Seren on dancing behind a pole

To Move or Not to Move

I’m stuck. I feel paralyzed. I’m supposed to be doing exercise or a movement program or a chore or whatever else is going on in my life, but it feels impossible. How do I know if I should rest or do the thing?

Listening to my body is something I really struggle with. I think this is common for neurodivergent folk because we are socially trained to push past our limits. It’s very difficult for me to differentiate between feeling stuck because of inertia, understimulation, or overwhelm, all of which can be helped by finding ways to support myself into an activity or if I’m stuck because of exhaustion, overload, or burnout and I shouldn’t push myself into a crash.

Here’s one weird trick that I’ve been using to help me make this decision. When I feel that feeling like I can’t move, I tell myself that the only thing I need to do right now is put my headphones in and start music. Nothing is required beyond that. If I still can’t move with music on, that’s a good sign I need to take time to rest and attend to my sensory needs.

If the music breaks my feelings of paralysis and makes me feel like moving and dancing, that usually means that while I may need to find ways to address whatever is blocking me, it’s safe for me to look for strategies and solutions to get myself to do the thing I wanted to do.