic I often process my feelings internally and so my anxiety around these changes may not be visible to others. For other autistic people, it may be the opposite, where it is very apparent that the change in routine and uncertainty is causing them anxiety. There is no right or wrong way to feel right now. Following some of these tips, it can hopefully help other autistic people get through this difficult time.’