Life Coaching with Tereasa Jones - Navigate the World of Relationships

Life Coaching with Tereasa Jones - Navigate the World of Relationships

Tereasa Jones

Coaching

Happy New Year: ADHD/ADD Goals for the Upcoming Year

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Happy New Year: ADHD/ADD Resolutions for the Upcoming Year

Happy New Year, almost!

The beginning of a brand new year is a blank slate, it’s a chance to start again! That’s why people make New Year’s Resolutions, because they want to make big changes in their lives. But the reality is that new year’s resolutions are rarely successful and are usually forgotten about by the middle of February. Why is this?

When most people come up with a New Year’s Resolution, more often than not, it is more of a wish that a goal. “I want to lose 15 lbs!” OK, how? “I want to double my income!” Right, by doing what exactly? Instead of resolving to take action to improve their lives, they just resolve to “do it” without a plan. They don’t bother to develop new habits and routines, they just sort of expect things to change by themselves. And, as someone who has ADD/ADHD, you know that if you want things to change, you have to work at them!

New Year’s Resolutions for sufferers of ADD/ADHD can be sources of stress and frustration, especially if you make one that is too ambitious. You might enter into the year with good intentions, but soon lose track of your resolution, just like everyone else does. So, instead of talking about resolutions, let’s talk about goals and the steps you need to take to reach them. Here are a few possible ADD/ADHD goals and strategies for the new year that, with work and effort, you can really change the quality of your life for the better!

Improve Your Sense of Time

It can be so easy to lose track of time when you have ADD/ADHD. You might get hyper-focused on a task and later discover that you were late for an appointment. Or you might simply lose track of time throughout the day because you are lacking a focused schedule. Whatever the reason, there are steps you can take in the new year to help improve your sense of time.

If you find yourself struggling to get ready for work, try to get up just a little earlier each morning. Even 15 minutes can make a huge difference. You actually have a little bit of help with this one, your morning alarm. Just set it to go off 15 minutes early every day!

Speaking of alarms, they can be very useful to keep you on track throughout the day. If you need to be at an appointment, set a reminder or alarm on your phone to go off with plenty of warning. Put alarms and reminders into your phone for your entire daily schedule. Basically, you will be just “outsourcing” your sense of time to your smartphone.

Start Keeping Track of Your Day

One thing that can be very helpful for those with ADD/ADHD is to keep track over what they did that day. Yes, “did”, as in past tense. This fits into the category of “gathering data”. It can be very helpful and enlightening to see what you’ve actually accomplished over the course of the average day. It might be more than you think!

If you look back and think, “Gee, I did nothing today…”, don’t beat yourself up. Take that newfound knowledge into tomorrow with an eye on how to improve on it. Compare your daily “to-do” list to your “finished” list, move items around, see when certain tasks are more likely to get done at certain points during the day. For example, you might discover that you prefer to do your laundry at night rather than the day. Maybe you will find that you tend to do the dishes in the morning, rather than the afternoon. By gathering data about your ADD/ADHD habits, you can start to see patterns of behavior that, when acknowledged, can be adapted and improved upon.

Get Help

This might seem like a fairly vague goal, almost a “resolution”, but if you aren’t already getting help, finding some can be one of the most important changes you can make in the new year.

Trying to tackle a condition like ADD/ADHD by yourself can be difficult, to put it mildly. Your symptoms and reactions can make you feel isolated, like you are different from other people. You might trouble forming lasting relationships with other people, romantically or platonically. Or maybe your current relationship is suffering because of your symptoms. This can further isolate you and keep you from seeking the help that you may need to better manage your symptoms or your emotional and mental state.

Help can take the form of an ADD/ADHD coach, a medical professional, a family member, or a friend. Sometimes, one can be the gateway to another. If you contacted me, for example, and we started talking about your ADD/ADHD symptoms and management strategies, I might direct you to talk to your family about some things that they can do to help you every day. I might suggest that you go to see a medical professional about getting some medication to better manage your symptoms. By just seeking out help from one person, you could start to develop an entire network of support.

You may also want to investigate joining an ADD/ADHD support group in your local area or online. By meeting others who suffer from the same condition, even if your exact symptoms are a bit different, you might discover a wider community of people and support that can help carry you through the new year and beyond.

 

Even if you don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions, January 1st is still a great starting place to make real, lasting changes to your life and outlook. As an experienced ADD/ADHD coach, I’ve helped many with ADD/ADHD develop concrete goals for their future and make some real, positive changes to their lives. If you’d like to talk about some other ways you can change your life for the better in the new year, please feel free to contact me.

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The Challenges of ADHD/ADD Over the Holidays

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The Challenges of ADHD/ADD Over the Holidays

Happy holidays to everyone out there!

So many people just can’t wait for this time of year. Many call it a winter vacation, even though there is usually very little relaxation associated with it. Indeed, for some, the holidays can be one of the most stressful times of the year. There is just so much to do, especially if your focus is being pulled in a hundred different directions by your ADD/ADHD. You need to find and buy presents for friends, decorate your home, send out cards, prepare meals, attend parties, get ready to see your family, and finish all of your work before the big day hits. That can be a heck of a lot of stress for anyone, let alone someone with ADD/ADHD. The really sad part about this is that the holidays are supposed to be fun! It’s a time of celebration of family and friends! So the question becomes, how can you manage your ADD/ADHD to effectively navigate the stressful challenges of the holidays?

Create a Holiday Schedule

Creating schedules and to-do lists are powerful strategies that many with ADD/ADHD use on a daily basis to help manage their lives. Schedules can give your day structure, it’s basically a road map to get you through everything that needs to be done.

At the beginning of December (or even earlier), create a schedule that you can follow over the next month, right up until New Year’s. Your schedule should be flexible to allow for bad days and unexpected events, while still laying out your path for the holidays. Try as best you can to keep your usual daily schedule in place for the majority of the month, with the understanding that you probably won’t be able to follow that routine on the actual holidays themselves.

Presents

One of the biggest pressures of the holidays is the feeling like you need to find the perfect gift for everyone in your life. You might have that feeling that, if only you put a little bit more thought in or searched a little more that you will figure it out. I have a suggestion for you: release yourself from the tyranny of the perfect gift! The people in your life will appreciate your presents, no matter what they are. It’s truly the thought that counts. If you want something that says, “I know what you like” without putting too much energy into individual presents, believe me, gift cards can be a blessing.

But if you do want to go on a present hunt, I recommend avoiding the mall, especially around Black Friday or closer to the holidays. It can be absolutely crazy and overwhelming for some people with ADD/ADHD. Using a variety of online retailers, such as Amazon, can be a huge relief. You don’t have to worry about braving the crowds, online retailers cut out all of the stress by just send the presents to you!

Holiday Cards

This one’s a bit of a double-edged sword. If you have the ability to become hyper-focused on activities, then doing your holiday cards might be a snap. You just sit down, sign your name on them, put them in envelopes, slap on a stamp, and head down to the mailbox. If, on the other hand, your ADD/ADHD presents itself with a lack of focus and an inability to keep your mind on track, then writing out holiday cards can seem like an almost impossible task.

So try this instead: eCards. There is absolutely nothing wrong with sending all of your friends and loved ones your holiday wishes in email form. This method doesn’t require you to sit down and focus for hours on end. All you need to do is write out a lovely holiday greeting, maybe add some digital graphics, and send them to everyone on your email list. There are also a ton of online holiday card services that can send a more polished “card” to your friends and family, often for a cost less than that of physical postage stamps.

Cooking

I actually talked a lot about a similar situation to the holiday dinner just a few weeks ago in ADD/ADHD Thanksgiving Management. I’ve always found it so odd that we pack the two big “family” cooking events so close together. You finally recover from the stress of one and BOOM, there is another one right behind.

One great way to cut down on the stress is to just not cook. If you have a big family, alternate Holiday and Thanksgiving dinners. That way, if you took care of Thanksgiving for your family, you can just head over to your relative or friend’s and gnaw on some turkey without any stress whatsoever!

Holiday Parties

Just say no.

Seriously, if you are feeling overwhelmed with the season, if you are having a bad day, if you are feeling scattered and the idea of heading out to a holiday party gives you chills, just say, “I’m sorry, I can’t make it. But I hope everyone has an amazing night!” It will instantly take the pressure off and you will feel much better.

Of course, this isn’t saying that you should use your ADD/ADHD as an excuse. If you genuinely want to go to a holiday party, even if you are feeling stressed out, then go! But don’t feel that you have to accept every holiday invitation that comes your way.

A lot of my holiday advice boils down to this, “Streamline the season”. When you have ADD/ADHD, you might feel like you want to do everything holiday related, but you just don’t have the time. By sitting down and taking stock of everything you NEED to do for the holidays, you can then figure out how much time you can invest in the things you WANT to do. Time-management: it’s the ADD/ADHD gift that keeps on giving!

If you’d like some more advice about how to manage the holidays when you have ADD/ADHD, please feel free to contact me. As an experienced ADD/ADHD coach, I’ve helped many people rediscover their love of the season, helping them figure out ways to get everything done. Remember, the holidays should be fun, so get rid of all of the unnecessary headaches and stresses and have a wonderful time!

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Strategies for Reading Books and Novels with ADD/ADHD

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Strategies for Reading with ADD/ADHD

Have you ever picked up a book, fully intending to read it, only to lose interest just a few pages in? Or have you ever been reading a book then your mind starts to wander, you space out, and then you suddenly realize you’ve read three pages but don’t remember a thing?

Reading with ADD/ADHD can be very difficult. You may struggle with memory issues, or you may feel like reading just takes way, way too much time. As per usually with ADD/ADHD, your personal experience could be very different when it comes to reading books. Some folks with ADD/ADHD can hyperfocus, allowing them to plow through an entire book in record time. Others can barely read a chapter before completely losing interest. There are a few different ADD/ADHD strategies that you can use to help your reading comprehension and maybe even get you to the point where reading can feel like a fun leisure activity!

Reading for Pleasure

For some people, reading for pleasure is the ultimate escape. They can get into a good book like a warm bath, spending hours in another world. For others, reading for pleasure can be extraordinarily boring. It’s just words on a page, how do you get into that? If you have ADD/ADHD, there is a good chance that reading for pleasure can seem like far more work than it is worth. But there are a few strategies that can help you to enjoy the experience.

Similar to many ADD/ADHD strategies, proper scheduling and time-management is key. Just sitting down to read can be very difficult if it is completely unstructured time. Schedule your reading, like you would anything else in your day. Or, instead of sitting down to read for an hour, give yourself goals. Say, “I’m going to read two chapters today.” and stick with that. If you find your focus keeps getting broken, you should take frequent breaks.

Many people look down on comic books as just for kids, but that is a very limited point of view. There are brilliant works of fiction that have been written in comic book form, and they can be perfect for adults with ADD/ADHD (or anyone else for that matter). Fairytale works like “Bone” by Jeff Smith or the superhero-deconstruction comic “Watchmen” by Alan Moore are considered to be classics, well worth a read. The mixture of words and pictures can help someone with ADD/ADHD maintain their focus, as there is more stimulation on the page than just letters. And, as comic books are usually released in monthly issues, they are already divided into easily manageable chunks.

Education

Struggling with reading can especially be a nightmare for students. The work can really pile up when you are in college or any other post-secondary education program, especially around exam time, making studying a major problem.

A great study tip is to make reading more active. Don’t just read the words on the page, try taking lots of notes as you read. Highlight things in a book to reinforce important passages. Reading out loud can be a great strategy for absorbing what you’re reading. It can be a bit slower, but if you really need to work to remember a passage, speaking it out loud will help you retain the information. Reading shouldn’t be a passive exercise, you should do things that help you get engaged with the words on the page.

Just like with reading for pleasure, make sure you schedule your reading and studying. Break everything up into more manageable chunks. If you find your attention wandering, move onto another subject rather than try to fruitlessly power through.

Audiobooks

Audiobooks are fantastic. Yes, they are a completely different method of “reading” than picking up a book, but that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable.

The great thing about “reading” an audiobook is that you can multitask while you do it. Need to clean the house? Put on an audiobook to listen to while you tidy up. Want to go for a walk or have some exercise? Toss on a pair of headphones before you go.

If you find the audiobook is going a bit too slow for you, most audiobook apps (like Audible or Apple Books) allow you to speed up the audio without changing the pitch of the reader. So you will be able to get through the book faster without it sounding like Alvin and the Chipmunks are reading it to you.

Here is another little secret about reading: the more you read, the easier it will become. It’s like a muscle, by training your brain, you will be able to improve your reading comprehension and speed. This is true for both people with and without ADD/ADHD. At first, it can be quite a struggle to get through a book, but the more you read, the better you will become at it. As an experienced ADD/ADHD coach, and someone who loves books, I love to help people learn strategies that will increase their enjoyment of reading. Please feel free to contact me today and we can get you started on the path of greater focus and control over your ADD/ADHD, especially when it comes to words on a page!

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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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