ADHD Stressing You Out? How to Gain Control Now!
Whether we’re anticipating the beginning of the school year, another long day at the office, or meeting consistent family demands, stress has a way of finding a constant place in our lives. Tack on living with challenges such as impulsivity, trouble focusing and poor organizational skills, stress comes with the territory.
Why Manage Stress When it Helps My ADHD?
Stress can help you focus on something that requires your immediate attention, which is good stress. It can kick the ADHD brain into full gear against a deadline. However, stress becomes debilitating when it wreaks havoc on your ability to act, think clearly, meet challenges, and enjoy life. Over time, living with ADHD can lead to feelings of overwhelm, hopelessness and loss of control, as well as co-existing mental health conditions.
But, no matter how stressful things can get, you can regain control.
Here are four ways to shift from overwhelm to calm.
Identify the Sources
• Start a journal to identify the stress you’re feeling.
• Log how you felt phsyically
• Write about how you felt and how you resolved the issue
• Notice any patterns over time
Many individuals with ADHD tend to impulsively take on too much and people-please. However well-intended, this can get you into a state of overwhelm. Learning how to say no and sticking to boundaries can get back control.
• Write down and commit to what’s most important
• Separate out the "should's"
• Tell a friend or loved one your boundaries, to hold yourself accountable
Balance Your Schedule
Make sure you align your schedule with tasks for yourself, including your self-care, social activities and down time. Take out tasks that can wait.
• Use a calendar to schedule activities that are important to you
• Select a weekly time slot for planning time
• "Parking lot" future tasks on a list that can wait for future calendaring
Connecting to others face-to-face counteracts the fight or flight stress reaction in the brain. Friendships make it possible to make time for fun and relaxation.
• Volunteer for a cause you believe in
• Ask a work colleague for lunch or a drink after work
• Work out with a friend or someone you met at the gym
• Take a class to develop an interest
To sum up, no matter how stressful things get, you can regain control:
• Identify the sources
• Say No
• Balance Your Schedule
• Build Your Relationships
Experiment and let me know how it goes for you!
PS. Need more assistance managing the stress and overwhelm living with ADHD?
Contact me for an ADHD Strategy Assessment and we can talk about a plan you can put into place now!
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