Coping Strategies for being home all day with ADHD

I just finished my twice-a-month meeting with the Ann Arbor ADHD Group – online of course.
We shared advice on how we’re coping with being in the house 24X7. I combined that with things I’ve learned elsewhere and wanted to share them with you:
– Do something physical at least once a day. Take a walk around the block, turn on some music and dance, take the shirts off the stationary bike and ride it!
– Make sure you are on top of your meds. Get refills promptly. Stay on top of what’s happening with your doctor’s office, with your pharmacy, etc about our access to the medications we need.
– Be mindful about how much news you’re watching. You know we have a tendency to hyperfocus and to ruminate, to run ourselves around in circles, and a constant diet of bad news doesn’t help that.
– Register for texts from local and state agencies who will text you news that you really need to know.
– Reconnect with family and friends on the phone, online, and on social media platforms.
– Make that connection with people you’ve been meaning to get in touch with. Do it now!
– If you’re working from home, keep normal working hours. Get up, shower, get dressed, and focus on work.
– Take mental breaks during the day. Set timers.
– One helpful technique for mental breaks is to have some short pieces memorized. Sit back, close your eyes, and repeat them in your head. Short poems. Prayers. Meditations. Something to let your mind relax.
– Download a mindfulness app, or find an online group. If you want to try it yourself, the main thing to remember is that it’s about paying attention to what you are doing. It’s not “empty mind” or “perfect relaxation”. It’s just watching what you’re doing.
– Make sure you are eating right. If you’re outside less, you’re burning less calories, so you might want to cut back a little. Remember protein is important for the brain. Remember to NOT make it feel like deprivation, but intelligent choices.
– Find a way to put structure in your day. Seek out online groups that are meeting regularly so you have something to look forward to.
– Don’t isolate yourself. Yes, socially distancing is important, but make sure that doesn’t lead you to being completely alone. Connect on social media, phone, etc.
– Establish times of the day when everyone in the house will get together to check in.
– Establish times of the day when you are guaranteed some alone time.
– Play some games, online or in person, and keep your mind active!
Stay healthy and keep sharing what you learn.

Diversity – what we can learn from biodiversity

Years ago, I read a very good article about diversity. It started by talking about diversity among humans, but expanded the discussion to talk about diversity in general. I’ve always believed it’s important to have different types of . . . everything! . . .  and it was good to see a scientific argument for it, rather than just an argument from aesthetics or human rights. I don’t recall where the original article came from (I’m pretty sure I found it while I was researching seed banks), but I ran across one recently that made many of the same points. Hope you like it.

 

https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/blogs/why-biodiversity-big-deal

Thoughts About ADHD/Day 19-28 – Thoughts about These Missing Posts (2019 ADHD Awareness Month)

October is ADHD Awareness Month and during that month, I’ll be doing daily posts to share some of what I’ve learned about ADHD. I’ll post some of my favorite books, articles and websites, as well as some of my own thoughts about living with ADHD.

My last post here was on Friday, October 18, which means that I missed my target of “doing daily posts through the month of October”.

Which means … what exactly?

One way to look at it is to say “yep, that’s typical ADHD behavior: it sounded really exciting at the end of September and less exciting on the 18th, so I just flaked out.”

Another way to think of it is just to smile and say “well, the odds of it happening were slim anyway and wow! I got through 18 days, so that’s really pretty good!”

Both of the above have some truth to them, but neither of them feel exactly right. What happened was a combination of things. Some new things came up, some things I wanted to do took longer than I had planned, and I spent a little time reconnecting with some old friends. I feel good about being able to rearrange my priorities to support those things, even if it meant giving up some others (like this).

I think that’s an important lesson for us ADDers. Sometimes it’s OK not to follow through on something. And, yes, I know how dangerous that is to say to someone with ADHD, but that commitment didn’t affect anyone but me, and I’m OK with the change.

Thoughts About ADHD/Day 18 – ADHD and Sleep (2019 ADHD Awareness Month)

October is ADHD Awareness Month and during that month, I’ll be doing daily posts to share some of what I’ve learned about ADHD. I’ll post some of my favorite books, articles and websites, as well as some of my own thoughts about living with ADHD.

Yawn… Stretch.. OK, ready to go!

It’s 2 a.m. One part of my brain is telling me to go to sleep. It told me that at 11:30, 11:45, then once more just a little after 1. I would expect it to give up, but no. It tried again just now.

It’s easy to ignore, especially since I don’t feel tired. I did back around 10:30 but that was too early to go to bed! And now that I have my second wind, I know I wouldn’t fall asleep anyway.

Sound familiar? For a lot of us ADDers, it is.

A lot has been written in the last few year about the relationship between ADHD and sleep. “Does sleep deprivation cause ADHD?” “Does ADHD cause sleep deprivation?” “Is one misdiagnosed as the other?” I haven’t read a lot about it, but what I’ve read tells me we have a way to go before we have a good answer.

One thing is clear though: for me (and a lot of others), these things are both part of me. It’s not all that important to me if I know which causes which. I need to work on both of them.

As you can see (it’s now 2:20 a.m.), I’m not there yet. But, I’m going to bed as soon as I finish this.

Really…well, one more thing. Here are a few links to get you started learning about this.

ADHD or Sleep Disorder: Are We Getting It Wrong?

The Relationship Between ADHD and Sleep

ADHD and Sleep Problems: Why You’re Always So Tired

Thoughts About ADHD/Day 17 – ADHD and Relationships [3 of 3] (2019 ADHD Awareness Month)

October is ADHD Awareness Month and during that month, I’ll be doing daily posts to share some of what I’ve learned about ADHD. I’ll post some of my favorite books, articles and websites, as well as some of my own thoughts about living with ADHD.

This is the 3rd and final post linking to a series of articles I wrote in 2018 recapping some of the things I’ve learned hosting ADDA’s non-ADHD Partner Peer Support Group. This group is still active, and if you think it would be helpful for you, check out the list of Virtual Support Groups offered free for ADDA members.

Article 3: Actions and Additudes – 7 Relationship Strategies for Non-ADHD Partners

 

Thoughts About ADHD/Day 16 – Video Clip Wednesday (2019 ADHD Awareness Month)

October is ADHD Awareness Month and during that month, I’ll be doing daily posts to share some of what I’ve learned about ADHD. I’ll post some of my favorite books, articles and websites, as well as some of my own thoughts about living with ADHD.

Wednesdays and Saturdays, I’m going to share with you some videos I’ve made over the last few years that are related – in one way or another – to ADHD.

Here’s a video my daughter Lisa and I made back in 2013 about my ADHD through her eyes.

Thoughts About ADHD/Day 15 – ADHD and Relationships [2 of 3] (2019 ADHD Awareness Month)

October is ADHD Awareness Month and during that month, I’ll be doing daily posts to share some of what I’ve learned about ADHD. I’ll post some of my favorite books, articles and websites, as well as some of my own thoughts about living with ADHD.

This is the 2nd post linking to a series of articles I wrote in 2018 recapping some of the things I’ve learned hosting ADDA’s non-ADHD Partner Peer Support Group. This group is still active, and if you think it would be helpful for you, check out the list of Virtual Support Groups offered free for ADDA members.

Article 2: Non-ADHD Partners Ease Their Loneliness

 

Thoughts About ADHD/Day 14 – ADHD and Relationships [1 of 3] (2019 ADHD Awareness Month)

October is ADHD Awareness Month and during that month, I’ll be doing daily posts to share some of what I’ve learned about ADHD. I’ll post some of my favorite books, articles and websites, as well as some of my own thoughts about living with ADHD.

These next 3 posts are links to a series of articles I wrote in 2018, recapping some of the things I’ve learned hosting ADDA’s non-ADHD Partner Peer Support Group. This group is still active, and if you think it would be helpful for you, check out the list of Virtual Support Groups offered free for ADDA members.

Article 1: We All Want to be Heard

 

Thoughts About ADHD/Day 13 – ADHD and Improv [3 of 3] (2019 ADHD Awareness Month)

October is ADHD Awareness Month and during that month, I’ll be doing daily posts to share some of what I’ve learned about ADHD. I’ll post some of my favorite books, articles and websites, as well as some of my own thoughts about living with ADHD.

In this series of 3 posts, I’m going to talk about 1) some reasons why Improv is great for those of us with ADHD, 2) how you can get up and started, and 3) some of my favorite games for ADHDers and why.

You’re ready to try some Improv but wondering which games are best for ADDers?

The following list of games are some that I think are particularly good for ADHD-wired brains. I looked for games that require you both to be present and to really intentionally focus your attention,

  • Zip, Zap, Zop – the energy might come to you next, so you have to always be watching
  • Mirror – you and your partner want to match as closely as possible, requires you are fully engaged
  • New Choice – you might think you know where the scene is going, but it can change at any time so you have to really focus
  • Speak in One Voice – this one is a lot of fun, especially when you try and speed it up
  • Remember that Vacation? – you pick up clues from each other and have to be careful not to contradict
  • Two-Headed Expert – a variation of One Word Story but there are only 2 of you

And finally, DOING 2 PERSON SCENES. This is where it all comes together. To be a good scene partner, you have to stay engaged and fully present the entire time, The two of you are building a world together and it really helps if you’re both build the same world.

There are a lot more Improv games out there you can try. Here’s my rule of thumb for ADHD-focused games: if you find that you can let your attention drift – even for a few seconds – and can still play the game, it probably shouldn’t be on this list.

One last word – remember that part of this is to have fun. So, if there are games you find that you enjoy but don’t meet “my” level for “ADHD-focused”, play them anyway. The community you’re building and the fun you’re having are well worth it.