Archives for February 2010

Celebrate Your Life

Adults with ADHD often dislike their birthdays. It’s a reminder that their life isn’t where they want it to be compared to the lives of their non ADD friends.  It could be that they are really bad at remembering other peoples birthdays, so don’t feel theirs deserves to be remembered.  Or, the universal concern, that they don’t like how the passing of years is affecting their body. Or maybe, their self esteem is low and don’t feel they want to have a lot of fuss. Birthdays are symbolic and worthy of celebrating. It’s a chance to celebrate your life, so why not create an extra special day for yourself?

In the western world birthdays are often celebrated with cakes, gifts, flowers, cards and balloons. However it is your day, so you get to choose how to celebrate it to reflect your own tastes and style.   Here are some ideas how you can start to enjoy your birthdays again.

1. Take the day off work.

2. Take a few minutes to reflect on your last year achievements, things that you did, experienced, etc. You will always be surprised at how much you did.

3. Plan some things you would like to do in the next year, start a new hobby, etc.

4. Allow others to pamper and spoil you.

5. Have a birthday party so that you can be with those that you love the most. It’s fine to host it for yourself.

6. Create a wonderful memory on your birthday. Do something that you will remember forever.

7. Think back to when you were little, what did you look forward to about your birthday? A birthday cake? Balloons? Whatever it was make sure you include that in your day this year.

8. Today is the day that others get to show you how special you are to them. No matter how hard this is for you, let them.

9.  If noticing your body aging is upsetting you check out www.realage.com This will empower you to start turning back the aging clock.

10. If you feel you are behind in life, write down the areas of your life that give you this feeling. This will give you a base to take action. For example, if you write financial, book an appointment with a financial adviser to create plan.

When you celebrate your day, make it special for yourself, as well as enjoying the attention from your loved ones.  You will feel loved and rejuvenated and ready to make the next year an incredible one.

Don't Forget Those Talents

As an adult with ADHD, it is very easy to focus on your weaknesses and areas “to be worked on.” So much thought can be given to these areas that it’s easy to forget about your talents. Many adults with ADHD are humble to a fault and dismiss their talents because they come so easily. Naturally, they don’t feel they can be proud of these traits, or that they aren’t valuable. Nothing could be further from the truth. When you notice what you are good at, you can spend more time utilizing your strengths and less time worrying about your weaknesses.

Just like adults without ADHD, there are many strengths you might have. Here are just five examples of things that might resonate with you.

  1. High Energy    If you have the hyperactivity component of ADHD, it might have diminished a little compared to when you were a child, but it’s way more than most people! When channeled on one project, you can work for hours and in a way that leaves people without ADHD both exhausted and in awe of you.
  2. Hyperfocus    When something captures your attention, you can focus on it for hours. The ability to mentally tune out distractions and become so focused means you can get a lot done, as well as have a huge sense of satisfaction afterwards. This is similar to what Czech psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls “Flow.” Time disappears and your actions flow from you.
  3. Creativity    You think outside the box and aren’t constricted by the “norm” and what has traditionally been done. This can be great in any situation, from an office brainstorming session to decorating your house to creating a new invention that can positively change the world.
  4. Sense of Humor    As an adult with ADHD, there is a high chance that you have a good sense of humor. Humor comes in many packages: loud, boisterous Jim Carey types or quieter, witty types. Finding humor in everyday situations makes the world a happier place. People with ADHD often have a ready smile and can be funny as well as appreciative of other people’s humor.
  5. Sensitivity    Adults with ADHD tend to be a sensitive bunch. Sensitivity is not a trait that is glorified in our culture, but it is a wonderful quality. It means you can easily relate to other people, have a natural empathy to how they are feeling and are able to act accordingly. It also means that you are a good judge of character, which in turn has many benefits too.

This Weeks Actions

  1. What talents come easily to you? Remember, they might be so effortless to you that you don’t value them. If you aren’t sure, ask close friends and family to help you identify them.
  2. For each of the five points above, ask yourself:
    • Is this a trait I have?
    • When have I noticed/experienced it recently?
    • How could I maximize this trait and use it more to my advantage?
  3. Notice how your life becomes more enjoyable and effortless when you work with your strengths.

The Groundhog Day Cycle

February 2nd is Groundhog Day. The tradition is that if the groundhog sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter.

The 1993 movie Groundhog Day has Bill Murray playing a grumpy meteorologist who covers a story on Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Murray hates the town and its cheery residents, so when he gets struck living the same day again and again, it’s somewhat of a nightmare.

The interesting thing is that many of us experience our own Groundhog Day effect. We live out the same day after day. We repeat things again and again, even if they make us miserable and unhealthy. We want change and even promise ourselves, “Okay, so tomorrow I will do…” But actual change doesn’t happen because habits are so entrenched in our lives. Creating new ones feels particularly impossible, even though in our head, the new ideas look and feel great.

Four years ago, I knew there were some BIG changes I needed to make. I thought about them for months and finally I changed one thing. I moved offices from a shared space to my very own. Once I made one big change in my life, the resistance to change had been broken. That same month, I ended a long-term relationship and moved houses. While these changes were big ones, yours don’t need to be. Take a few minutes now to think about what changes you would like in your life. What changes in your life do you need to make so you aren’t experiencing your very own Ground Hog Day? More exercise? More fun? Less stress? Start a new hobby, get a new job, meet some new friends?

If making changes in your life is really hard, start small. Making a big change, such as finding a new job, can be scary, particularly if you have been in the same position for a long time. Start to shake things up, but in a gentle, non-threatening way. Don’t do anything about moving jobs until you feel inspired or excited. Start making changes in your life that are completely unrelated to the new job. Move some furniture around at home, try a new recipe, mix up your routine at the gym, order a different meal at your favourite restaurant, read a book by a new author. This way you are building up your “change muscle.” Your body and mind will become used to new and different things and then bigger changes will become easy and often fun and exciting.

Change is revitalizing, refreshing and it boosts your self-esteem and confidence. It can also make us happier and more youthful?

What small change are you going to implement tomorrow to break out of your Groundhog Day?

ADHD Websites

 

As an ADHD coach I am always looking for helpful resources that will help the your  symptoms of adult ADHD. Below are 3 helpful site to make your life easy and even fun.While they aren’t specifically designed as ADHD websites they do target areas of life that many adults with ADHD struggle with.
1)      www.passpack.com
Remembering things is a real challenge for adults with ADHD.  Passpack is  simple tool that is designed solely for  you to store  all your passwords and user names for all your favourite websites. It’s secure, free, and can be accessed from every computer you use. A word of warning, don’t forget your password to Passpack!!!..because of its secure nature, if you forget this password there is no way to retrieve it.
 
2)      www.zip.ca
  Adults with ADHD love watching movies. Perhaps because it’s a good way to escape your busy mind for a couple of hours, or if you are watching a movie at home it keeps you company and makes doing mundane tasks more interesting. However it is easy  return movies late and then incur late fees.
There are companies now that send your chosen movies to you in the mail box. You watch it and return it in a pre-paid envelope. No late fees, and there are 1000’s of movies to choose from. If you live in Canada,  Zip.ca is a great service. If you live in another country google ‘movies delivered to your door’ and a similar service will be listed.
 
3)      www.freecycle.org
Clutter is a huge problem for adults with ADHD! One of the reasons clutter is hoarded in your home is that it can be hard to part with your belongings. Knowing that a special, but no longer used, item of yours is going to a good home really helps to release it. The phrase ‘one mans junk is another mans treasure’ is so true. Freecycle.org is a website that allows you to give an item of yours to a person in your area . The idea is that for every item that has found a new home, means one item less in a landfill. Word of warning.. this is a really great resource! and when you see what other people are giving away it can be tempting to want to add belonging to your home… Be mindful of this!
Your challenge this week is to visit each  these ADHD websites and see if you think it would be helpful to your life.