Category Archives: Adults

Tis the Season: ADHD Style

 

Tips for a happier, less stressful holiday season.December 2017

I used to love shopping and spent days searching for just the “right” gifts.  My holiday plans were exciting but very time-consuming and impossible to complete on time. I constantly overestimated my ability to cope with the additional stress of this time of year. Also, the post-Christmas “let-down” lasted through January and half of February. I eventually realized that extreme self-care was a necessary part of my treatment for ADHD and Bipolar Disorder. I now limit my activities to those that I value the most. Maybe simpler preparation and holiday plans can increase your holiday pleasure as well

I love my ornament collection, so I do put up a tree.  But I no longer shop or make gifts for most of my family and friends. Instead, I choose gifts of service or plan activities for just a few people. As a bonus, I can schedule them for a later date when I have more energy and time. I also continue to bake my favorite cookies and candy for holiday get-togethers. I bring to-go containers so my “goodies” do double duty as small gifts. (and I can’t gorge on them later!)

For many of us, adult and child, some of our traditional preparations may be too involved to handle gracefully.  This year you might want to explore creating your own traditions that better meet your family’s values, personal abilities and everyone’s need to feel safe and calm. Be aware that children with ADHD need regular routines and often struggle with transitions. Schedule your activities and allow plenty of quiet time.  Prepare for changes in routine and plan ahead for both the excitement of the season and downtime during school vacation. Holiday activities also bring additional social challenges for both you and your child. Come up with short explanations for the uninformed about why and how you and/or your child are best helped when problems arrive.  Your goals are comfortable stress levels for all and less friction at parties or family get-togethers.

My Pinterest Board, Holidays and Other Celebrations, covers many of the situations you’re likely to face.

 

The holidays are a time for giving, gratitude and granting forgiveness. If you’d like to encourage charitable giving as a practice for you or your family, print out the 30-day Kindness Calendar from Action for Happiness for some great ideas on ways to contribute.  find  photo kindness-calendar

 

Being thankful is also a great tradition that begins with Thanksgiving and culminates with giving thanks for holiday gifts. (Some of you may even still write Thank You notes!) But, did you know that making gratitude part of your daily routine is a wonderful way to start any day? Being positive helps banish negative thinking and the complaining that can be so damaging to our happiness. ADHD and the Practice of Gratitude by Kari Miller Ph.D. offers some ideas on how to get started.  She includes these 5 Ways to Develop a Gratitude Habit.

  • Keep a gratitude journal.
  • Make a gratitude collage.
  • Practice gratitude with your family or make it part of your nighttime routine.
  • Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.
  • When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead.

 

If none of these suggestions fit your style, 3 Ways to be Grateful (That Don’t Involve Gratitude Lists)  from Jessica McCabe of How to ADHD has a 4-minute video of other ways to express your feelings.

Gratitude is also one of the 9 Ways to Get Organized with Minimal Effort By Donna Smallin Kuper.   She writes, “Be grateful for all you have – It’s more than enough. Remember that the most important things in life are not things.” Donna’s other advice includes:

  • Start somewhere. Anywhere.
  • Declutter in short bursts.
  • And let go of perfect!

Forgiving yourself and others can also help bring peace to your life and not just for the holidays. Practice letting go of the pain of being “different.” Forgive yourself any perceived ‘failings” you’ve experienced because of ADHD. Also, forgiving those who have denigrated or shamed us helps us better control our emotions. Remember that attaining this peace is a work in progress. As Sara Paddison says in Quotes for Forgiveness by Stephanie A. Sarkis, Ph.D. for Psychology Today,

“Sincere forgiveness isn’t colored with expectations that the other person apologize or change. Don’t worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them.”

“Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time – just like it does for you and me.”

 

When it comes to understanding the complexity of ADHD, we must also forgive the experts who don’t yet have all the information we’ve been hoping for. But our knowledge is expanding each year. We’re getting a whole new view of how the ADHD brain works and help in discovering the best treatments. 6 Things You Didn’t Know About the ADHD Brain by William Dodson, M.D. and Thomas Brown, Ph.D., in ADDitude Magazine is A MUST READ article.  It contains new research on ADHD that helps details how the ADHD brain works and why the Executive Functions are affected. Furthermore, they explain the part of the brain that stimulants impact and that we now know some individuals need less medication than the minimum available dosages, while many others require amounts greater than the maximum dosage allowed by the FDA.

 

A better understanding of ADHD can change the way we react to people with ADHD. It helps us pause, show empathy, and problem solve together.  Danya Abram’s video on Facebook, Behavior is Always Communication from Lemon Lime Adventures is great for parents and teachers.  As she says, “It’s easy to look at these behaviors as just what we see. It’s easy to make assumptions about why our children are acting out or doing inexplicable things.” Like an iceberg, what you see on the surface is 7-times smaller than what lurks beneath. “I challenge you to look for the other 85%. Look deeper.”

If you’d like something for your child to do over their vacation, Danya has an awesome workbook for just $14, The Super Kids Activity Guide to Conquering Every Day: Awesome Games and Crafts to Master Your Moods, Boost Focus, Hack Mealtimes and Help Grownups Understand Why You Do the Things You Do

Hope you find some “treasures” in this month’s newsletter. Enjoy the holidays and I’ll see you next year!

Joan Jager

ADD freeSources.net

Title: (Image courtesy of Simon Howden/FreeDigitalPhoto.net) Modified on Canva www.canva.com

Recommended Pinterest Boards:

For more ideas for gifts for both children and adults, try:

If you’re looking for items or activities for yourself, or other adults and children, see;

You can also find most of my boards on the ADD freeSources Facebook page: Look for Pinterest on the left side Menu

   

 

 

7 things about ADHD I wish I had always known

Stop feeling guilty. It’s not you, it’s ADHD.By Drew Dakessian

 

Having lived with ADHD for as long as I can remember, I’ve learned a few valuable lessons about my disability the hard way; I’ve done my share of learning by doing. I can’t help but feel that my life would have been a lot easier if I had known said lessons from day one. I hope that someone out there reads this and they — or their child — can benefit from my experience. Read on!

 

  1. People will tell you to go easy on yourself, but still, expect you to be ‘on.’

I’ve found that even if you tell your manager, for example, that you have ADHD, and he claims to understand that this makes you function differently, his understanding nevertheless flies out the window when you have a deadline to make but quite clearly aren’t going to be able to.

 

  1. ADHD has nothing to do with your personality or morality.

I spent a horrifying number of years of my life feeling guilty — often, despite not having done anything wrong. And even when I did err, I was convinced that whatever act of misbehaving I had committed was evidence that my character left something wanting. Moreover, I was sure that with the right resolve, I could ameliorate this situation and become a better (read: less ADHD) person. I don’t think I’ll ever stop regretting this now that I’ve realized how wrong I was back then. I’ll never get back the time I wasted feeling guilty for nonexistent or out-of-my-control incidences of ADHD-ness. Don’t make my mistake.

 

  1. You shouldn’t necessarily believe teachers who say, “Oh, I’m so ADD too!”

I was diagnosed relatively young, back in pre-k; meaning that I knew I had ADHD — and all of my teachers knew it too — for all 12 years of my lower education. And I swear, every single year a new teacher would tell me upon learning of my ADHD diagnosis, “OH, that’s totally fine, I’m really ADD too.” Unfortunately, that usually turned out to mean, “I don’t understand ADHD at all, but I think I’ll bond with you by saying I have it and referring to it in the pejorative.” Over the years, I heard many teachers say a lot of stupid, cruel things without seeming even to give it a second thought, but that is not ADHD. There’s a difference between wanting to think before you act and not being able to, and just deciding that you’re so wise, you never need to think twice. In the end, only one of my teachers ever turned out to have ADHD, my AP World History teacher during my senior year of college. How did I know he had it, and that he was the only one of my teachers who did? One day I was sitting in his classroom at the end of lunch when he walked in, looked around his desk, and announced that he just realized he had lost a pair of Bruce Springsteen tickets. I’m totally serious. But you know what? He was also one of the best teachers I ever had.

 

  1. Medications may “last” 12 hours, but that doesn’t mean you will.

Here’s a fun (by which I mean, not fun at all) fact: Even if the prescribing information for an ADHD medication says it lasts up to 12 hours, that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to use all 12 of those hours effectively. You see, even when medicated, people with ADHD have to expend more energy to complete tasks that seem to take our neurotypical counterparts no time at all. Do that for a full workday, and the remaining man-made focus you have left for your nervous system via medication is reduced to the equivalent of potential energy, never getting used. (This is a lesson I’ve started learning literally in the last few weeks.)

 

  1. Stimulant medication isn’t the be-all, end-all. 

From ages 5 through 22, I was on some form of the stimulant medication methylphenidate (aka Ritalin). For over 5 years now, I’ve been taking both an immediate-release dosage and extended-release dosage of dexmethylphenidate (aka Focalin). I first went on Focalin because when I was a senior in college, I discovered, to my horror, that my medication did not seem to be working anymore. Like, at all. That’s when I went on Focalin. But just two years later, I again ceased to feel medicated enough on a day-to-day basis. It was then that my PCP put me on bupropion (aka Forfivo), which belongs to a class of antidepressants known as Norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors. Later, I also started taking guanfacine (aka Intuniv), a non-stimulant ADHD medication initially formulated to treat hypertension. As it turned out, for me, at least, these Forfivo and Intuniv were the magic bullets of ADHD treatment regimens.

 

  1. Coffee is your friend.

During my ‘bad concentration’ time of the month, and especially toward the end of it, my verbal acuity temporarily goes out the window. Somehow, this always seemed to happen *right* when I had a big paper due imminently (like, in two days, or even sooner). One day, in desperation, I did some Hail-Mary googling, seeking confirmation that yes, in fact, coffee does help ADHD people concentrate. According to a post published recently on ADDitude, it “arouses the central nervous system by stimulating the release of dopamine and other neurotransmitters, and by blocking the absorption of adenosine, which induces sleep.” I’ve found that a Starbucks Frappuccino with a shot of espresso enables me to write even when my medications are at their least potent. Pardon the pun, but I really do think you should give it a ‘shot!’

 

  1. ADHD is nothing to be ashamed of. People should be ashamed to think it is.

…Self-explanatory!

 

About the author: Drew Dakessian is a 28-year-old writer based in Portland, Oregon. Diagnosed at age 5, she blogs at ADHDrew.com and can be reached at Drew@DrewDakessian.com. https://adhdrew.com/

Original article: https://adhdrew.com/2017/10/30/7-things-about-adhd-i-wish-i-had-always-known-adhd-awareness-month-post-5/

 

 

(Photos courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhoto.net) Modified on Canva http://www.canva.com

ADHD Life: September 2017 Newsletter

September 2017

Hello again,

Summer is almost over and school is in session again. But, none of us really stops learning. When you’re dealing with ADHD, your need to know more AND to apply that knowledge in your family or work life never ends.

What are YOU doing to increase your understanding of ADHD? Is there room for improvement in your response to your children or how you react in daily life? You can continue to struggle or choose to learn more to help yourself and your children. Everyone deserves to thrive with ADHD and find success, but it takes work. Are you learning new skills to help you design your life to fit your needs?

We have a number of resources this month from ADHD Parent coaches. Yafa Luria Crane expands on a textbook understanding of ADHD and reveals what’s REALLY going on beneath the surface. Diane Dempster from Impact ADHD shares parenting strategies you may have thought of yet. Cindy Goldrich has organization tips for kids.

I wish that I would have read these years ago when I watched my nephews every summer. Instead, I judged their actions and my own lack of control over their behavior as moral and personal failings. In my ignorance, I even called them the “nephews from hell.” With understanding and practice, you don’t have to repeat that mistake with your own children.

Nor do you need to bear the burden of condemnation that I piled on myself for so long. I didn’t know why I struggled or what to do about my chronic disorganization, lack of follow through and emotional distress brought on by worry and frustration.  The good news is that once you know what’s causing the problems and get some ideas on how to handle them, you can learn to “live well” with ADHD. Our guest blogger this month talks about the role of making good choices in managing ADHD symptoms. We CAN learn to change our mindset and environment to successfully navigate through our ADHD life at home and work.

Check out of videos this month as well. One’s just for fun, but I found a great collection for parents in need of answers as well.

Continue reading Newsletter here >>>>

 

As always, see our Pinterest boards and Facebook page to further your understanding of ADHD and learning new ways to take care of yourself and your family.

Enjoy the last gasp of summer. Be well,

Joan Jager

ADD freeSources

 

(Photo courtesy of arztsamui/FreeDigitalPhoto.net) Modified on Canva.com

 

Continue reading Newsletter here >>>>

ADHD Life: Beyond a Textbook Understanding

Never stop learning and adapting. September 2017

 

None of us really stops learning. And, when you’re dealing with ADHD, your need to know more AND to apply that knowledge in your family or work life never ends.

Our feature article this month, “Think you Understand ADHD? Don’t leave out the best parts!” by ADHD Parent coach and educator, Yafa Luria Crane, MA, MS, MEd, helps clear up some common misconceptions about ADHD.

Talking about ADHD as a deficit is not the only, nor the most helpful, way to think about ADHD. The best understanding is comprehensive – it is a biological, mental, and emotional difference.”

“We don’t need a “cure” for ADHD – ADHD is our genius. We need support… But every human, including the coolest, most successful people in the world, needs support.”

Parents need support too! On Facebook, the Honestly ADHD Parent Support group and Impact ADHD Parent community are both quite good. For other online and in-person to meet your needs see: Find Support for ADHD.

Diane Dempster, another Parent coach and co-founder of Impact ADHD,  shares 5 Tips to Make Life Easier as an ADHD Parent.

For more specific strategies for your children for school or at home, see Organization for Children: Supporting Executive Functions by Cindy Goldrich, Ed.M, ACAC.

 

Yes, having ADHD can be challenging but you CAN develop tools that help. We can choose to ignore our symptoms and roll with the punches or we can identify our problem areas and find ways to cope more effectively.  Happy (aka Meagan) of Happy Hyper Shiny outlines a few ways she finds calm, keeps track of her thoughts and belongings and makes sure that things get done in ADHD CHOICES: Things I CAN do! She says:

“I don’t have to subject my family to my crazy.” 

“I am still a work in progress. We all are.”  

“But my thought process has changed.”

“There is a lot more I CAN do than I give myself credit for.”

 

Are you learning new skills to help you design your life to work for your needs?

If you’re thinking of starting a side-gig or other project outside of a traditional workplace, check out these tips for Working from Home with ADHD by Sara Jane Keyser – It’s all about balance, organization, and planning, so these strategies are always good advice.

 

 

FREE Resources

This summer I realized that I needed more structure to my days and started using a weekly planner with good results. Having a written schedule allows me to plan and execute projects more effectively. I have even keep on top of Important but Boring tasks by breaking them down into doable steps. Together, these small actions add up and have helped me get things done that I had put off for months and even years.

Emily Ley sells a good planner, but she also offers a collection of Printables that I like. (Basic, Simple to use and FREE) Another Printable, How to Eat an Elephant, can help you outline and plan large projects. It’s from Sidsel Dorph Jensen. Remember, with ADHD, it’s SO important to WRITE things down. Don’t depend on your memory. Keeping a to-do list or a done-list is a start, but there are many more tools to help you be more effective.

For other ideas, from the simple to the more complex, see my latest Pinterest Board, Planners, Journals, and Notebooks.

 

Videos:

Have some fun with this ADHD song, music and lyrics by Josh Anderson. He writes, “I thought that I would put it up here for everyone to see. I hope that you like it! This is pretty much how my brain works every day!

 

For more great videos, from informative to inspiring, see our ADHD in Video section.

 

I found a great Resource for Parents from our guest author, Yafa Crane Luria, MA, MS, MEd,  ADHD Parent coach, and educator. Her ADHD Question and Answer Video Collection  offers over 100 short videos about parenting children with ADHD.  For more information and freebies, see her blog, Blocked to Brilliant: Parenting your Awesome ADHD Child.

The number one thing that children object to is yelling. It’s perfectly understandable that a parent’s frustration with a child’s behavior spills over and out, but it’s scary and generally ineffective with children with ADHD at inspiring the behavior you’d like to see.

How do I stop yelling? (3-minututes)

Another all too common parenting response may be spanking. But, is it effective? Or does it only cause harm?  “Is it ever Okay to spank your ADHD child?”  (1 ¼ -minute)

Yafa also offers a full-length parent training video on YouTube (1 ½-hours)

Easiest Ways to Motivate your ADHD Child or Teen

 

See our Pinterest boards or Facebook page for more resources to add to your understanding of ADHD and to learn new coping skills for yourself and your family.

Thank you for your time,

Joan Jager

 

(Title Photo courtesy of arztsamui/FreeDigitalPhoto.net) Modified on Canva.com

(Parenting Photo courtesy of Photostock/FreeDigitalPhoto.net) Modified on Canva.com.

(Working Photo courtesy of Vlado/FreeDigitalPhoto.net) Modified on Canva.com

Against the Wind – How it Feels to be a Woman with ADHD

You are not lazy, unmotivated, or self-centered.By Elizabeth Lewis

 

For most neurotypical people,  ADHD is hard to understand. (1) It seems like we are forgetful or careless. Sometimes we come off as self-centered or even lazy. Believe me, I totally understand why other people perceive us this way.

But you are not lazy or unmotivated. And you are not self-centered. I have spent hours thinking about and talking to other women with ADHD. After a while, some patterns emerged.

Like anything else, ADHD is individual. We all experience varying degrees and types of symptoms. If you have ADHD over the course of your lifetime, which most of us do, the symptoms actually change with your age and your circumstances.

What all women with ADHD need to remember is that they are not alone.

 

WANT TO KNOW HOW IT FEELS TO HAVE ADHD?

 

FRUSTRATING

 

Everyone has felt frustrated with themselves at some point. But for us, the frustration is aimed at ourselves. This is an insidious type of frustration that makes you doubt yourself at every turn.

We spend a lot of time with negative thoughts running on replay through our heads. Unfortunately, we also have trouble stopping these thoughts and managing them. Long term this causes all types of psychological symptoms ranging from anxiety to major depression.

Imagine being mad at yourself all the time. We are our own toughest critic.

 

RACING THOUGHTS

 

Having ADHD means your thoughts go so fast that you barely have time to acknowledge them before you are on to the next thing.

In the course of 60 seconds, I think about this website, my son, my dog, the work in front of me and the noise coming from my neighbor’s garage. None of these thoughts actually reach fruition… they just flit through my brain before I get to completely process them. Usually, I cannot even remember what I was trying to think about.

You know how sometimes you will walk into a room and forget why you are there? It’s like that – but with everything.

Often, I cannot remember what I sat down to write about. Sometimes I forget that I already started writing about a certain topic. I end up with 3 different word documents all started on different days about the same subject. It is infuriating.

But I can only concentrate on being furious for a few seconds until my brain moves on to the next thing.  At least I don’t hold grudges?

 

MENTAL EXHAUSTION 

 

Every so often I have a meltdown. Usually, this is a result of total and complete mental exhaustion brought on by parenting, work…life. Apparently, I am not alone in this.

So many women with ADHD report feeling chronically mentally fatigued. Initially, I thought this might be due to the fast-paced activity that is happening in our brains. (See racing thoughts above.)

But then I started to think about how many of us seek comfort through food or other behaviors. Since ADHD involves brain chemicals, it makes sense that we might feel a bit fatigued since we lack the normal amount of dopamine. Dopamine is the chemical most often associated with pleasure or rewards, but it is not the only neurotransmitter implicated in ADHD.  (2)

The best remedy to control the how our brains use dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine in our brains is to take our meds as prescribed.  (2)  Add exercise and eat a healthy, nutrient dense diet. Oh and get plenty of sleep and relaxation time. Coaching or therapy can also help you develop self-awareness and to develop other coping strategies. Organization and time management skills should be implemented gradually, addressing the areas that cause you the most difficulty first. It will take effort, but over time, you will feel more in control of your life.

Other than those options, I have no good advice. I am struggling with cognitive fatigue as I write this.

 

IRRITABILITY

 

Along with a tendency to feel tired, many women with ADHD also report feeling a bit cranky.

Imagine spending all day feeling frustrated with yourself, unable to concentrate, racing thoughts and fatigue…and then you come home and your family says, “What’s for dinner?”

Yeah, that is a recipe for trouble. (Or at least a lot of slamming cupboard doors and swearing under your breath.)

Irritability tends to be a symptom of anxiety and/or depression for many of us. It’s tough to live like this and hold it together.  I once referred to having ADHD as, “trying to hold about 100 corks under water all at the same time.”

In order to feel less irritable, you probably have to address the chemical issues in your brain. So think about getting diagnosed and medicated. ADHD meds may not be enough, so you will need to try some other coping mechanisms. Think mindfulnessjournaling or maybe cognitive behavioral therapy.  (Links go to Liz’s articles)

ADHD is frustrating and infuriating. A lifetime of criticism, from our self and others, really takes its toll.  Some of us cannot even share our diagnosis with the people in our lives for fear of denial, disbelief, and stigma.

ADHD symptoms are individual so it is tough to describe all of them. The feelings mentioned here are ones that are commonly reported in my Private Coaching Group and my public Facebook Group. Hopefully, with enough awareness and community support, we can support as many women and mothers living with ADHD as possible.

Finally, always remember you are not alone!

 

 

Note from the author: I hope that this writing was enlightening for anyone trying to understand what it feels like to be a woman with ADHD. If I wanted to go on I could, but that would be overkill.

 

About the author:  Elizabeth Lewis is a freelance writer, wife, mother, and self-appointed CEO of her home. Liz founded A Dose of Healthy Distraction, a website and a private Facebook group to provide a realistic yet positive face to living with ADHD.  She also runs the ADHD Coaching Corner, a low-cost online support and coaching group.

Contact Liz at HealthyADHD@gmail.com or liz@adoseofhealthydistraction.com

 

This article was originally published as Want to Know How it Feels to have ADHD? Reprinted and edited with permission from the author. http://adoseofhealthydistraction.com/want-know-feels-like-have-adhd/

  1. Neurotypical – Definition from The Urban Dictionary – Neurotypical is a word used to describe a person who has a typical brain. This not only includes non-autistic people but also people without mental illnesses, intellectual disabilities or any other neurological illness or disorder such as ADHD, epilepsy or brain tumors. It is the opposite of neurodivergent.  – Harvested 7/14/2017 urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Neurotypical
  2. What Does Dopamine Actually Do? By Steven Fleming, Ph.D. – Harvested 7/14/2017https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-hidden-mind/201212/what-does-dopamine-actually-do
  3. Neurochemicals Involved in ADHD by Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch – Harvested 7/14/2017 https://psychcentral.com/lib/neurotransmitters-involved-in-adhd/ Link works

 

“Image courtesy of Vlado/ FreeDigitalPhoto.net” Modified on Canva.com

“Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhoto.net”

 

 

 

 

ADHD Life July 2017 Newsletter

ADHD overwhelm is real. To survive, we think we must tackle the most visible of our symptoms, the disorganization, forgetfulness, and unfinished tasks first.  But it helps to start at the beginning with basic self-care.  Many of us neglect basic needs for supporting ourselves physically and mentally.   We don’t even realize that they may be part of the problem and increase impairment from ADHD symptoms. Yet, a poor diet, disturbed sleep, a lack of exercise, and not taking time for breaks are common problems for children and adults with ADHD. We don’t make time to rejuvenate, to refresh our mind and bodies.

 

ADHD isn’t easy, but if you take it step by step, you CAN get a handle on it. Our natural inclination is to rush in and try “Fix” everything at once, but we have a lifetime of poor habits and emotional fallout to deal with first.

 

We MUST Eat, Sleep, Move, and Rest, but so often these don’t make it onto our daily to-do list. (If we even have such a list.) But ignoring these needs exacts a heavy toll on out physical and mental health.  In The Best Advice Ever,   Katherine McGaver addresses this topic.  “If you have ADHD,” she writes, “you need to be in your best possible shape every day to manage this powerful, free-spirited brain.” “Because if you don’t manage an ADHD brain, it will manage you. For people who have ADHD, proper eating, exercise, and sleep are mandatory. They provide the energy, strength, clarity, and staying power that is needed hour by hour, day by day, every day, to stay in charge.”

 

At work, home and in school, we still struggle with getting things done. So often we focus on what we HAVEN’T  done and don’t reward ourselves for those things that we HAVE accomplished.  Rest, Self-Expression and Connection are perfect ways to be refreshed and get ready to tackle the day again.   To help keep balance in your life, see this article, Self-care Activities you Actually Have Time For by Meagan of Page Flutter.  She also created a Printable of Self-care and rewards to help you create balance in your life.

 

See our Pinterest Board, Basic Self-care for ADHD for many more ideas on how to care for yourself or your loved ones. If you’re not on Pinterest, you can access the boards through ADD freeSources on Facebook.  Look for the Pinterest section on the menu.

 

 

Of course what’s probably driving you crazy is your messy house or desk at work. You don’t have to ignore these but approach them gradually. Start with Simple Steps to Staying Organized, an article with a Free Printable from Andrea Dekker.  By taking them one step at a time, each task takes just a minute or two. If you attend to them every day, big jobs become manageable.

 

Original content from AndreaDekker.com: http://andreadekker.com/simple-tips-to-stay-organized/#ixzz4l1VLo39l
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alik

 

I’m lucky to have two lovely articles on dealing with ADHD in the family. Keeping our relationships vital, loving, and supportive can make all the difference for yourself and other family members.

Honor your child’s individuality while seeking solutions to challenges you face every day.The first is On ADHD: Parent to Parent. It’s an overview of three articles that offer down-to-earth and practical approaches that honor your child’s individuality while acknowledging the very real challenges in your family life.

 

"Being a member of a family with ADHD can be exhausting, nerve-wracking and absolutely frustrating. And I think what I found most frustrating is that I thought I had no control over anything. Once I learned that there were some things I could do to make life with ADHD better for all of us, the building process began and the frustration diminished."

Duane and Linda Walker

We also have How I Fixed my ADHD Husband. Coach Linda Walker writes, “I think of us as a family with ADHD.  We could only solve this problem working together, and so this was as much my journey as theirs.”    

I realized that I wasn’t the only one suffering in the family.  I know Duane had it worse than me – he was living it 24/7. “

 

But IS ADHD  REALLY 24/7? Dr. Charles Parker maintains that it is NOT. He claims that ADHD is situational. It only shows sometimes in certain contexts.  As he says, “One of the hallmarks of ADHD is cognitive abundance, not a cognitive deficiency.” Too many thoughts mean too many choices and too many options to handle well. According to Dr. Parker, “ADHD symptoms flourish when there are too many variables, a lack of structure and an absence of focus.”

 

Limiting the variables within a defined platform is the answer to getting things done.” Being interested in the process, involved with the outcome, or working to a deadline also helps. Watch Dr. Parker’s video ADHD Medication Rule 2- Reality Denied.

 

My symptoms disappear when I’m working on Pinterest or Facebook. Those social sites are tailor-made for my natural inclinations collecting and sharing information with the aim of encouraging people to get help for ADHD. Writing about ADHD is a different animal that requires strategic thinking to make it possible. When I’m struggling with a task like getting out this newsletter, I make it more manageable by breaking it down, defining its scope, and getting inspired or making it a challenge. I call it “putting a box around it.” I love to share the “treasures” I’ve found but I have way too much information! This time I limited myself to three outside sources, 2 articles from my website and a video or two. They had to be personal favorites, cover basic information, be encouraging and easy to understand.  I set a July 1st deadline and committed to working on it every day for at least fifteen minutes. I also participated in a Body-doubling session with my coaching group to keep me on track for the final push. This gave me both a time-limit AND provided accountability.

 

Finally, I have something for the kids to watch – a 2-minute clip that brings research interviews with children to (animated) life. ADHD: What it’s Like to Have ADHD Find the film ADHD and Me, the research results, and more short clips on ADHD Voices. It’s about time we asked Kids how they experience ADHD in their lives.

 

 

Don’t forget, for solid information on  ADHD and the many ways it impacts lives, check out Laurie Dupar’s  FREESucceed with ADHD Telesummit, “ July  17th to the 24th  – 20 one-half hour presentations with 24 hours to listen to replays.  http://succeedwithadhdtelesummit.com/ Sign up now. 

 

By Joan Jager – Founder of ADD freeSources

 

 

 

Photo credits:

ADHD Life – “Image courtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

Modified on Canva.com

Self-care Printable by Meagan of Page Flutter.com

Simple Steps to Stay Organized – Original content from AndreaDekker.com: http://andreadekker.com/simple-tips-to-stay-organized/#ixzz4l1VLo39l
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike

From On ADHD: Parent to Parent – “Photo courtesy of Vlado/FreeDigitalPhoto.net” – Modified on Canva

From How I Fixed my Husband – Linda Walker with her husband, the current president of ADDA, Duane Gordon.

 

20 Momentum Strategies to Combat Procrastination

Lack motivation? Okay. What you need is movement.By ADHD Coach and Organizer, Sue West

Procrastinating or just have no motivation today? Here’s a quick list of 20 strategies to get yourself moving, so you can catch a bit of momentum. As you gain momentum, often you’ll just keep going. You may or may not “find” motivation, but momentum is what’s needed. Not every task you work on “needs” motivation. That’s a feeling, right? What you need is movement.

The Practical Momentum Strategies

1. What’s the most interesting part of the project? Start there.

2. What part of the project will you be best at? Start there.

3. Play first. Get it out of your system. (Set a timer to stop the play though.)

4. Do the difficult first, with “play” as the reward.

5. Set a timer and stop at the end of 5-15 minutes, just enough to get you started.

6. Write or draw out your list of steps and take just the first small step. Just one.

7. Change your environment. Go to someone else’s office, a coffee shop, a library and use the change in environment to wake up your mind.

8. Listen to music (instrumental), TED talks, a book, or a class while you work. Yes, the choice is important, of what you listen to and what you choose to work on. It takes some thought.

9. Work on the tedious tasks while someone else comes to your office or home (e.g., bookkeeper, cleaning service, assistant). Use their presence to focus you on your own task. Or while your children do their homework.

10. Talk through your project with someone else first.

11. Read about how others have handled this project – the experts.

12. Hire it out.

13. Can you work in a team for support on at least one piece? Connections can give you momentum to keep going.

Lack motivation? That’s Okay. What you need is movement.The Psychological, Emotional, and Self-Talk Strategies

1. Ask yourself: Why am I not starting? What am I afraid of?

2. Say something like: I know how to do this. I know I can start it, just dip my toe into the water and see what’s there.

3. Ask yourself: Have I already made some decision? Do I need to let this go?

4. Ask yourself: What is the best and worst that could happen? What are the benefits of starting now versus waiting?

5. Break up the work so you can set small, interim deadlines before the big, looming one.

6. Self-care: Sometimes it’s the rest of your life which is draining your mental energy. Focus on self-care first.

7. Have you ever had this happen before on a similar task? Think about what you did to get started.

A psychologist once told me that you can either start with the practical to get traction, or you can start with the psychological. Either way, both are key elements. So start at one end and work towards the middle and you’ll get what you need.

 

 Guest post by Sue West – Certified ADHD coach, Certified Coach Organizer, Master Trainer in chronic disorganization.  President of the Institute for Challenging  Disorganization – 2015 to present.   For more about Sue and contact information, see: CoachSueWest.com 

Original source

 

Photos created on Canva 

I want to change my ADHD life. What can I do?

ADHD is a way of life, a difference in the way you see and move in the world. You can learn to manage the world and use your brain.A series of short guest posts by Sarah Jane Keyser.

ADHD has strengths as well as weaknesses; like heads and tails, you can’t have one without the other.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is not an illness (in spite of the name) and there is no “cure”. ADD is a way of life, a difference in the way you see and move in the world.

You can learn to manage the world and use your brain.

There are many ways to train your brain. Usually, a combination of medication, ADHD coaching strategies, and exercise is most effective. Each individual needs to discover what combination works best for him or her.

Here are some ways that you can change your life:

Life Styles for ADHD – You can do many things for yourself. A good program includes exercise, what to eat, how to breathe, how to get to sleep and how to enjoy.

Maintaining the ADHD Brain – If your car runs on two cylinders you take it to the garage. If your brain sputters take it to a doctor for a checkup.

ADHD Coaching Strategies – A coach is a partner who guides you to new ways of seeing yourself and the world. An ADD coach who knows how ADD feels and understands the ADHD brain can help you value your strengths and structure your life.

Celebrating ADHD – Learn to appreciate the passion and sparkle which are the gift of ADHD.

 

 

Published by Sarah Jane Keyser, Copyright 2006, all rights reserved. Learn more about ADHD at Coaching Key to ADHD

 

*** About Sarah Jane *** Sarah Jane Keyser worked for many years with computers as a programmer, analyst, and user trainer, but her struggle with inattentive ADD kept getting in the way of her plans and dreams. Her credentials include ADD Coach training at the ADD Coach Academy, the Newfield Network’s graduate coaching program “Mastery in Coaching” and “Coaching Kids and Teens” by Jodi Sleeper-Triplett MCC. Sarah Jane is an American living in Switzerland who coaches in French and English by telephone.

“Image courtesy of mrpuen–FreeDigitalPhoto.net”   Modified on Canva

If you’re not on Pinterest, you can access 50 of ADD freeSources’ Boards on Facebook. Look for the Pinterest tab on the left.

Follow ADHD / ADD freeSources’ board Basic Self-Care – Building Routines and Habits on Pinterest.Follow ADHD / ADD freeSources’ board Diagnosis and Treatment of ADHD on Pinterest.

Follow ADHD / ADD freeSources’ board ADHD Coaching Strategies on Pinterest.Follow ADHD / ADD freeSources’s board What’s getting in your way? Psychological help. on Pinterest.

6 Questions for Recognizing ADHD in Adults

This proposed version of the World Health Organization ADHD Self-Report Screening Scale is a short questionnaire designed to help people easily assess the possibility that they might have ADHD. (Researchers have revised the scale to fit the new criteria for evaluating ADHD introduced by the DSM-5 and to reflect how ADHD  presents differently in adults than in children.) FREE Printable

It’s important to keep in mind that this new questionnaire isn’t an absolute measure of whether someone has ADHD. But it can be a useful tool for assessing whether a further look is in order.

The official screener hasn’t been published yet. At this time,  “scores” would be best guesses based on the following information.

The choice of answers range from never, to rarely, sometimes, often and very often. Never is always zero, but the higher frequency answers are assigned varying points.

  1. How often do you have difficulty concentrating on what people are saying to you, even when they are speaking to you directly?
  2. How often do you leave your seat in meetings or other situations in which you are expected to remain seated?
  3. How often do you have difficulty unwinding or relaxing when you have time to yourself?
  4. When you’re in a conversation, how often do you find yourself finishing the sentences of the people you are talking to before they can finish them themselves?
  5. How often do you put things off until the last minute?
  6. How often do you depend on others to keep your life in order and attend to details?

Points are given to each question according to the relative importance of the question is to diagnostic criteria. The highest score if Questions 1,2, and 3 are answered very often is 5 points. The 4th question’s top score is 2. The 5th’s highest is 4, while the final question is 3. That makes 24 points in total, with 14 points being the point at which additional evaluation is recommended.

We’ve created a FREE Printable of what we think the scale will look like based on the previous information.

 

The development of the new ADHD Screener from a 2017 APSARD conference promotional video – 13-minutes

Sources:

6 Questions for Recognizing ADHD by Neil Patterson – https://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-millennial/2017/04/6-questions-for-recognizing-adhd/ (Link works)

The World Health Organization Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Self-Report Screening Scale for DSM-5 

Authors: Berk Ustun, MS1; Lenard A. Adler, MD2,3; Cynthia Rudin, PhD4,5; et al

http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/2616166

Brief Screening Tool for Adult ADHD Released

Copy and Paste: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/878810?src=wnl_edit_tpal&uac=150032AY#vp_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHO ADHD Adult Self-Report Scale

Proposed World Health organization (WHO)

ADHD Adult Self-Report Scale

     6 Questions for Recognizing ADHD in Adults    Never    Rarely     Seldom         Often     Very

   Often

   1. How often do you have difficulty concentrating on what people are saying to you, even when they are speaking to you directly?        0         1           2         4        5
    2. How often do you leave your seat in meetings or other situations in which you are expected to remain seated?        0          1            2          4        5
    3. How often do you have difficulty unwinding or relaxing when you have time to yourself?        0           1            2          4        5
   4. When you’re in a conversation, how often do you find yourself finishing the sentences of the people you are talking to before they can finish them themselves?        0           1            1           2       2
    5. How often do you put things off until the last minute?        0           1            2           3        4
    6. How often do you depend on others to keep your life in order and attend to details?        0           1            1            2         3

 The total number of available points is 24.

Recommend further testing with screening scores of 14 and above.   

For further information see:

6 Questions for Recognizing ADHD in Adults

Source:  

The World Health Organization Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Self-Report Screening Scale for DSM-5 

Authors: Berk Ustun, MS1; Lenard A. Adler, MD2,3; Cynthia Rudin, PhD4,5; et al

http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/2616166

Brief Screening Tool for Adult ADHD Released

Copy and Paste: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/878810?src=wnl_edit_tpal&uac=150032AY#vp_2