Journaling Thoughts on Autism: How I’ve Used Fitness to Cope

Ever since 2006 I’ve been living with Asperger Syndrome, eleven years of being easily stressed, anxious and upset. it’s always tough when I have an “episode” when I become overstimulated. It really does take a toll on my mental state.

I can feel depressed and low, whenever I have an “episode” my thoughts rush straight towards negativity, I’ll start to panic about how the episode makes me look bad. It is horrible to witness and even more horrible to have one.

Throughout the eleven years, I’ve had so many different coping strategies, from time out to show my mood via a colour scale to even having to write my feelings down. none of them helped esp early in my later teen years.

It was difficult for me to take time out during my GCSE’s as I was missing valued time learning and as for the colour scheme, it just didn’t work in a secondary school environment. Imagine having to say “Mrs I’m on red in need time out” it didn’t work.

I always have been good at sport and PE was always my favourite lesson, I always enjoyed doing sport (except for football of course). I loved being able to tackle in rugby, I yearned for gymnastics where I could cartwheel and box jump to my heart’s content and rounders when I could smash a ball far across the field.

But That ended when I moved to college, there were no PE lessons and no time, I had three days a week where it was non-stop and it took a toll on me. I needed to use my strategies but I’d vowed to never use them after school. I thought and once faithful Wednesday I laced up my trainers and went for a run.

The Previous day had been a melting pot of stress and as I ran I could feel the stress melting away. every heartbeat I felt my stress go away and as I came home I knew I’d found a brilliant way to keep calm.

Fast forward now to almost two years later and I’m in the best shape of my life, I do 4 weight training sessions a week and go running twice a week, it really helps and my Aspergers is being managed well. it isn’t just that it worked for me, my Partner (who has Bipolar disorder) does the same as me and his condition is manageable.

We both say that to keep calm we exercise and it’s something we intended to pass down to our next generation. If anyone is suffering from mental health issues and needs some extra treatment. lace up your trainers and hit the paths, walk, run or jog it all helps

For Journaling Thoughts on Autism, I’m Jordan Dodds



Author: Jordan Dodds

Lead Author and Owner of Journaling Thoughts, Journalism Student at Sunderland University follow on twitter @its_jordandodds