Keeping Calm When Things Get Crazy How Autism Moms Can Recognize and Manage High Stress Situations

Hi Moms! The topic today is stress. You may have heard about it. It’s a doozy! In this episode, we explore the big stress that moms of autistics experience, the importance of recognizing it, and tips for managing it.

Find the full transcript for this episode at https://thrivingmomsofautistics.com/82

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Importance of Catching the Signs of Stress Early for Autism Moms When we recognize the precursors, we can pivot in stressful situations more easily. 

Let’s start with recognizing stress in our child. When our child is out of sorts, that is hard for us to see, but it is inevitable. 

Our reaction to that is important, so we should increase awareness of these precursors. 

It is different for every child, but commonly, children will increase stimming (rocking, pacing, etc.), show increased irritability or aggression, experiencing transitions or changes, have physical symptoms (headache, stomach ache, etc.), or at the onset of the latest bug going around.

When these things begin, stress is not far behind. Autism moms are planners. We often stay a step ahead of things, but sometimes that isn’t the case. Or we miscalculate because we are human after all. 

Let’s shift to recognizing stress in ourselves. Every mom experiences stress differently. What are your typical signs that you are overloaded?

You might feel on edge, have a hard time focusing, feel tired, toss and turn at night, feel aches in your body, have a shorter fuse, or struggle to cope. 

Did someone out there say, “That’s normal or That’s everyday?” If that is the case, it is so important for you to hear this. Stress takes such a toll on your body. 

Moms of autistics strive to be around for their children. Constant high stress can take years off of you.You definitely don’t want that.

Here are some tips for managing your stress level:

  1. Have a go-to stash for when your child starts to escalate or show signs of distress. Have one in the car, a to-go bag, and in various places in the house. The kitchen is a good place. It is hard to get away when you are cooking. Include sensory items and social stories that include steps for calming.
  2. Creatively carve out 15-minutes a day for a self-care activity to recharge when you can. It’s more possible than you think. 
  3. Ask for help when needed. Creating a community of support feels overwhelming, but it can be done over time.

I help moms 1:1 in the Thrive VIP program develop community and self-care plans for their needs. Check it out on www.thriving moms of autistic.com and click Work with Christina for more.

  1. Flip the switch! Challenges weigh us down. When we recognize potential stressors, notice your body and your thoughts. Now, ditch the stinken thinken and grow your mindset. 

It can be difficult to switch gears like this. It isn’t done overnight and takes practice. I explore this in the Thrive VIP program as well. 

  1. Add this podcast to your resources AKA Mom Toolbox. Check out previous episodes for more ideas to tackle stress. 

You have so many strengths, and you are worthy of self-care! I hope this helps!

I look forward to our time together next week!