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Six things I have learned as I finally come out of autistic burnout

Updated: Aug 25, 2023


I’m finally starting to emerge from autistic burnout that started over three years ago and wanted to share six things I’ve learned:

  1. I needed to know I’m autistic. I’ve been unknowingly going through cycles of burnout my whole life, finally hitting the life-crushing one over two years before knowing I’m autistic or what was happening with me. Realizing I’m autistic validated my experience thus far and empowered me to explore my needs and triggers in a way I had never imagined before.

  2. I needed to know I’m pda autistic. I needed to know my nervous system isn’t just hypersensitive, but perceives even the most basic things as threats which has helped with managing daily life, but also explains the level of complex trauma i’ve physically felt but didn’t know how to mentally connect; I didn’t have all of those why’s until now.

  3. My days will rarely look the same bc I’m working with my energy levels while trying to reduce demand and prioritize my internal needs. I’ve had to let go of the idea of “consistency” in a traditional sense and embrace being consistent with listening to and accommodating myself above all else.

  4. Movement is imperative - for some it may be stimming but I need structured exercise - structured stimming, if you will. I could honestly go on and on with the ways that stimming or structured energy release has helped me manage not just my nervous system, but so many other things.

  5. My special interests have been key which is obviously a twisted sort of irony, because when you are in the throes of burnout, special interests mean just about nothing. Nothing is interesting. But the moment I felt a spark, I grabbed onto it. And that has snowballed.

  6. The last is maybe the most shocking but being here was the thing that helped me get to number 1 on this list, but was also the thing preventing me from fully getting out of burnout. After going MIA last week, that became clear… which is some thing far too nuanced to get into into right here, right now, but I’m writing something. Processing all the deets and teets. I’ll share it when it’s done.


If you're visual, you can check out the video here.


Stay regulated,

Shauna

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