New Year’s Resolutions

Well, hello 2022! Will this be the year we see the last of the lockdowns, I wonder? I’ve quite enjoyed them, actually. I mean, I’m glad we’ve been able to get out and see friends and family, but working from home has been a massive liberation for me: it’s given me back 3 hours a day when I no longer have to commute, that means I now get enough sleep, and having greater control of my environment means I’m no longer running on empty just to get from one end of the day to the other.

Happy New Year!

So, that got me thinking about how we can make the most of these changes and really make this a “happier” new year.

Ironically, I’ve come to the conclusion that the answer is to actually connect with people. Specifically, other neurodivergent people.

The more we listen to the experiences of other neurodivergent people and share our own, the more we normalise our experiences and feel less isolated. So I will be doing three things this year:

1. Engaging more on social media

Social media is a great place for listening to the neurodivergent community, finding like-minded people and being able to collectively problem solve. It’s your real-time neurodivergent support group!

If you’re looking to engage more with the online community, I recommend checking out Neurodivergent Rebel, The Holderness Family and comedian Rick Green as a starter for ten. And you should 100% watch Hannah Gadsby’s Douglas on Netflix!

2. Forging stronger links with my neurodivergent friends

Social media is great, but there are times when you can’t beat a phone call or a coffee catch up with someone who just “gets it”.

If you’re thinking, “I’d love to do that, but I don’t know anyone neurodivergent”… Well, current estimates are that somewhere between 1 in 5 and 1 in 7 of us are neurodivergent. Don’t worry so much about the labels – join in-person groups related to your hobbies and interests, be kind, and enjoy yourself. Friendships will follow.

3. Seeking out neurodivergent spaces

I know, I know – social media can provide neurodivergent spaces. But here I mean physical spaces.

I went to a conference shortly after I was diagnosed and am really glad that I opted into a social event for autistic people that took place the night before. It was the first time in my life I’ve walked into a room and felt like I fit in. I actually text my husband and said, “Everyone’s dressed like me!” I finally felt like I got the memo… I found my tribe.

And that’s what we’re all looking for, isn’t it? A sense of belonging. Well, I’m making 2022 the year I belong and I hope you do too. Happy New Year!

Hannah