I recently read this blog post by anonymouslyautistic and feeling inspired, I thought I would try to list out what my ‘toolkit’ holds. I call them the ‘essentials’, and they are things I carry with me pretty much everywhere (and when in some lightheaded foolish moment I decided not to bring these I am usually sorry at some point). They help prevent getting meltdowns and generally just make my life easier.

  1. Earplugs. I have a difficult time with noise and can at the most unexpected times need to put in my earplugs. I also like to bring my noise-cancelling headphones with me, but sometimes I make do with only earplugs and normal, small (handbag-sized) headphones.
  2. Warm clothes. I have an (almost) irrational fear of getting cold, and it affects my mood when I do, so I will often bring warm clothes and at least a windproof jacket even on a summer day with an immensely small chance of rain, wind or drop in temperature. But I feel safer bringing it, and so I do.
  3. Snacks. Just as with feeling warm, I don’t like the prospect of getting hungry with no supplies at hand at all. I can get shaky and it can affect my mood also. I do not need to bring a full lunch pack, but a small box with some almonds and chocolate or even just a few bonbons will do.
  4. Alcogel. I don’t like public restrooms, so to clean the seat alcogel is handy. Also for cleaning the hands in various other circumstances.
  5. Hand cream. For dry hands since they start itching when they dry out. This especially happens in the winter months – which, here in Denmark, is like almost half the year…
  6. Aspirins. You never know when a headache will set in.
  7. Reading material. Usually a small book, but may be a magazine, newspaper or something else. I like to have something meaningful to do in case I need to wait.
  8. Fidgeting toy. Something to keep the hands busy. I don’t always need this, but especially for when I get stressed, angry or nervous this helps me calm down.

Of course needed things like my keys, wallet and phone are also things I bring around with me every day, but they are not on the list because I wanted this list to reflect the things that I find are essential to bring, but which others may find are just a kind of ‘surplus’.

One last thought: I probably should start bringing some citrus smell around with me, as smells can also really put me off, but the closest I come to this is my hand cream which has a passion fruit smell (as the citrus smell has been discontinued – why must they always renew and change everything?!).