Life Coaching with Tereasa Jones - Navigate the World of Relationships

Life Coaching with Tereasa Jones - Navigate the World of Relationships

Tereasa Jones

How To Stop ADD/ADHD From Influencing Your Relationships

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How to Stop ADD from influencing your relationships
If you’re living with ADD or ADHD, you know how easily it can influence all aspects of your life. ADD and ADHD is known for negatively impacting work and school, but it can also have a strong influence in romantic relationships. If you’re finding that ADD is speaking louder than you are when it comes to your love life, here are a few strategies you can use to stop ADD from influencing your relationships.

Practice Listening

Many partners of people with ADD or ADHD feel that they aren’t being heard in their relationship. This is a common feeling because ADD is known to impact a person’s listening skills. To improve yours, try setting a timer for 3-5 minutes and let your partner talk without interruption or distraction. Once the time is up, summarize what you’ve heard and repeat it back to your partner so they feel you’ve really taken in and acknowledged their experience.

Do Your Research

The more you and your partner learn about ADD, the better you’ll be able to understand and manage the symptoms together. Turn research into a bonding experience where you take time together to read up on attentional disorders and share blog posts like this one with each other. By doing the research together, you’ll reinforce the feeling that you and your partner are on the same team and committed to living with ADD together.

Acknowledge Your Symptoms

Take responsibility and acknowledge when your ADD or ADHD symptoms are impacting the relationship. This will make your partner feel validated and will demonstrate that you are aware of any issues as well as committed to working on them. Oftentimes, your partner simply needs to hear that you know they aren’t being unreasonable.

Cherish Your Partner

In many relationships, the non-ADD partner feels like a parent who takes on the majority of the household responsibilities and looks out for the partner with ADD. This leads to negative and imbalanced relationship dynamics. To break these patterns, find ways to take care of your partner and give them extra love and attention whatever way you can. Draw a bath for them after a long day at work or offer to give them a back rub. These small gestures don’t require planning or organizational skills, but will show your partner that you care for them as much as they care for you.

Relationships are full of all kinds of individual challenges that vary from couple to couple, so there is no reason why ADD/ADHD should be an insurmountable obstacle. If you’d like additional, personalized advice on how to manage attentional disorders in relationships, consider booking a couples coaching session to help build a romance that stands the test of time.

Ready to take action and use these tips to stop ADD/ADHD from influencing your relationships? My free checklist can help!Download the Checklist Now

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What People With ADD/ADHD Wish Others Would Say

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What People with ADD/ADHD Wish Others Would Say

If you’re living with ADD/ADHD, you might experience the common feeling of being misunderstood or misinterpreted. It can be particularly difficult for friends and family to know how to support you and they may have no clue what to say to help you through a difficult time. With that in mind, I’ve put together a round-up of things people with ADD/ADHD wish others would say. Share this post with a friend or loved one to help them understand how best to support you on your journey with ADD/ADHD.

“ADD/ADHD Doesn’t Change Our Relationship”

People with ADD or ADHD often worry about how their condition will affect their relationships. Some people may even retreat or withdraw from social situations out of fear that their ADD will negatively impact the experience. Letting a person with ADD know that their condition won’t change, damage, or otherwise negatively influence a relationship will help them feel supported and accepted for who they are.

“I Love Your Creativity/Sensitivity/Enthusiasm”

ADD and ADHD come with positive personality traits of their own. Focusing on those positive gifts in someone’s personality lets them know that you appreciate their unique qualities and recognize the good things that ADD can bring to a relationship. This shows that you don’t see your friend’s ADD as a weakness, but as a strength.

“I’d Like To Understand What You’re Going Through”

When learning that a friend or loved one has ADD, many people make the understandable mistake of saying something like “I know what you’re going through.” Many people feel they understand what it’s like to live with ADD or ADHD since it’s so publicized in the media, or perhaps they have a distant acquaintance with the condition. The truth is, unless you are living with ADD yourself, you don’t really know what it’s like. Acknowledging that you are not an expert in the subject, but that you’d like to learn demonstrates openness and support without minimizing the person’s experience or presuming to already know their individual story.

Supporting someone with ADD or ADHD can be a challenge for those who have never experienced the symptoms themselves. Even if they don’t always say the right thing, remember that your loved ones do have your best interests at heart. Share this blog post with them and begin a productive and healthy conversation to continue building your ADD support system.

Want some extra help navigating your ADD/ADHD with your friends and loved ones? Check out my multiple coaching packages for couples, singles, and friends.

 

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How to Build a Support System for your ADD/ADHD

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How to Build a Support System

Everyone needs a little help sometimes, but when you’re living with ADD or ADHD, building a support system is crucial. We know ADD and ADHD can make the seemingly simple act of navigating the world a bigger challenge than it is for most. However, if you can set yourself up with a support system, you’ll find it much easier to manage whatever life throws at you. As the famous saying goes, “No man is an island.”

If you feel like you’re navigating the world of ADD/ADHD alone, it’s time to make a change. An effective support system doesn’t appear magically over night, but with these 5 tips you’ll be able to build yourself a network to help you get through those difficult times.

Build Understanding

Last week we talked about how to explain ADD/ADHD to your friends and loved ones. If you haven’t already read that blog post, now is the time! Helping your loved ones understand what you’re going through is the first step in building an effective support system. Once they have a better understanding of how ADD/ADHD affects you, they’ll be able to help you navigate its challenges. Without this understanding, they’ll have no idea where to begin!

Reach Out

When faced with a hard time in life, many people retreat into themselves and attempt to struggle through it alone. Often the issue isn’t that there is no one in their life willing or able to help them. More often, the person’s loved ones don’t know what they’re going through and have no idea that they could use some extra support. Practice reaching out to your friends and family when you’re going through a hard time. You’ll find that, once you do, most people are keen to jump in and give you the support you need.

Examine Your Resources

If you’re feeling alone, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking you really are alone. Chances are you already have the foundation of a great support system in your life, but you haven’t taken the time to really utilize it. Make a list of the people you feel comfortable reaching out to and do some research into support groups you can join in your area. If you’re nervous about reaching out in person at first, take advantage of the internet to find a online community of people with ADD/ADHD you can talk to. Once you start examining your resources, you’ll likely find there is a wealth of support already available to you.

Reciprocate

When seeking to build a support system, it’s important to remember that, like with any relationship, it’s a two-way street. Make yourself available as a helping hand or an encouraging voice when your friends and family are going through struggles of their own. If you establish yourself as a person they can lean on, you’ll find you have fostered a network of people who are keen to help you out in return.

Hire A Coach

There are many times when support from friends and family isn’t enough. Sometimes we all need help from an objective person with professional expertise. Working with a coach will give you the unconditional support you need to take control of your life.

Whether you look for support from friends, family, a community group, or a professional coach, building a network of people who have your back is an essential part of living life with ADD/ADHD. If you think you can benefit from the experience of working with a coach, contact me today and set up your first appointment.

Ready to take action and use these tips to build your support system? My free checklist can help!

Download the Checklist Now

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How to Explain ADD/ADHD to your Friends & Loved Ones

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Explaining ADD/ADHD to your friends and loved ones

When living with ADD/ADHD, the symptoms you experience are often a normal part of your everyday life. It’s possible that you don’t even think about them at times since they are so familiar to you. However, for someone who has never experienced ADD or ADHD, it might be hard to understand.

If your friends and loved ones are unfamiliar with ADD, you may find yourself needing to educate them on your symptoms and how you manage them. A better understanding of what you’re going through will help your friends and family act as better support systems and advocates for you. Here are some tips on how to explain ADD/ADHD to your friends and loved ones.

Plan What You Want To Say

Do some research in advance, talk to your doctor, and collect some facts about ADD/ADHD that you think will be helpful to your friends and family. Preparing what you want to say in advance will help you be as clear as possible in your explanation and will guarantee that you convey the right message and hit all your points.

Note The Difference Between ADD and ADHD

Many people who are unfamiliar with these two conditions don’t have a good understanding of the difference between the two. In order for your friends and family to truly understand what you’re going through, they need to have a clear picture of your particular condition.

Address the Stereotypes

Unfortunately, your friends and family may have inadvertently picked up inaccurate stereotypes about ADD/ADHD from pop culture or the media. Address those stereotypes head on and offer more accurate descriptions about how ADD/ADHD affects you personally. Clarifying misconceptions is an important step to better understanding.

Encourage Questions

Chances are your friends and family will have questions of their own. Allow them to engage with their own learning process by encouraging them to ask questions. Understanding ADD/ADHD may be an ongoing process for someone who does not experience it, so keep the door open for continued conversation and self-education.

It may be difficult at first to initiate a conversation with your friends and family about ADD/ADHD, particularly if you aren’t used to discussing your condition with others. Although it may be a little intimidating, opening up to your loved ones will help them better understand who you are so they can always be sure to act in your best interests. If you need additional help explaining ADD/ADD to your friends or family, book a personalized coaching session.

Ready to take action and use these tips to help your friends and family understand ADD/ADHD? My free checklist can help!

Download the Checklist Now

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Tips for Dating with ADD/ADHD

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Tips for Dating

Let’s be honest: dating is one of life’s most difficult adventures. Sure, it can be a lot of fun, but it’s also often fraught with anxiety, insecurity, and doubt. Despite all its uncertainties, the pleasures and rewards of dating are more than worth it. Dating, like any other social situation, can be extra stressful for people with ADD or ADHD. For any of you single readers out there, here are a few tips for dating with ADD/ADHD.

Choose The Right Activities

When planning your date, suggest the types of activities in which you flourish. Avoid theater performances or poetry readings if you know those types of static activities are likely to make your mind wander. Instead, suggest a physical activity like a hike or a tennis game. These active date ideas will boost your energy and improve your focus. Plus, suggesting a unique activity is a great way of expressing your personality to your date.

Educate Your Date

Chances are your date may not be familiar with the signs and symptoms of ADD/ADHD. Without overwhelming them with too much info right out of the gate, find small opportunities to educate them. Understanding is key to acceptance, so give your date a head start by helping them see the world through your eyes.

Take It Slow

People with ADD/ADHD can be prone to impulsiveness. In romantic situations, that impulsiveness often leads to relationships that move a little too quickly. Moving too fast is a well-known dating red-flag, so make extra effort to take it slow. Ask yourself if you’re truly ready to make the next step in your relationship before diving in without thinking.

Work With A Coach

Dating is a highly personal experience and there is no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone. Working with a coach can help you figure out the exact strategies and tools which will improve your individual dating life. Working with an objective third-party offers the exact amount of tailored support you need to make your next relationship last a lifetime.

Whether you’re looking for long-term romance or for the fun of a fling, these tips for dating with ADD/ADHD will help you find the relationship you’ve been looking for.

Are you ready for personalized support? Get all the details on coaching here.

Ready to take action and use these tips in your dating life? My free checklist can help!Download the Checklist Now

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How to Manage ADD/ADHD in Social Situations

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ADD-Social-Situations

 

When we think of the inherent challenges associated with ADD or ADHD, we often think of them being most prevalent at work or school. It’s easy to connect difficulties with concentration and task initiation to difficulties with work-related and goal-oriented projects.

However, ADD and ADHD can present challenges in social situations as well. Even though the effect of ADD/ADHD on adult social skills is much less discussed, it is still deserving of time and attention. With that in mind, here are some helpful strategies for how to manage ADD/ADHD in social situations.

Make Eye Contact

People with ADD can find it as difficult to focus on a social conversation as it is to focus on a work project. Making eye contact not only shows your friend that you are listening, it also helps keep you focused on what’s being said. Keeping your eyes on the speaker will also help you pick up on nonverbal cues in the conversation.

Wait For Gaps In Conversation

It’s common for people with ADD/ADHD to be prone to interrupting others. Many people also experience the problem of speaking before they think due to their impulsivity. Practice waiting for gaps in conversation before adding to the discussion. Waiting for genuine pauses or silences will stop you from interrupting and speaking impulsively. It may take some practice to get used to recognizing those conversation gaps, but you can do it!

Repeat The Essentials

Distractibility can negatively impact the listening skills of people with ADD. In order to improve your listening and to make sure you’ve retained the necessary information, repeat the essentials of a conversation back to your friends. For example, when meeting someone new, repeat their name back to them after they’ve introduced themselves. This repetition will help cement the new information into your brain.

Check Your Body Language

ADD and ADHD make it difficult to understand things like body language and nonverbal communication. In fact, many people with ADD aren’t even aware of the subconscious messages they are sending with their own bodies. In a social situation, check that you’ve adopted an open and friendly posture. Uncross your arms, keep your body relaxed, and turn toward the person or group you’re engaging with. Also try to be aware of other people’s personal space and, if in doubt, take half a step back.

Write It Down

Many people with ADD/ADHD struggle to remember plans and stick to their social commitments. Get in the habit of writing down your social schedule in a planner or diary. Also start writing down any other prep tasks you have to do before the event itself. Attending a dinner party? Don’t forget to write down the date, but make sure you also write yourself a reminder to pick up a bottle of wine for the host.

Living with adult ADD or ADHD may sometimes require a little more attention in social situations. But, if you practice these skills, they’ll soon become second nature and you’ll find yourself sailing through your social schedule with ease.

Want more advice on managing ADD/ADHD in social situations? Request a personal consultation today!

Ready to take action and manage ADD/ADHD in social situations? My free checklist can help!

Download the Checklist Now

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How to Make & Maintain Friendships with ADD/ADHD

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How to make and maintain friends

The older we get, the harder it is to make and maintain new friendships. Gone are the simple days of bonding over Barbies at recess. With so many adult responsibilities and distractions, it’s much harder to forge new friendships than it was when we were kids. Making and maintaining friendships can be particularly challenging for those with ADD or ADHD.

Managing the daily stresses of adulthood can already be difficult and throwing new relationships into the mix doesn’t make it any easier. However, there is no reason to give up on new friendships if you’re living with adult ADD/ADHD. Follow these simple tips and you’ll see your circle of friends expanding in no time.

Join A Club

Many adults, whether they have ADD/ADHD or not, struggle to find places to make new friends. Now that we’re out of school, we no longer have a built-in friendship-infrastructure and many people wonder where to begin expanding their social networks. Joining a club like a book club at the local library, or signing up for a sport like doubles tennis at the local community center is an easy way to meet new people who share your interests. Plus, you’ll be combining your socializing with some important self-care time exploring your own interests.

Keep A Friend Journal

Many people with ADD/ADHD find it helpful to keep a friend journal where they document how long it has been since they last connected with a particular person. Remembering to keep in touch with friends regularly can be particularly difficult for folks with ADD, so a friend journal serves as a reminder to main those relationships.

Schedule Friendship Time

It’s easy for anyone with a busy adult life to let friendship time slide away in favor of more nagging priorities. This is especially problematic for those with ADD because they already struggle with managing distractions and priorities. Try setting aside an hour each week to catch up on emails and phone calls with friends and keep that time protected from encroaching distractions.

Multi-Task

Being able to do two things at once is a strength of people with ADD. Take advantage of that strength and phone a friend while you’re folding laundry or commuting to work. Once you get in the habit, you’ll find it easy to incorporate friendship time into your everyday routine.

Take The Pressure Off

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that time with friends requires a lot of effort, planning, or organization. Think of ways incorporate friendships into your regular schedule. For example, ask a neighbor to join you on your weekly grocery shop, or invite a friend to come along on your regular trips to the gym. Even grabbing a quick half-hour coffee with a friend after work can help strengthen those bonds.

There is absolutely no reason why living with adult ADD/ADHD should negatively impact your social life. Making and maintaining new friends requires effort and commitment from everyone. With these simple tips, you’ll soon find yourself blossoming into a social butterfly.

Ready to take action and maintain and create new friendships? My free checklist can help!

Download the Checklist Now

Want more tips on developing new friendships with adult ADD/ADHD? Contact me for a personalized consultation.

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4 Strategies For Emotional Regulation

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4 Strategies for Emotional Regulation

Emotional regulation is the ability to control one’s emotional response to the vast variety of experiences and circumstances we encounter every day. Emotional regulation can include controlling spontaneous reactions, regulating one’s feelings, and modulating behavior.

As we move through the world, we are all faced with potentially irritating or triggering stimuli and many of us engage in emotional regulation without even knowing it. The ability to regulate one’s emotional response to external factors is key in maintaining the organization and quality of one’s thoughts, actions, and interactions.

Although emotional regulation often comes naturally, there are times when keeping one’s instinctive emotional response in check can be a challenge. To help improve your emotional regulation in those moments, use these four strategies.

Take A Step Back

To avoid reacting on impulse with negative or disproportionate emotions, take a step back and allow yourself to regroup before responding. Make it a rule to take five deep breaths before reacting to an emotional trigger. Deep breathing helps an agitated heart rate return to normal and reduces the anxiety or anger that may have triggered you.

Find An Outlet

Once you’ve calmed your initial emotional response, find a healthy way to release your anxiety or anger. Write in a private journal to release your thoughts and feelings. Exercise is also a great way to sweat out your negative emotions and replace them with positive endorphins.

Talk It Out

Sometimes we just need to vent into order to let go of a negative experience. Find a trustworthy friend or family member to listen to your story or consult a coach for an unbiased and safe space to talk it out.

Build Your Toolkit

Engaging in healthy habits throughout your everyday life can build an emotional regulation toolkit. This way, you’ll be better equipped to handle emotional triggers when they arise. Meditation, good sleep patterns, and self-care have all been shown to reduce the likelihood of disproportionate emotional reactions.

Ready to take action and regulate your emotions? My free checklist can help!

Download the Checklist Now

Want more tips on how to improve emotional regulation? Book a private coaching session for personalized advice.

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How to Sustain Mental Effort When Your Energy Lags

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How to Sustain Mental Effort When Your Energy Lags

We’re all familiar with the feeling when two or three o’clock in the afternoon rolls around and we’re ready to call it quits for the day. Unfortunately, that’s almost never an option and an afternoon cup of coffee sometimes isn’t enough to really help you sustain your mental efforts until the end of the workday. With that in mind, here are some helpful tricks you can use to keep going when your energy lags and your focus starts to fail.

Take A Physical Break
When struggling to maintain mental effort, kick starting the body can often help kick start the mind too. Do some light stretching at your desk or take a walk around the block on your afternoon break. Even a small amount of light physical activity can stimulate blood flow and oxygenate the brain which will make you feel more energized.

Manage Your Time
By planning your time management in advance, you can avoid a lapse in energy that weakens your mental effort. If you know your attention starts to fail in the afternoon, plan to complete your most difficult and challenging tasks in the morning. If you leave your easier tasks to the end of the day, you’ll have an easier time working through the mental fatigue of those hours.

Keep A Distraction Log
When your energy lags and your ability to sustain mental effort is compromised, you’re more likely to be susceptible to distractions. Keep a pad of paper and a pen on your desk to make a note of any distractions. This way you’ll be able to return to them later when the work is done and you won’t feel like you have to follow each new idea the moment it comes to you.

Find An Accountability Partner
Partner up with a co-worker to help keep each other focused and on-task when you’re most susceptible to procrastination. Make a pact that if you both sustain your mental effort until the end of the workday, you can reward yourselves in some way. With a friend to help keep you accountable, you’re more likely to reach your goals than risk letting them down.

Ready to take action and sustain your focus? My free checklist can help!

Download the Checklist Now

Sustaining effort is a challenge for everyone at times, but it is an important skill to develop. Like most things in life, persistence is key if you want to achieve success. Would you like additional resources to help you sustain your mental effort? Book a personal consultation today.

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5 Tips To Help You Sustain Focus

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5 Tips to Sustain your Focus

Sustaining focus is difficult for anyone these days with so many distractions popping up on our phones, tablets, and computers every time we sit down to work. These distractions are particularly detrimental to those of us with ADD or ADHD who already find it a challenge to sustain focus over long periods of time. If you find yourself easily distracted, here are some tips and tricks to help you sustain focus better than ever before.

#1: Declutter
Visual clutter can easily lead to mental clutter. A messy workspace is full of distractions that can pull your focus and concentration away from the task at hand. Declutter your desk and you’ll find it easier to focus on the work itself.

#2: Breakdown Your Tasks
Feeling overwhelmed by a big project can make you more susceptible to lapses in focus. Breakdown a big assignment into small manageable chunks. Since each of those chunks is smaller and less time-consuming, you’ll find it easier to sustain focus over that short period. Give yourself a mini-break between each small task to allow your focus to rest and reset.

#3: Use a Focused Distraction
When sitting in a meeting or lecture, many people with ADD or ADHD find it helpful to doodle or squeeze a small stress ball. This kinesthetic action helps the listener focus on the speaker and prevents the mind from wandering.

#4: Work Offline
A survey quoted in
Time Magazine found that almost 60% of workplace distractions come from email, cell phones, and social media. Disconnect your computer’s WIFI and turn off your cellphone’s data to stop those focus-killing distractions.

#5: Protect Your Workspace
Having a designated workspace can help sustain focus as the brain becomes accustomed to associating that space with productivity. If you work from home, designate a work area that is separate from the relaxing areas of the home. This way the brain will come to associate specific places with specific activities. If you work in an office, protect your workspace from distractions by closing your office door and getting the privacy your brain needs to concentrate. If you work in an open office, try wearing headphones to signify to your co-workers that you aren’t available for chit-chat.

Ready to take action and sustain your focus? My free checklist can help!

Download the Checklist Now

If you’re having trouble sustaining your focus while at work, know that you’re not alone. According to one survey, 89% of people admitted that they waste at least some time at work every day. If you’re looking for additional help sustaining your focus and concentration, book a personal coaching session today.

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