August hosts National Relaxation Day annual, and ss far as random national holidays go, this is a pretty good one. In fact, everyone can benefit from reducing stress in their lives, especially if you or a loved one is affected by autism.  The anxiety that often accompanies autism is something that can be overwhelming at times. However, with the following tips, you may just be able to learn how to celebrate National Relaxation Day every day

Breathe Deeply

Deep Breathing is scientifically proven to reduce stress and increase feelings of well being. Even better, it is something that can be done at any time of the day. Start by introducing breathing exercises in the mornings, the evenings, or during particularly stressful moments.

2. Establish Routines

For people with autism, routines can reduce the stress of transitions or the occurrence of an unexpected event. By establishing a schedule, you may find it easier to maintain a sense of calm throughout your day. 

3. Make sure to have some down time

Just as sticking to routines is important, so too is making sure to schedule in down time. Otherwise, it is easy to become overwhelmed or overtired. Giving yourself time during the day to recharge will help you be able to take on the rest of the day.

4. Apply deep pressure

Deep pressure is known to release endorphins and the hormones serotonin and dopamine–essentially leaving you feeling happier and more at ease. 

5. Cuddle up with a pet or service dog

Just like with deep pressure, petting or snuggling up with a pet has been shown to reduce stress and release those feel-good hormones. 

6. Give yourself a daily massage 

Muscle tension alone can make you feel more stressed. However, introducing massages into you or your loved one’s day can help ease muscle tension and provide you with soothing relief.

7. Use fidget toys or objects

Fidget toys are specifically designed to help people cope with stress. For people with autism, they can take your mind off of your anxiety, reducing it in the process.

8. Avoid caffeine

Because caffeine is a stimulant, consuming it can make it hard to relax. To avoid caffeine, steer clear of chocolate, coffee, energy drinks, soda, etc. Find more caffeine containing foods here

9. Make sure to exercise during the day

Excercise is yet another activity that releases endorphins and hormones that make you feel better. However, it also can make you feel more tired at the end of the day, making bedtime all the more welcoming. 

10. Learn self-calming skills

Learning how to calm yourself down without the intervention of someone else is a crucial skill to learn, and should be introduced at a young age. By learning strategies that you can use in particularly stressful situations, you may be able to avoid a full tantrum or panic attack.

Are there any relaxation techniques that work best for you? Feel free to comment below!

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