Archives for November 2009

ADHD and Sleep Problems: Solved!

If you want to listen to this article, click here.

ADHD and sleep problems often go hand in had when you have Adult ADHD. The reasons vary from not being able to switch your mind off to the medication you are taking. If you have ADHD and sleep problems, then no caffeine near bedtime and no stimulating brain activities two hours before bed are all tips you are familiar with. This article addresses other strategies for a good night’s sleep.

Fresh Air

Fresh air is a great way to experience deep, satisfying sleep. It is easy to spend the day going from one man-made environment to the next. We make these environments pleasant with heating or air conditioning, and can go from home, to the car, to work, to the gym and back home without ever spending much time breathing in fresh air. It’s important to ensure you get fresh air into your lungs during the day. Also, leave your bedroom window open a little at night to keep the fresh air entering your body even while you sleep.
Essential Oils

Essential oils can have a powerful effect on the body and lavender oil has been found to be helpful when it comes to sleep. Scientific evidence has shown that lavender oil encourages relaxation, reduction of anxiety and improvement of the quality of sleep. Plus it’s very easy to use. You can pop a couple of drops of the oil into your bath before bed or pour a few drops on a handkerchief and tuck it inside your pillow case.
Get a Great Mattress

Mattresses are the most important item of furniture in your home. Not only is it the item you use the most, if you aren’t getting a good night’s sleep then the quality of your whole life is affected. Everyone has their own preference of what a comfortable mattress is – hard, soft, medium, etc. When you are choosing a mattress, take into account your preferences and also remember it’s hard to sleep when your mattress is too small for your body size.
BeddingMake sure your bedding is made of natural fibres rather than synthetic choices. This is because it’s important that your body can breathe at night, and that it can regulate your temperature. If you become too hot you will sweat and if you become too cool you will shiver, both of which disturb your sleep. Cotton, wool and even silk are great choices.
Body and Mind

If your day didn’t stretch and stimulate you mentally and physically, your ability to both fall and stay asleep will be affected. So make sure you tax your brain and your body every day. That could be taking up a new physical activity or joining a club or doing the New York Times crossword.

The ADHD Coach action steps for getting a good night’s sleep are

  1. Spend time each day breathing in fresh air.
  2. Open your bedroom window a little.
  3. Buy some lavender oil.
  4. Assess your mattress… is it time for a new one?
  5. Check your bedding. If it’s man-made, invest in some new linen.
  6. Set yourself a mental and physical challenge every day.

Sweet dreams.

 

newsletter_footer-2

Beating ADHD Procrastination.

If you would like to listen to this week’s article, click here.

Beating ADHD Procrastination

© Stevanovicigor | Dreamstime.com

ADHD procrastination is one of the biggest complaints I hear as an ADHD Coach. There are many reasons why people with ADHD procrastination and sometimes procrastination can even be useful. However, usually procrastination doesn’t make you feel good. You feel lazy, unproductive and the thought of the unfinished task looms heavily on your mind, spoiling any enjoyment doing other activities.

While it is not a new idea, breaking big projects or tasks into small, manageable chunks is a great way to beat procrastination and get things done. Evidence that this idea has been around for hundreds of years I the Chinese proverb that states “A journey of 1,000 miles starts with just one step.” A seemingly impossible journey that appears overwhelming at first can be broken down into simple stages and completed. After all, you know how to take a single step, then after that you take another. Take enough single steps and you are there! Mission accomplished. When you think of a task like this, then you can do ANYTHING. It’s a very empowering thought. A modern saying in the same vein is “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

When I was little I wasn’t a good eater. I would look at a plate of food and not know where to start, so I would barely touch any of the food on my plate. My mum realized this and would put a small portion on a side plate, which I would be able to eat and then she would put another small portion on the side plate and I would eat that too.

When something seems so big it seems impossible, just focus on a small part you are working on. Don’t start thinking about everything you still have to do because that will make you feel overwhelmed and  you will freeze (which has the same outcome as procrastination).

So the next time  you are faced with procrastination and resistance to starting a project, follow these steps:

  1. On a piece of paper or on your computer, break the project down into steps.
  2. If one of the parts still feels overwhelming, it’s because it needs to be broken down further. The idea is to make each item so small that it’s no longer painful. For example, if your project is to send your CV to Mr. X, here is what your action list would look like:
    1. Find CV on my computer
    2. Print CV out
    3. Address envelope to Mr. X
    4. Put CV into envelope
    5. Go to the post office to buy stamps
    6. Stick stamps onto envelope
    7. Post off the CV

    While you might feel a bit stupid for breaking the project down into such tiny steps, e.g. stick stamps on to envelope, please don’t. It doesn’t matter how basic each step is. What matters is that you are moving forward on a project that is important to you.

  3. As you are working through each step, don’t worry about the next step. Or step number ten. When you get to that step, you will be able to do it.
  4. Tick each step off when you have completed it. The sense of accomplishment keeps you moving forward.

As always, celebrate your success of a job well done!

Symptoms of ADHD

If you would like to listen to this article, click here.

Did you know that one out of four adults with ADHD suffer with depression? This is a higher rate than for the rest of the population. While depression it isn’t one of the primary symptoms of ADHD like hyperactivity is or inattention, it is often present in an adult with ADHD life. Depression can have a mysterious cloak around it, however, it helps to know that there are two types. “Primary Depression” is hereditary and you can feel depressed without there being a trigger or reason why you are depressed. “Secondary Depression” is the result of a trigger, perhaps because you are struggling with ADHD, repeatedly feeling like a failure despite great efforts to live up to society’s standards of what is “normal.”

When you are feeling low and depressed, your normal habits are affected. You lose interest in things that were previously appealing to you. Sleeping seems like the most enticing activity in the world, or becomes a battlefield as you endure insomnia. Exercise gets pushed aside (it seems to take too much energy), and healthy meals are replaced with comfort food. You no longer pick up the phone to chat with friends because that too is not longer appealing, and you feel as if you have nothing interesting to say. Your home becomes cluttered and messy because even taking the garbage out becomes a huge task. Before you know it, you life has become work, TV and sleep.

If this describes you and it’s been over two weeks, you need to make an appointment with your doctor and explain how you are feeling. If you are on anti-depressants and you have taken a bit of a downward turn, visit your doctor again. It’s important they know how you are doing. As well as seeing a medical doctor, you might want to consider visiting a psychologist too. Talk therapy is a very powerful tool.

In addition to visiting medical staff, there are things you can do to make yourself feel more like your old self.

Nutrition has a powerful effect on your mood. While pizza will make you feel good for a night or two, its feel-good factor is short term. It is time to start replacing comfort food with some REAL feel-good food. If the thought of cooking yourself a healthy meal seems too complex, start small. Have a goal of eating one piece of fruit a day, then increase that to two.

Exercise is incredibly good for us, both mentally and physically. However, even if you were a gym bunny before, don’t set yourself up for failure by expecting to be able to jump in where you were before. Start with a 30 minute walk a day. Walking is not only relatively painless, it helps you crave healthy food AND makes you feel good.

Next, get back to taking your supplements. If you only take one, choose Omega 3. It’s fabulous for your ADHD and it does wonders for your mood too.

Now take a peak in the mirror. Is there anything that will make you feel better? I know one man who had let his hair and beard grow really long and only washed them occasionally. When he shaved and had a haircut it affected his mood in a very positive way. What would your version of this be?

Have you let simple pleasures go? Like listening to music, doing a Sudoku puzzle, playing with your pet, etc. Create a list of all those things that you loved to do and then start to do one thing every day.

In terms of your environment, phase one, at the very least, take out the garbage. You deserve to live in a smell-free, hygienic place.

Phase two, move every piece of clutter on the floor UP. People who are depressed put things on the floor and this adds to depression. You don’t need to do anything with those belongings for now as long as they are on counter space, tables, etc. and not on the floor.

Phase three is to do 15 minutes of either housework or organizing every day. You will be amazed at how good you feel about yourself after you have done this, no matter how hard it was to start.

Once you have been doing these things, you will be ready to start socializing again. Being with people is key because we are social beings who thrive on human interactions. So reach out again to your friends. Chatting to people online might be fun, but you need to get out there and meet people in real life. Start slowly – a short visit is fine. Spending time with people who are fun for you is key. Don’t meet with people who drain your energy or make you feel guilty.

Don’t feel bad for “wasting” X number of days/weeks/months feeling depressed and not “doing” anything. That is not helpful and makes you feel worse. The main thing is that you are shifting things now.

When you have begun to implement these steps, even if you didn’t feel like it at the time, you will start to feel better, either directly afterwards or over time.

Try not to let symptoms of ADHD get to you. Remember, you are incredibly awesome, even on the days you don’t feel like you are and

The information in this article does not replace a medical intervention in anyway. When you are feeling depressed it’s imperative that you visit your doctor.

The information in this article does not replace a medical intervention in anyway. When you are feeling depressed it’s imperative that you visit your doctor.

Four Coaching Spots Available

If you would like to listen to this message, click here.

I am writing to you because I wanted to let you know that four coaching spots (there were five but one literally just got filled) are currently available to work one-on-one with me.

As you know, I work with adults with Attention Deficit Disorder. What you might NOT know is all the wonderful benefits people have reported experiencing during our one-on-one coaching sessions. Below are the 35 most common things I hear clients report… in no particular order 🙂

  1. Hope that things can and will get better
  2. Find their natural gifts and talents
  3. Appreciate their talents (when something is easy, it doesn’t mean it’s not valuable and that everyone can do it)
  4. Increase self-esteem… feeling better about who they are
  5. Feel happier
  6. Get a better understanding of what ADHD is
  7. Feel a huge sense of relief when they realize a challenge they are experiencing is very common with people with ADHD
  8. Become more efficient and effective at work and at home
  9. Feel less stressed
  10. Keep on top of their to-do list
  11. Take care of themselves physically
  12. Take care of themselves emotionally
  13. Feel less angry
  14. Gain control of life
  15. Feel calmer
  16. Organize their living space
  17. Create new habits to replace old ones that weren’t working
  18. Reduce procrastination
  19. Reduce feeling overwhelmed
  20. Reduce feelings of frustration
  21. Achieve goals, personally and professionally
  22. Increase productivity
  23. Improve relationships with friends, family, spouse
  24. Feel on top of school work
  25. Get a handle of finances
  26. Increase enjoyment in life
  27. Help life to slow down
  28. Feel less anxiety
  29. Feel less sadness, less feeling blue
  30. Lose weight
  31. Have more energy
  32. Develop better sleep habits
  33. Develop better communication skills
  34. Become better at managing their time
  35. Feel like a proactive player in their life

One client reported:

“When I left your office, I felt I had wings, I felt happy and light and… looking towards a better tomorrow. I feel more alive than I have felt in years, like an overcast sky opening up to the sunshine.”

So if this appeals to you and you would like to be one of the four new clients in my coaching program, send me an email at Jacqueline@untappedbrilliance.com with the word “coaching spots” in the title and I will make sure you get a coaching application form as soon as possible.

Looking forward to connecting with you really soon!

Warmly,
Jacqueline