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christmas survival guide

for autistic people and those easily overstimulated.

this is more of a checklist for myself than anyone else, but i hope it may help you too

for travel

(if you are visiting your family by car or maybe a train)

- make sure to not only pack, but also wear the most comfortable clothing possible. eliminate any tags that might scratch you during prolonged sitting.

- if you are in a northern hemisphere, dress warm, but in a layered way. this way you may avoid the cold outside without getting overheated in a vehicle.

- if you are in a southern hemisphere, dress appropriately for summer and bring means of cooling off (water, fan).

- as a passenger, look into covering the side window during the sunny day, or ensure your head is in shade.

- as a passenger, look into bringing a comfort item of yours or a stim toy of your choosing. bonus points if they are related to your current interest to lift your spirits.

- as a passenger, consider bringing your own headphones with music or hearing protection, depending if you need controlled or limited stimuli.

- have a plan for your travel: christmas often correlates with higher traffic, accidents and delays. prepare alternative routes beforehand to avoid unnecessary stress during your journey.

for celebration

- wear comfortable clothing appropriate for the occasion (if you are required to) and bring a spare of casual clothes if you get too overwhelmed.

- if you don't know what food will be served, ask beforehand. you can make yourself familliar with traditional cruisine. eat only dishes and amounts that you are comfortable with.

- consider not using the flickering mode for christmas lights and ask if you might dim the lights.

- make sure to have a calm, quiet room to fall back to in case you get overwhelmed. use hearing protection if you have to. don't push yourself until you have a meltdown! it's much better if you take a breather before it happens.

- it helps to talk about your interest during the conversation, if your enviornment is accepting.

- christmas wishes don't have to be special. use a typical formula (wishing health, luck, happiness) and if you know the person, add one personal thing (good luck with new job, happiness in relationship, etc.).

i wish every one of you celebrating stress-free and happy holidays. and for everyone, stay safe and healthy for new years :)

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xalli's profile picture

this is such a lovely guide ! ty so much for sharing 🌟

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