The complex continuum of brain wiring known as neurodiversity means that not everyone’s brain, social and emotional needs, and ways of moving through the world are the same. Understanding your neurodivergence means that you will begin to recognize ways the world wasn’t designed for you, and you will need to seek out environments where you work best. Recognizing and honoring the spectrum of neurological wiring – from neurotypical to neurodivergent –can be life-changing because as we engage empathetically around neurodiversity and increase our understanding about it, we begin to unlock secrets about how and why we behave the way we do. In turn, this new self-awareness can help us become more productive, more creative, more empathetic, and more likely to understand the need to be kind to both ourselves and other people. Understanding ourselves and others makes us kinder and creates a kinder world. But how can you take care of your own mental health as you begin to make sense of your neurodivergence?
From introversion to extraversion, ADHD to Autism, there are myriad ways that we all move through the world differently and require different spaces and accommodations to feel safe and be successful. Understanding that not everyone thinks, feels, behaves, or works in the same way you do and behaving empathetically around that understanding honors the diversity of our world and makes us all better, stronger, and kinder.
Be kind to yourself through radical self-compassion. You cannot offer anything to the world that doesn’t exist inside you first, so self-care and self-kindness are vital to your mental health and well-being. Create rituals. Engage in sensory experiences that calm you. Above all, be aware that the world may not be designed for you and the way your brain works, so when things are difficult or you don’t accomplish something you wanted to, be gentle with yourself, rest, and try again another time.
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