February 1, 2023 | Blog, Blog, News Article
My Health and Well-Being: A Journal Entry
We talk about health a lot, but what we should do is see the connection between physical health and mental health. One doesn’t work without the other. A low mental health may end up harming your physical health, which is unfortunate, because over time a stronger physical health may end up complementing a stronger mental health.
For me, what compliments both is being able to travel. Two years ago I recorded, mentally, that I had been to all 50 states. While it may sound like it’s not doing much, I had to hike through Utah’s National Parks, Sun Valley, Idaho, skied in Maine, and did some walking tours. At the end of the year, I took a cruise to 6 Caribbean Islands, but I exercised muscle for most of the trip, and lost weight too. You want to look at exercise and losing weight as self-discovery and as actual discovery.
I had a stroke in December which affected my communication and expressive voice, yet I felt like I rebounded quickly because I needed some fresh air and the ability to travel on the cruise I mentioned previously. Travel is my way of living and whenever I can take a trip I feel so much better, includingbeing able to take short drives to see friends and socialize.
People with ASD are not always disinclined to socialize. Maybe they need more breaks, like I do, from socializing so much. Due to crowded outings, loud music, and having to fend for oneself to come up with socialization, situations like this can be stressful, especially when we are misunderstood because you have ASD. A proper report helps make the case that the way we do things, like much of our lives, is different – https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/autistic-people-want-socialize-they-just-may-show-it-differently. When you have individuals who get it, and staffers who understand the way we are, you have a systemic compassion.
Like our charter schools, our recreation programs, which a student can enroll in too, are meant to bring individuals with ASD together without any judgment. Part of what we do is redefine sports therapy. To have an outlet for individuals with ASD to learn to love themselves and to learn how to socialize, interact, and make friends is valuable along with learning a new sport.
That is why Els for Autism® Staff is hosting the first Recreational Conference – THE RE-CREATING RECREATION CONFERENCE, this year on March 23rd and 24th. We will also have our 5K Roots and Ruts run for charity on March 25th. Our categories are Healthy Living and Well Being, Sports and Fitness, and Arts and Leisure – we have embraced the importance of work for individuals with ASD, and now we embrace the concept of play.
Even if one is not always physically active, leisure activities can be helpful, and stimulating to build up what we call our special interests. Our Conference is not always about physically demanding activities, it’s really about searching for a purpose, for a sense of responsibility and improving each step we take to fulfill a greater sense of Abraham Maslow’s Self-Actualization one day at a time. I always would say if one can transfer unhealthy eating to some form of a hobby and use that hobby to also exercise (In my case – video game fitness) while eating healthier than it is a job well done, and also don’t forget to sleep healthily too.
For any feedback, you can contact me at Merrick.Egber@elsforautism.org