Lots of autistic people love work because it provides that, but how do you put structure in place if you are not working and you don’t know when you might have an interview, or a change to your plans? The following ideas might help:
- Set up a daily routine for yourself. Decide when you will get up, eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, what you will do in the evening and when you will go to bed.
- Build exercise into your routine. It could be as simple as going for a run, or could be going to the gym, bouncing on a trampoline, swimming, playing sport or taking the dog for a walk if you have one. Getting outside and exercising regularly is great for reducing anxiety and will keep you healthy.
- If you are claiming Employment Support Allowance (ESA), you should ensure that you spend time during the day trying to find a job. You will also need to plan your appointments to the Jobcentre and allow time for completing application forms and going to interviews. Most people have to apply for a lot of jobs before they get one, so try not to be too sad if it happens to you.
- Try to have contact with someone every day so that you do not feel lonely if that is something that upsets you. Some people like to join clubs that are related to things they enjoy. For example, singing in a choir is good for your brain and body as well as being fun.
- Plan time with your special or intense interest each day to bring you joy and stability.
- Work on the skills you want to develop or improve. It is possible to learn a lot of skills directly from the internet or from watching people showing you how on YouTube, as well as signing up for courses at your local Adult Education Centre or college.
- Doing things for other people can help you to feel good too. Look for opportunities to help out other people or volunteer.