Preventing Psychological Burnout
Advice for my fellow Autistic-ADHD-anxious-introverts
We live in a different province from the rest of our family, and have lived here for nearly 15 years. Over the years, we’ve travelled back to visit our family — covid restrictions notwithstanding — approximately three times each year.
Our son is nine years old, so a huge portion of that involved travelling with a baby, a toddler, and then a young child. My spouse and I both lived in Ontario for a significant portion of our lives, including College and University, so we both have friends and family there.
Our visits are whirlwinds. We fly there for about a week, visit as many people as we can, and then fly home. It’s bloody exhausting.
It used to be even worse, before I recognized what was happening to me on these trips. I remember once I was tired, cranky, and definitely overstimulated. I don’t remember what I was saying, but my husband snapped at me (which he very rarely does) and told me to stop complaining.
What was happening was, we were prioritizing our friends and family because we only see them a few times a year, but I had no conceptualization or understanding of my needs.
Many years, and an Autism and ADHD diagnosis later, I now understand much better. We were driving around to various cities, sleeping in different beds or hotel rooms every night, and spending our entire visit — well, visiting.
In our valiant efforts to not leave anyone out, I had almost zero downtime. I have come to learn that no downtime is a huge problem for me, and a good way to send myself into burnout, or even a meltdown.
With the holidays coming up, you might be really looking forward to time spent with family and friends. You might be dreading it. If you’re anything like me, probably a bit of both.
I love spending time with my family and close friends. One of my best friends is very much into the holidays, so she gets very excited about getting everyone together and hosting dinners.