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Featured How do you decompress in evenings?

Discussion in 'Parenting & Autism Discussions' started by Kriss, May 15, 2020.

  1. Kriss

    Kriss Active Member

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    I'm 38y old Aspie, have a job and two kids (3y neurotypical, 6y Aspie). Typically days are tiring due to work, but the really difficult part is evenings. When I come home, the kids run around screaming and fighting all the time, so I just get some food and drag time until the kids go to sleep at around 9pm. Typically by then I'm already exhausted due to sensory overload, so after putting them in bed just pour myself a glass of whiskey and spend the rest of evening randomly surfing web, with few more drinks during that. I have been doing this self-medication for last 10 years.
    The whiskey helps in the evenings, I can really feel my brain releasing tension sip by sip, to go from like a tense muscle to a peaceful sea. But in the mornings I feel not well slept and hangover :( I need to find an alternative evening decompression method.
    Please tell how do YOU decompress during evenings?
     
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  2. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    Try quitting drinking. After a few months you should notice less stress in general. Also more energy and a clearer head. This could help you enjoy your evenings more without the news to relieve stress.

    Ed
     
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  3. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I worked night shift and kept the same schedule whether I worked that night or not. 12 hour nights (13 actually) three nights a week. So 4 nights a week, I got to put the kids to bed and have the nights to myself. That's probably how I survived parenting years. It was also helpful because when they hit teen years they knew they could not stay awake until I feel asleep so they could sneak out. lol

    But then once my kids were grown - I got remarried and moved to Georgia. Ended up working in home health - daytime. During the week I was always busy working - paperwork once I got home. Weekends, my husband was having us do things together and I completely lost that me time, which I so desperately need. What I did was changed my work schedule. They gave me a weekend shift, so I was home during the week and busy working on weekends. :) It helped tremendously.
     
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  4. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    I'm not good at "decompressing". Well, not in the way it's usually thought of. I must always be mentally engaged by something. When I'm feeling messed up, doing something like watching some show will only make it worse since that wont take up enough focus. I'll still have too much empty "mental space" that will then just get filled with whatever problem is bothering me that day. I'm not so good with activities that just involve watching things. I do read books, I have so many, but due to neck problems there are many times where I have to say no to that, since craning my neck down at them can set that off when it's a bit iffy.

    Instead, I have my board game hobby (and I'm a solo gamer, so I can do it whenever I feel like it, no need for friends to be around). There's alot of thinking involved, and the tactile element provides a good sensory aspect to it. Generally doesnt take long before my mood stablilizes.

    And then inevitably my dog will rampage down the stairs and shove a ball in my face while I'm trying to do that... but hey, that only leads to a whole different brand of fun. Cant complain. What could be better than my fluffy pal?


    But yeah, any time someone asks for advice about something like this, I always say the same thing: Get a hobby. Something mentally engaging and challenging. Whether it's painting or building models or any of a million other things, it doesnt matter, just as long as it's something you can really get into.

    Preferrably also try not to get too attached to the computer screen. Too much time doing that each day can and will negatively affect your mood. I had to learn this one the hard way.
     
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  5. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    There is no sleep, no down time until your kids are adults. It wasn't until my daughter started high school, l felt my parenting job was mostly over.

    Every morning after l dropped her off at high school, l ran at the gym. So maybe some form of doable exercise even if it's the weekend only. Something to get you out of the house, break from the kids, break from work to hold on to you. Because when the kids are no longer kids, you will have survived.

    I am so old now, l just stare at my walls to decompress after a long day. If not too far gone, then l still jog. I am on year ten of jogging.
     
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  6. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Taking 3 to 6 mg of Melatonin just before bedtime helps me.
     
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  7. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    I need a little time with no one talking to me. It could be just 20 minutes. I can watch a TV show, read, do a little project, lie in my hammock - anything really, as long as no one is talking to me.
     
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  8. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Happy B-day! Virtual balloons and all that.☺
     
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  9. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    Thanks!
     
  10. SDRSpark

    SDRSpark Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I totally feel you on the "mental space" thing. I have a seriously hard time with "just focus on something else" because my brain has this remarkable habit of being able to focus on two things at once - whatever I'm attempting to do, and whatever is troubling me. My deviant brain accomplishes this by working the thoughts of whatever my current issue is into whatever I'm trying to focus on so it's no longer two separate issues anymore. It's really frustrating.

    What kind of board games can you play solo? I didn't realize that board games could be a solo activity, and I'm definitely intrigued.
     
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  11. Creep

    Creep Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.

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    I sit in the living room with mother dearest from 6-8 pm. She is watching tv & I am doing a crossword, knitting, reading a book or watching tv. 8pm is bedtime.

    You could try switching from whiskey to sleepy time tea. I’d avoid screens before bed too. Meditation has also been helpful to me, as has exercise. Good luck.
     
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  12. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    If I'm online surfing or doing any mental activity, then I find it hard to wind down and then sleep, so i have a kind of cut-off point for these activities, about 9pm (which as I write is rapidly approaching). I then lie on the couch and watch a documentary - I sometimes drink a glass of wine but am strict about how much I will allow myself to drink, or otherwise camomille tea. When I go to bed, I read until I feel really sleepy. Melatonin helps too.
     
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  13. clg114

    clg114 Still crazy, after all these years. Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    I take my shoes off of my old, tired feet. Sit down in my recliner and recline it all the way back. Some times I fall asleep until my wife wakes me up to go to bed. Welcome to Autism Forums!
     
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  14. Jumpback

    Jumpback Well-Known Member

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    As I mentioned on another thread, alcohol is evil because it is legal and it works

    But another thing that works for me is to lie down and watch movies. I use an iPad and lean it against couch and wall or use the case, but you can put these things all over, or even use your phone..the screen doesn’t need to be that big if it’s close.

    If you only drink in the evenings, you can try just having one or two drinks and just doing anything that you damn well want after the kids go to bed to relax and decompress
     
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  15. Kriss

    Kriss Active Member

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    I did many times. Can go clean for a few days, a week or two, but the stress just builds up and at some point it is just not worth it, so I just stop tormenting me and go easy. So the million dollar question is - what other decompression ideas are there? because just doing nothing is not really an option. I can do a few days sober, but the stress just builds up. It's my Aspie brain taking in too much sensory information, and my Aspie kid doing constant temper tantrums, so in the evening, I just want to be left alone and some way to let the pressure out of my mind. So far the best idea has been a strong herbal tea, but it's not good enough :(
     
  16. Kriss

    Kriss Active Member

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    I rented a room in co-working space to use as private office, helps keep me sane during the week whilst I do expert/consulting projects.
     
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  17. Kriss

    Kriss Active Member

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    Reading your reply, it made me think of this book I found useful recently "Make Time" by Jake Knapp. Some good ideas along your lines. But my issue is different. Basically I spend all day pretending to be a normal, it takes a lot of energy, so in the evening I just want to let it go. And soaking my brain in alcohol is the only simple and efficient way I have found. But I'm looking for other ideas from people who have the same issue - tense brain at the end of the day, that needs some release.
     
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  18. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Jacuzzi, heating pads. Massages, stone massages are really nice.

    I haven't tried a isolation tank , or a salt room.

    Warm baths really help!

    When l worked in law offices, a glass of wine was my end of day reward. Because days were long.
     
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  19. Kriss

    Kriss Active Member

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    My sleep is typically good, and I almost never have dreams, so the issue are those few hours between kids in bed and me in bed. Melatonin just works on sleep, not evening tense brain, as far as I understand.
     
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  20. Kriss

    Kriss Active Member

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    Getting some peace is good, but not a reboot I'm seeking. I guess I seek something that would flush my brain, to take off the edge from day's stresses, so I can evening chill a bit, whilst the brain is at peace as well.
     
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