Life Coaching with Tereasa Jones - Navigate the World of Relationships

Life Coaching with Tereasa Jones - Navigate the World of Relationships

Tereasa Jones

Are Video Games Good or Bad for ADD/ADHD

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Are Video Games Good or Bad for ADD/ADHD

Do you remember way back when you were a kid if your parents who just didn’t understand why you had problems concentrating on homework or doing challenging time-management related tasks, but could literally sit in front of the TV for hours on end playing video games. Even as an adult, many with ADD/ADHD can play video games without having to worry about their attention wandering. This kind of behavior makes many people think, “Are video games “good” or “bad” for those who have ADD/ADHD?”

Over there years, there have been many people (especially parents) who actually BLAME video games for ADD/ADHD. Frankly, that kind of leap of “logic” makes me uncomfortable. There is absolutely no evidence that video games can cause ADD/ADHD. These conditions aren’t things that just happen to you. It isn’t something that can be afflicted on you, like a common cold. ADD/ADHD is the way someone’s brain is wired. Yes, video games can affect the way people think, but they cannot cause ADD/ADHD.

The main reason why video games can so effectively hold the attention of those with ADD/ADHD is because there is always something happening on the screen. There is no time to think. The second their mind starts to wander, there is suddenly another enemy or obstacle on screen that demands their attention. Action oriented video games aren’t one long, sustained activity. They are a number of very short, quick, sequential activities, each one recapturing the brain’s attention.

Of course, bundling all video games together would be a mistake. Just like with movies, books, and any other kind of entertainment, there are many different kinds of video games. There are the popular first-person shooters, which are extremely popular with many people who have ADD/ADHD due to their non-stop action. There are puzzle games, like Picross or the ever-popular Tetris, which can occupy the mind and focus it onto the puzzle until it is solved. And there are role-playing games, like Final Fantasy, or adventure games like Monkey Island. These types of games tend to be much more laid back and relaxed, with a focus on story rather than fast reactions and explosions, which can make them difficult for someone with ADD/ADHD to focus on.

Some experts have suggested that video games, in moderation, can actually be helpful for those with ADD/ADHD. Concentrating on video games, even if it is easier than concentrating on homework or other task, still requires effort. This can help anyone with ADD/ADHD learn HOW to focus and maintain that level of concentration over time.  

Regardless of if you have ADD/ADHD or not, you should always make sure you put a limit on the amount of time you spend in front of a screen. Video games can be addictive, as they are entirely based on a reward system. It can be very easy to slip into the world of a video game, a world where many of the stresses and problems that weigh on people with ADD/ADHD simply don’t exist. Before you start playing, set an alarm on your phone to alert you after an hour has passed. It’s very important that you keep conscious of time while you play, and alarms can be an effective way of doing so. That said, unless you are genuinely seeing a problem, you shouldn’t unnecessarily stress yourself out. Playing video games is just something that we do and have since the 1970s. Yes, the games are far more sophisticated, but the essentials are the same. They are fun!

I have to be honest, video games can be tricky. I’ve seen good come out of them and bad. It really depends on how the ADD/ADHD presents itself and how the video game affects the person. That said, there are far more effective ways to manage your ADD/ADHD, in a way that will allow you to better live your life away from the screen. As an experienced ADD/ADHD coach, I can help you learn these strategies. Please feel free to contact me today to learn more about how we can help you improve your concentration, time management skills, and take back control of your life!

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Turkey, Thanksgiving, and ADD/ADHD

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Turkey Thanksgiving and ADD/ADHD

It’s the season to be thankful, and yet so many people are stressed out. Why? It’s often because of the dreaded Thanksgiving Dinner!

Thanksgiving is a tradition practiced all over the world, in one form or another. It’s a time to gather together to be thankful for all of the blessings of life, food, and family. Of course, actually cooking the darned dinner can be an incredibly difficult task, especially for someone with ADD/ADHD. If you find yourself hosting Thanksgiving this year, there are a number of strategies that you can put into play to save yourself some massive headaches and stressful situations, while still ending up with a delicious meal on the table.

Cooking the Dinner

Many people have compared cooking a successful Thanksgiving dinner to planning a military mission. Everything is on a strict timetable and and one mistake could imperil the entire mission. No pressure, huh?

If you have ADD/ADHD and are planning on taking on Thanksgiving by yourself, there are a number of things you can do to help you keep on track. Make sure you have an exhaustive to-do list of everything you need to keep in mind. This should include the full grocery list, a list of finished dishes, the number of steps required to make them, and the times everything needs to go in and out. In this case, setting a multitude of alarms on your phone can be very useful to help keep everything on track.

Another helpful hint is to start on Thanksgiving dinner a day or two before. Pies are actually better the second day, so if you are planning on making one, do it then. Just throw it in the oven the next day for a few minutes prior to serving and nobody will be the wiser!

Split the Work

But here is the reality. ADD/ADHD or not, EVERYBODY freaks out about Thanksgiving dinner. It’s just one of those stressful scenarios that most people dread. One of the best ways to take the pressure off is to split the work. Tell your family, “Ok, I’ll cook the turkey if you make the potatoes and sides.” This will allow you to simply focus in on one single thing rather than try to keep every ball in the air at once.

Forget About the Cooking, Just Order In!

This suggestion might seem a bit taboo. Order in Thanksgiving dinner? From a restaurant?! Heavens!

But let’s face it, Thanksgiving requires a tremendous amount of focus and energy. Not just for the cooking, but also for the hours of spending time with your friends and family before and after dinner. There is a reason that everyone walks away from Thanksgiving feeling exhausted. There are many fantastic restaurants out there that would be happy to provide your entire Thanksgiving feast with all of the fixings for a very reasonable price. If the idea of spending hours in the kitchen trying to balance cooking times so everything is finished perfectly for dinner, well… Just don’t do it and buy your meal elsewhere!

Dealing with Family

Of course, for many people, the headache of Thanksgiving isn’t dealing with the food, it is dealing with the family. Even if we love our families, we might have strong disagreements with them about politics, the world, and personal choices. If you are recently diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, you might have to field multiple “helpful” pieces of advice from those sitting around the table. One of the best suggestions I’ve ever heard is that, prior to dinner, everyone agrees to give the most level-headed member of the family veto power. If any topic is getting a little too heated around the table, that family member can simply say “Vetoed!” and that will be the end of that conversation. This can be especially helpful if anyone gets into a position where they feel like blurting out something that could escalate the situation.

If your ADD/ADHD is acting up or you simply need a minute to yourself… my advice is take one. Just get up, make an excuse like, “I’ve been in the kitchen all day, I just need a little fresh air for a few minutes,” and remove yourself from the situation for as long as you need.

 

Thanksgiving can be incredibly stressful, no matter who you are. For someone with ADD/ADHD, Thanksgiving can provide a number of unique challenges. The best strategy of handling the entirety of Thanksgiving is to plan well, have a schedule and alarms, and make sure that you practice self-care and remove yourself from stressful situations. As an experienced ADD/ADHD coach, and a survivor of more than one stressful Thanksgiving dinner, please feel free to contact me today to talk about how your condition impacts your relationship with your family, friends, and your ability to plan events such as Thanksgiving.  

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The Importance of ADD/ADHD Self-Discovery

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The Importance of ADD/ADHD Self-Discovery

“Self-discovery” has somehow earned itself a bad name.

Over the last 30 or so years, self-discovery has become a bit of a buzzword for every self-help guru out there. Many people claim that it is the solution to every problem in life. Others claim that self-discovery will lead to a particular branch of spirituality. Most, though certainly not all, of them are trying to lead you down the path of their own particular system of self-help. You want to know my opinion about self-discovery: it is about YOU.

Self-discovery is exactly that. It is when you take time to examine truths about yourself, maybe even coming to some realizations about your virtues and flaws that you’ve never thought of before. It is truly one of the most pure forms of “self-help” out there because you are the one who does all of the work. Yes, guides and coaches can be very useful to help facilitate these discoveries (I wouldn’t be an ADD/ADHD coach if I didn’t believe that) but the real work has to come from you.

Self-discovery can be difficult enough for someone with a “normal” brain, but for someone with ADD/ADHD, it can be especially tough. For many people with the condition, they’ve been told their entire lives that something is wrong with them. That they have an affliction that needs to be treated or suppressed. This kind of negative reinforcement can cause massive amounts of self-doubt, even in adults. You can imagine (or have lived through) what children with ADD/ADHD have to deal with. Being told that there is something wrong with you can impede self-discovery and make it into something that many people don’t want to face. But believe me, the only way you will be able to make it through to the other side will be to do the work and learn about yourself.

Self-discovery for those with ADD/ADHD will obviously have a lot to do with how they perceive their condition. Everyone’s ADD/ADHD is a little bit different, with some cases being far more severe than others. A part of your journey of self-discovery might include coming to terms with your ADD/ADHD and simply accepting it as part of who you are. For many people, this conclusion can bring them a measure of peace as they stop “fighting” against it and instead start to “manage” it. For others, self-discovery might include redefining their condition. For example, some people consider their ADD/ADHD to be a literal superpower, an ability to hyper-focus on something in a way that most people cannot.

There are so many different paths of self-discovery out there. Yours might include a spiritual component. For example, Zen puts a heavy emphasis on self-discovery. You might find your method of self-discovery to be in meditation or yoga. Physical fitness is another way that you can bring clarity to your mind, so maybe your path to self-discovery might include running, biking, or weight-lifting.

Of course, a tried and true method of self-discovery involves working with a coach who is experienced in helping guide people to their truth. As an experienced ADD/ADHD coach, I know the difficulties that people with the condition have to face and I can help you navigate them. If you’d like to book an appointment so I can help you on your road to ADD/ADHD self-discovery, please feel free to contact me today. No matter what road of self-discovery you choose, finding your own personal balance between ADD/ADHD and the life you desire is possible, and the work always begins with self-discovery!

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ADD/ADHD When You Live in a Small Town

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ADHD/ADD When you Live in a Small Town

Your environment will always play a huge part in determining the state of your mental health. From your immediate home life to the city/town where you live, the energy and feel of that place can greatly impact your general mood and state of mind. Sometimes, if you find yourself living in a place where you just don’t feel comfortable or happy, a change of scene can make a huge difference in your ability to manage your ADD/ADHD.

Many people say that living in large cities can actually be damaging to your mental health, but small towns aren’t necessarily much better. It all depends on what kind of person that you are. Small towns offer many benefits that big cities do not, but also many drawbacks. This can especially be true to an ADD/ADHD sufferer.

Pro: More Affordable Housing

Small towns can be much less expensive than living in big cities. In larger cities, simply paying your rent can take up a majority of your monthly income. If you want to live in a nice apartment in a safe neighborhood, while still have enough room not to feel cramped, it is unlikely that you will be able to find a place for under $1500 in some cities. If you are living on a fixed income, this can be a huge financial burden and stress on your mental health.

In a small town, rent is usually much cheaper. Not only that, if you have a decently paying job, you might be able to afford an actual house, rather than simply a small condo. If you are someone who wants a place that you can call your own, have room to spread out, and still keep money in the bank, a small town can offer you far more affordable housing.

Con: Much Less to Do

Living in the city offers those with ADD/ADHD one major benefit: there is always a ton to do. There are so many more businesses, activities, shopping centers, events… If you are someone who needs stimulation, a big city can offer it in spades.

In a small town, things are more… let’s say, laid back. Almost every small town has basic amenities, like a movie theater, a mall, restaurants, etc. But your amusement choices will be far more limited than if you are living in a city. There are usually events, festivals, and other community activities throughout the year, but with far less variety and choice than you would have in a bigger city.

Pro: Peace and Quiet

The flip side of the “less to do” coin is that, well, there is less to do! You don’t have constant, overwhelming stimulation coming at you from all sides. In a small town, you can go out for a walk and not see a soul. For someone with ADD/ADHD who is in search for a sense of calm, this can be a godsend.

This really does depend on how your ADD/ADHD presents. For some people, peace and quiet can allow them to focus on their condition and mental health. It offers them a chance to remove themselves from the stresses of the big city and instead work on themselves.

Con: Less Access to Medical and Mental Health Support

Now, that isn’t knocking small town hospitals. Many small towns offer fantastic medical and mental health support systems, but few offer specialization. If you are someone who is suffering from a severe case of ADD/ADHD, you might not be able to find the necessary support in a small town for your condition. You could always commute to a big city, but that can be expensive and exhausting.

The internet can offer valuable mental health support to those with ADD/ADHD who live in small towns. Although I believe that one-on-one personal coaching is one of the best ways to help take control of your condition, being able to reach out across the internet to mental health coaches and professionals can be game-changing for some who live in small towns.

 

So, should you consider living in a small town if you have ADD/ADHD? That completely depends on who you are and what you need. Some people absolutely love the calm and slower pace of small towns, as it allows them to catch their breath and concentrate on themselves. Others might find it absolutely, mind-numbingly boring. If you are considering a big change of scene in your near future and want to talk about the potentials pros and cons of moving to a small town, please feel free to book an ADD/ADHD coaching session with me. Together, we can examine your current life, what you feel that you need out of your immediate environment, and help you make an informed decision that is right for you and your specific case of ADD/ADHD.

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Strategies for ADHD/ADD Stress Management

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Strategies for ADHD/ADD Stress Management

Here is a fact: dealing with your ADD/ADHD on a daily basis can be absolutely exhausting. It can take a lot of energy to push forward through your day, trying to find structure and focus while ignoring distractions. Trying to manage all of this, while also living your life, can build up huge levels of stress. And stress just makes everything that much harder than it already is.

An important part of ADD/ADHD management is simply stress management. It’s learning ways to effectively release stress in a healthy and effective manner. Depending on the severity of your ADD/ADHD, some of stress management strategies might be more challenging than others, but all of them are worth a try to minimize your stress level and make getting through your day just a little bit easier.

Exercise

In a previous blog, I talked about how exercise can be a great hobby for those with ADD/ADHD. High intensity exercise, such as running, biking, and other forms of cardio, are great for working out nervous and excess energy. Lower intensity exercise, such as yoga, Pilates, or even going for a nice walk can help calm the brain. All exercise releases endorphins that can help elevate your mood.

If you find that you generally get bored and distracted when you exercise (as some methods of exercise can be quite tedious, even for those without ADD/ADHD), I recommend getting a good pair of headphones and listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks to keep yourself entertained while you workout.

Breathing

When we get stressed, we get tense. When we get tense, we hold our breath. Not breathing basically locks tension into the body. By releasing your breath, you can release that built up tension and stress.

There are many activities that can help you with breathing and stress relief. Meditation, although potentially very difficult for those who are easily distracted, can help you to calm and release your breath and improve your focus. As I mentioned above, exercise can get your blood flowing and will force you to breathe, with exercises like Pilates and yoga being especially great at helping you release your breath.

Sleeping

If there is one thing that you can do to improve every aspect of your life, it is getting enough sleep at night. A lack of sleep can negatively impact your concentration, focus, mood, and stress level. Without sleep, our brain can’t function properly and, when you are already dealing with a condition such as ADD/ADHD, sleep deprivation can make a bad situation even worse.

If you suffer from insomnia or other kinds of sleep disturbances, there are a number of things you can try to maximize your rest. If your mind races as you try to fall asleep, put on some calming music or other kinds of audio that you can focus on. If you often wake throughout the night, you could try a natural supplement like Melatonin that may help keep you in a restful sleep. In a strategy that dovetails nicely with stress relieving exercise, a workout earlier in the day can tire you out later, so you will be able to get a good night’s sleep.

Build Structure in Your Life

A lack of structure can be one of the main causes of stress in the lives of many with ADD/ADHD. Not having structure in your day can make everything harder. Building a daily schedule and sticking to it can provide a focus to your day, give you a goal to head towards. Breaking that structure can leave you rudderless, putting you in the stressful situation of feeling like you are going in circles.

Work with a Coach

Working with an ADD/ADHD coach can be a huge stress reliever. You will be doing something to proactively tackle your ADD/ADHD related issues. The feeling that you are actually doing something productive can release huge amounts of stress. Another way a great coach can help is by listening to your concerns and frustrations, possibly even providing you with some solutions or strategies like the ones above. Sometimes, you just need to vent to someone who knows what you are going through and knows ways that they can help. If you would like an ADD/ADHD coaching session, where we can work through your particular challenges and come up with potential, stress relieving solutions, please feel free to contact me today. I would be delighted to assist you in find personalized strategies to help with stress relief, as well as help you manage any other frustrations related to your ADD/ADHD.

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Great Activities and Pastimes for Those with ADD/ADHD

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Great Activities and Pastimes for Those with ADHD/ADD

Keeping yourself occupied and focused is a constant struggle for those with ADD/ADHD. Long-term projects can be difficult, as you might get distracted midway through. Feeling passionate about an activity, however, can keep you invested in it. That is why developing hobbies and pastimes that you love can help keep you focused and engaged for lengthy periods of time.

Because of the way that brains with ADD/ADHD work, some people may find that, after years of enjoying a beloved hobby, they may suddenly lose interest in it. This is a good reason to have a number of hobbies and pastimes that you can cycle through. When you get bored of one, you can jump to another! Here are a few ideas of pastimes and hobbies that can be great for ADD/ADHD:

Exercise

Exercise can be a fantastic pastime for those with ADD/ADHD. Of course, exercise should be a fantastic pastime for EVERYONE, as the benefits are countless. Improved overall health, stress relief, depression relief, physical fitness… But there are some additional benefits for those with ADD/ADHD.

If you are constantly dealing with an almost overwhelming amount of energy, high intensity exercise can be a great outlet for it. This could be running, jogging, biking, basically anything cardio-based. If you feel yourself getting bored during the exercise, try on some headphones and listen to music or a podcast while doing it.

Low intensity exercise, such as yoga, also has multiple benefits for ADD/ADHD sufferers. Yoga can build self-awareness and make you far more conscious of what is going on in your head. The breathing exercises can bring a sense of calm, while keeping yourself in the yoga postures can help bring about a positive focus.

Brain Puzzles and Games

For ADD/ADHD sufferers, mind puzzles and games are perfect for those that want to keep their minds occupied for short to medium lengths of time.

A great mind game to try is a Japanese game called sudoku. It involves filling a 9×9 grid in with numbers from 1-9 (but don’t worry, no math is required). A sudoku puzzle can be done anywhere, as long as you have paper and pencil (or smart phone and finger). Aside from the fun of playing, you also get a solid endorphin kick when you successfully solve a puzzle! And hey, if sudoku isn’t your thing, you could always try similar games like crossword puzzles or Picross.

Toys

Toys, they aren’t just for children!

Adult friendly toys, like Lego, can be a mentally stimulating activities that also keeps your hands busy. You don’t have to worry about getting bored with Lego, because you can always just break down a set and then create something new with it. It’s a fantastic toy to express creativity. And if you have kids, this could be the perfect activity to do with them!

A toy that can be very helpful for releasing nervous energy is a yo yo.  Even learning a few simple tricks can keep your hands and brain busy in a low-pressure way. If you ever want to see something amazing, take a look at yo yo champs on Youtube.

And I bet you’ve heard of fidget spinners. These hugely popular toys are also a useful tool for ADD/ADHD sufferers. Many people find that spinning fidget spinners can have a calming effect, and that can be a huge boon for for those who suffer from ADD/ADHD related anxiety.

Finding a hobby that you love can be an incredible win for someone with ADD/ADHD. It gives you something that you can focus on and keep you from getting bored. If you’d like to talk about hobbies and passions and how they can play into managing your ADD/ADHD, feel free to contact me today. In an  ADD/ADHD coaching session, we can narrow down activities and try to find the right hobby or pastime for you.

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Strategies for Parents with ADHD/ADD Children

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Strategies for Parents with Young ADHD/ADD Children

ADHD/ADD is a struggle for everyone. With many different levels of severity and symptoms, a case of ADHD/ADD is as unique as the person who has it. I’ve spent many years working with adults with ADHD/ADD, helping them to find strategies and coping mechanisms that would allow them to lead better, fuller lives. Some of those adults had ADHD/ADD as children but were either misdiagnosed or did not receive adequate treatment in their younger years. For parents, an ADHD/ADD diagnosis can be very difficult to process. No one wants to think there is anything wrong with their child’s health, and there are some parents out there who prefer to minimize the signs of ADHD/ADD in their children and instead chalk it up to common hyperactivity or simply misbehavior.

There are few things that can help someone with ADHD/ADD more than receiving proper treatment when they were young. Unconditional support and positivity can make a huge difference in how a child will approach their condition as an adult. Parenting a child with ADHD/ADD can be exhausting and difficult, depending on its severity, but with proper treatment and a few effective strategies, you can help your child understand their condition and build them a foundation of support for their later life.

Set Up a Routine

Setting up routines, schedules, and lists are valuable tools for adults with ADHD/ADD, and the same is true for children. Although they obviously don’t have the ability to create a positive structure for themselves, you do. There should be a time for everything, for getting up, for going to school, for playtime after school, for friends, for watching TV, for supper, and for bed. It can’t just be an arbitrary schedule, they should be able to see it. Set up a daily schedule for them on a whiteboard in the kitchen, making it simple enough for them to read or understand. This kind of a schedule can give them a daily structure to hold onto. Not every day needs to be the same, but still try to keep it to identifiable blocks of time (half-hour, hour, etc.)

Never Punish Them for Behavior that Isn’t Their Fault

Children with ADHD/ADD are easily distracted. When you tell a child with the conditions to clean their room, and they don’t, this doesn’t necessarily mean it is defiance. It could simply be that they forgot, or got distracted by something else. Punishing them for this kind of behavior would be unfair and, frankly, counterproductive.

Of course, that isn’t to say that you shouldn’t enforce the rules and punish intentional bad behavior. They are still children and need discipline in their lives. You need to teach your child how to behave. The key is to know which bad behavior is intentional, and which is simply a byproduct of their condition.

Reinforce the Positives

ADHD/ADD is usually viewed through a negative eye, with a focus on the symptoms that disrupt a person’s life. This is a useful mindset for tackling the challenges of the condition, but children need far more than that. No one is just their ADHD/ADD symptoms, there are a lot of positive qualities too. Praising a child with ADHD/ADD for their creativity, their verbal skills, their helpfulness, or any other positive attributes can greatly help their self-esteem, giving them a much better outlook later in their life.

Find the Right Medication

Some parents can be very reluctant to put their children on something for their ADHD/ADD, but finding the proper medication can make a real, positive difference in their lives. Not every medication is right for every child. If one doesn’t work, don’t give up hope, there could be another one out there that does.

It is important to remember that even the most effective ADHD/ADD medication isn’t magic. It won’t suddenly fix every behavioral issue and focus problem that your child has. It can simply make them far more manageable. It’s important to destigmatize using medication early in their lives. There is nothing wrong with taking it, it simply helps with a condition. It’s the exact same as a diabetic who takes insulin, or an asthmatic who has an inhaler.  

Get Help

There is absolutely nothing wrong with needing a little help when you are raising a child with ADHD/ADD. It can be absolutely exhausting at times. You have to deal with far more behavioural issues, both at home and in school. You need to teach them how to manage their condition. You must make sure that they get the support they need to maintain a healthy level of self-esteem. Family and friends can be a huge help, so long as they understand the condition. There are many support groups out there that your doctor may be able to direct you to. And, of course, there is the internet where you can find messages boards and forums full of other parents who are also raising children with ADHD/ADD. Just talking to them might help, as it’s important to remember that you are not alone.

Although I tend to work with adults who need ADD/ADHD coaching, please feel free to contact me about advice on how proper ADHD/ADD support when someone is young can pay huge dividends when they become adults.

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Managing Post-Secondary School while Struggling with ADD/ADHD

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Managing Post-Secondary School while Struggling with ADD ADHD

As soon as a teenager enters into their last year of high school, you can bet they start counting down the days until they head off to university. They will finally get to move out of their parents’ house! They will get to meet new people! They can finally be adults! And then they graduate from high school and the reality starts to dawn on them… “Wait, I have to move out of my parents’ house? I have to meet new people? I have to be an adult?!”

For those with ADD/ADHD, university and college can be even more stressful when many of their coping mechanisms are suddenly stripped away as they are on their own for the first time. The first few months of school can be especially difficult, but here are a few suggestions that might help you develop new systems and coping mechanisms for this exciting and unfamiliar environment.

Being Away from Home for the First Time

When most kids leave home for the first time in their lives, they suddenly have to deal with things like dirty clothes on the floor, a disaster zone in their kitchen, and the dreaded freshman fifteen. When kids with ADD/ADHD leave home, they may have to deal with managing their condition by themselves for the first time. In the rush of university life, this can lead to medications being missed, coping mechanisms being forgotten, and extremes of behavior becoming more pronounced.

The best way to make sure that you never forget to take your medication (if you do take something) is to set an alarm on your phone to remind you. Then set another alarm for fifteen minutes later to remind you again, just in case you instinctively turn the first alarm off. Make sure that you set the alarms for a time when you won’t be in class. Early morning or lunch are two very popular times.

Controlled Substances

Although alcohol and other controlled recreational substances may have been available when you were in high school, odds are they will be beyond plentiful in university. There are many, many, MANY freshmen university students who overindulge during parties, with their grades and educational success suffering as a result.

Many of those suffering from ADD/ADHD often use recreational substances as a coping mechanism, which, more often than not, makes matters far worse. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t enjoy yourself in university, but you should try to be hyper aware of how these recreational substances affect you and monitor and ration their use.

The Workload

Sadly, high schools rarely prepare kids for the realities of university or college. The workload tends to build up quickly, both in terms of amount and difficulty, leaving many kids feeling overwhelmed. For someone with ADD/ADHD, this mountain of work can feel completely insurmountable, but there are methods that can help you manage and get through.

First, make sure that your school knows that you have ADD/ADHD. Many schools offer specialized programs that can help ADD/ADHD students deal with the workload to release some of the pressure. If you require a specialized learning plan, talk to your professor for guidance at the beginning of the term. Don’t wait until later when you are already overwhelmed.

Next, you want to schedule within an inch of your life. It can be easy enough to lose track of time under normal circumstances. During times of panic, it can seem infinitely worse. Thankfully, post-secondary schools are usually better organized than most high schools when it comes to giving you important dates. On the very first day of your classes, make sure that you get a schedule from the professor with every important date listed, such as project due dates and exams. Then make sure you put these dates into your calendar, with lots of reminders built in. This will help give your school year a structure that you can refer to whenever you feel a little lost about how much time you have left to do what.

Making Friends

Making friends can be a difficult prospect for those with ADD/ADHD. You might feel like you talk too much, or like you don’t have anything in common with others, or you just might be too nervous to introduce yourself.

Well, let me let you in on a little secret about college… Everybody is scared. Everyone is terrified that they won’t make any friends, that they will hate their roommate, that they will be a social outcast. Even the ones that seem like social butterflies are secretly nervous as heck. So, don’t worry about your nerves because you are in good company!

Thankfully, post-secondary schools usually have a frosh week prior to classes starting. They are usually made up of icebreakers and activities designed to allow freshmen to get to know each other in low-pressure, and often very silly, social situations. Take advantage of frosh week by doing all of the activities and meeting as many people as you can. This can be exhausting, but also can be a lot of fun.

For many people, post-secondary school can one of the best times of their life. They make lifelong friends, get started on their chosen career, and begin to become their own person away from their parents. Just because you suffer from ADD/ADHD doesn’t mean that you should be denied this incredible experience. Creating new ways of dealing with your condition while trying to balance both the workload and social side of school can be difficult, but believe me, you can do it. If you need a little help, I would be happy to help guide you through with ADD/ADHD coaching, teaching you time management and focusing skills that will give you a major leg up to both survive and thrive at university!

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ADD/ADHD: The Discovery of Strengths that You Already Have

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Tereasa Jones - ADD/ADHD: The Discovery of Strengths that You Already Have

I’ve met so many incredible people over my years of ADD/ADHD coaching. They are some of the strongest and most resilient people you could ever imagine. When we talk about ADD/ADHD, we often focus on all of the downsides of the condition: the social anxiety, the inability to focus, not being able to ever be on time, etc. However, there are some unique strengths that also can come along with the ADD/ADHD package. These strengths, if properly utilized and harnessed, can boost natural talents and abilities, while also potentially making the condition somewhat easier to deal with on the whole. Every person in the world is a collection of strengths and weaknesses, the only difference with ADD/ADHD is those traits tend to be a little more… intense!

But first, let me get something out of the way right at the top. ADD and ADHD are serious conditions that millions have to deal with every day. These conditions can cause tremendous strain on relationships, careers, and life in general. This article isn’t meant to look at the “bright side” of the condition. There are a ton of articles out there on the internet that try to put a positive spin on having ADD/ADHD, and they usually ending up being quite offensive. That is not my intention. Let me also say that not everyone’s ADD/ADHD symptoms are identical. When we are looking at the symptoms and side effects in this blog, you might suffer from all of them, none of them or, most likely, a mix.

Resilience

Resilience is something that sufferers of ADD/ADHD tend to have in spades. Having to deal with these conditions your entire life can certainly wear you down, but they can also makes you stronger. For people with ADD/ADHD, dealing with setbacks, bad days, and frustrating experiences is just par for the course. A bad day that would stop an average person dead in their tracks might be water off a duck’s back for someone with ADD/ADHD.

Conversation

Silent moments and awkward pauses can be the death of interesting conversations. One perceived symptoms of ADD/ADHD, that of constant conversation or “chattering”, can be a strength if harnessed properly. When you have a conversation with someone with ADD/ADHD, there is rarely ever an awkward pause in the conversation because the ADD/ADHD sufferer will already have been racing ahead to the next topic, the next interesting point. It’s never boring talking with someone with ADD/ADHD!

Hyperfocus

While this isn’t necessarily a trait shared by everyone with ADD/ADHD, hyperfocus can be a boon for some. The average person, when confronted by a task, often looks for distractions to keep them from their work. YouTube is like poison for these people. Hyperfocus allows many with ADD/ADHD to complete a project they are interested in with directness and concentration, almost cutting out the world around them until the project is done. If used properly, this trait can actually lead to hyper productivity, a major strength in most career situations!

Creativity

Some might argue that ADD/ADHD are the most creative individuals in the world. This can be a huge advantage in almost every industry. With a constantly racing brain, they can often find solutions to problems that others might miss. If they are an artist, their inventive mind can allow for a level of originality and inspiration that other artists spend their entire lives striving for.

The traits listed above would be considered by most people to be huge personality strengths, ones that they would love to have. Of course, they don’t need to deal with the other side of the ADD/ADHD equation. Learning to work with and harness these positive ADD/ADHD traits can be difficult, but finding the power and strength in your condition is an outstanding way of learning to deal with it on the whole. As everyone’s ADD/ADHD is different, individualized coaching can be an excellent way identify your own personal strengths and learn how you can use them to overcome challenges and obstacles, while empowering yourself to take back control of your condition and your life.

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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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