Hello again and welcome aboard the autism boat. Christmas is an odd time of year, it’s very busy and involves lot’s of social interactions in such a small space of time. Whilst I do find Christmas an enjoyable time of year it isn’t a walk in the park, unless that walk in the park was very stressful, then it is like that.
I find the Christmas break difficult for many reasons, one of the main ones is lack of routine. I am an autistic that likes structure, so school is good because of its time table. Holidays have so little structure that it builds anxiety and leaves me at a loss of what to do. To help reduce the stress this brings I set myself tasks to do everyday. This can be school related or relaxing (like to play a certain video game). The other main issue is the massive about of socializing that happens around Christmas that continues to the new year. I find being around a lot of people, even if I am comfortable with everyone, very stressful but it is expected of me to be able to socialize for hours without concern. In the past when I have tried to duck out for some air I have received hassle about being antisocial and dragged back into the room. Now with better understanding of autism I give myself little breaks so I can last longer and enjoy the time I spend socializing more. The key here for a successful Christmas with an autistic is to allow them to have some space when they need it to recharge. This will make not just the autistic happier but the people around them to.
One of the other issues is alcohol. I don’t like being around drunk people and at Christmas time it’s hard to avoid them, especially when most of my family drink. This adds an extra layer to the stress and anxiety that I already face. This problem is hard to solve as it hinges mostly on other people actions but, again time away to recharge helps me deal with this.
After all the excitement and stress of Christmas and New year I like to have at least one day where I can stay at home in my pajamas to properly recover. This is a good idea for any autistic especial if they have to go back to school or work as you want to make sure the break was relaxing as well.
Hope you have an alright Christmas and New year, see you in 2020!