Written in June 2023

A while ago I saved an image created by @h.e.l.e.n.m.a.r.i.e about glimmers – which you'll see on the side of this post. The image text reads:

A little guide to glimmers

  • glimmers are the opposite of triggers.
  • they are tiny moments of awe.
  • they spark joy & evoke inner calm.
  • they have a positive effect on our mental health.
  • they are micro-moments causing tiny mood shifts.
  • they send cues of safety to our nervous system.
  • they bring feelings of ease and contentment.
  • our body response with positive energy.
  • they allow us to feel hope when lost.
  • our nervous system is strengthened by them.
  • they can help increase our well-being.
  • once we start embracing them it can become a beautiful way to see the world around you.


I really loved the idea of glimmers. I think for autistic people our glimmers are often related to our passions and interests, and to some extent related to seeing justice enacted. I know I certainly feel a sense of inner calm and balance when imbalances are addressed, and mistreatments corrected. I definitely feel a sense of inner unrest, and feel adrift in the world when I see injustice and mistreatment happening. I can fixate and ruminate on these things; on examples of discrimination and on unfairness when I see it.


Glimmers are the antidote to negative input, whether that's uncomfortable sensory experiences, the demands of others or societal pressure to conform, sudden change or just those days when I feel like I'm not allowed to exist.


My glimmers are:

  • correctly identifying a new plant
  • smelling the roses (quite literally, I will smell roses on any rose bush I walk past)
  • posts on Facebook from someone who makes adorable miniatures for their dollshouse, and who posts pictures of the bunny family interacting with the items
  • posts on Facebook from someone who forages for fibres and weaves the most exquisite tiny baskets
  • posts on Facebook from people who have achieved something meaningful to them
  • yoga
  • making a difference in the world in any way, large or small (all positive actions are significant)
  • creating something with aesthetic value
  • making something from things I have foraged
  • playing with my gang – often taking pictures of George (the squirrel) in cool places
  • walking in the woods
  • watching a familiar TV show


Helen's post about glimmers made me look at the things which are my glimmers. Some of these I already knew were self-care strategies that helped balance my mood and calm a dysregulated nervous system, while others were just “nice things”.  Some of these are things I can seek out, while others happen serendipitously.

It's been helpful to have a label for this set of things because they can become a more well stocked set of tools I can access when I need them.


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