Single-Tasking and ADHD

Did you Know that Single-Tasking is the New Multi-tasking?

Multi-tasking is when you do 2 or more things at the same time, for example, talking on the phone while grocery shopping or, perhaps writing a report for work, checking emails, and doing your online banking.

If you have ADHD, there is a chance you are a master at multi-tasking. [Read more…]

Which Professionals Should I Work With When I have ADHD?

Which Professionals Should I work with when I have ADHD?When you have ADHD, it is good to create a professional support team. Each professional has their area of expertise and can help you in your quest to treat and manage your ADHD effectively.

Who you see and when will depend on where you are on your ADHD journey. A person who has been recently diagnosed might see more professionals at a greater frequency than someone who has been actively treating their ADHD for several years.
Also, ADHD is not a stagnant condition, it changes with age and can be affected by what is happening in your life. You might need more support when your life changes (a baby, new job, a relationship) than when your life is more settled. [Read more…]

Why Rest Days are Vital When You Have ADHD

Why Rest Days are Vital When You Have ADHDWhen you have ADHD, it’s very important to schedule regular recharge days. These are days where you don’t have to do anything except relax.  No commitments; no schedule.  If you are thinking, ‘But I don’t have time for that!’, I guarantee you do. Because if you don’t consciously schedule these types of days, then your body will make sure you get the rest you need anyway. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • Unable to move from the TV for 8 hours
  • Hours of mindless surfing on the internet when you sit down to work
  • Regularly getting sick with a cold or flu bug and having to rest for a few days
  • Unable to tear yourself away from a computer game, puzzle book or novel for hours

[Read more…]

The ADHD-Friendly Way to Make 2017 Awesome!

happynewyearWhen I was little and still trying to work out the concept of time, the days between Christmas and New Year were a bit of a puzzle to me. We had advent calendars that helped us to count down to the 25th. I knew that the 1st was a big deal because it was New Year’s Day. However, the days in between seemed to be floating days. No school, so no weekends to mark the usual passage of time. There was just a lot of time to play with new toys, eat mince pies and Christmas cake and see relatives that I didn’t see very often. [Read more…]

How to Make a Budget When You Have ADHD

How to Make a Budget When You Have ADHD
The definition of a budget is:

“A plan of how a certain amount of money will be spent during a period of time.”

Usually, the amount of money is your income and the amount of time is a calendar month.

Money management is one of those important life skills that we aren’t formally taught at school. Yet, if it doesn’t come naturally to you, there are negative consequences. ADHD adults find money management challenging because it requires attention to detail, organizing, planning into the future and impulse control. There can often be shame too; perhaps because you don’t feel in control of your finances, you don’t earn as much as your peers or you have debt.

A great step to taking control of your finances and becoming a money manager is to have a budget. I know that word can make you feel constrained and agitated. However, budgets aren’t a punishment.

Benefits of having a budget when you have ADHD:

  1. Empowers you to spend money on items and experiences that are important to you.
  2. Impulsive spending is reduced.
  3. Gives you a framework to help make decisions.
  4. Reduces worrying about money.
  5. Allows you to spend without guilt.
  6. Having rules to follow which feels empowering.
  7. Relief from shame about the topic of money and spending.
  8. Money doesn’t ‘disappear’;you know where it went!

As you are reading this, I am sure some ‘yeah, but’s’ are popping into your head. Maybe because you think:

  1. I am not good aMath.
    The maths involved in creating a budget are simple additions and subtractions. There are no complicated fractions or algebra.
  2. I don’t earn much money.
    You don’t have to wait until you earn a certain amount before learning how to be a money manager. In fact,it’s better to learn it now; for 2 reasons:a) When your income does increase,you will already have all the skills in place so it won’t just ‘disappear’.b) When you feel good about how you manage your money,your self-esteem improves, worry is reduced and you feel empowered. You don’t have to wait for a rainy day to experience these benefits.
  1. I have too much debt, I shouldn’t be spending anything.
    Even if you have debt, you still need to eat, and pay rent, etc. When you create a budget, it will allow you to pay the debt off faster and help you feel less guilt and shame day-to-day.
  2. I am too scared to ‘look’ at my finances.
    This is very common! Nevertheless, it is important to know what is happening in your financial life, no matter how scary it seem. I know quite a few ADHDers who did not dare look at their finances and as a result, the situation got scarier! For example, a $90 parking ticket became an $850 ticket because of late payments. An unpaid $35 store credit card, affected their credit rating, which had more negative consequences.

Whatever your objections to creating a budget are, it’s normal. Becoming confident in money management is as much an emotional issue as it is practical.

Here are some steps action steps:

Step 1 – Rename
Because the word “budget” is such a weighted word, the first step to creating one is to give yours a good name.
Here are a few suggestions:

  • Spending Game Plan
  • Project Money Management
  • Cash Flow Plan
  • Peace of Mind Method
  • Ninja Money Manager System
  • Financial Freedom

Play around with names until you find a name that makes you feel happy, organized and excited. This isn’t a frivolous step! It’s vital for your money management success.

ADHD Entrepreneur, Joe Polish, calls money ‘fun tickets’ because it allows him to have fun experiences.

Step 2 – Incoming
In order to know how much you can spend and save, you need to know how much is coming to you each month. If you are getting a monthly or bi monthly pay cheque, knowing how much you earn is relatively easy. If you work for yourself or are on contract, then you might have a solid figure. One way around that is to look at your past income for last year, then divide that figure into 12 to give you a monthly figure to work with.

Step 3 – Outgoing
Now it’s time to work out what your expenses are. These usually fall into the following categories: fixed, semi-fixed and unfixed.

Fixed amounts
Fixed amounts are the amounts that are the same every month. For example, your mortgage or rent, car payment, student loans, etc.

Semifixed amounts
Semi-fixed amounts are those amounts that are somewhat fixed, but they could change a little depending on your behaviour. Your cell phone bill, public transport, internet could be in the semi-fixed category. In the example of your cell phone, you probably have a package with a fixed monthly amount, but you might go over during some months if you went out of town or went over your download limit.

Unfixed amounts
Unfixed amounts are the expenses that trip up most ADHDers. It’s where does the rest of the money goes: restaurants, bars, taxis, clothes, ATM fees, video games, gas, gifts, etc. These aren’t decided for you by a 3rdparty, such as your landlord or cell phone company. These are amounts that you have to decide for yourself; which can be problematic.

ADHDers don’t usually know how much to allocate for each category or even what categories they should have. There are suggestions online, and they are helpful. Though, a mother of 2 children will have different categories and values than a new graduate living in the city.

Here is how to solve this problem. For the next 7 days, track everything you spend. It’s not forever; just 7 days.

You can write it in a notebook, or in your phone; it doesn’t matter where.
– If you have an $18 cab ride, write it down.
– If you spend $45.19 at the grocery store, write it down.
– If you take out $20 at the AMT, don’t write that down. But do write down what you spent that $20 on.

I have to say, this isn’t easy; but it is doable. Even people who said they never thought they would be able to do this because their ADHD was ‘so bad’, have been able to do it.

That information is like gold, because you know ‘where your money goes’. From there, you can work out what categories your budget needs and how much you can put in each category. We will go into greater detail next week,when you have your 7 days of spending data!

Actions step for this week:

  1. Pick a new name for your budget.
  2. Work out your monthly income for the month.
  3. Work out what your fixed expenses are.
  4. Work out what your semi fixed expenses are.
  5. Track your spending for 7 days.

Good luck!!!

Want To Hear A Success Story

Ever wondered what ADHD coaching actually is?

Even though I have been an ADHD Coach for 11 years, I still struggle to explain exactly what I ‘do’  because it’s so different for each client. Their problems, personality, lifestyle and ADHD all play a part in what coaching looks like for them.

Rather than trying to describe ADHD Coaching in generic terms, I thought a case study of an actual client would be much more interesting and fun. I got the idea this morning when this email arrived.​​

‘I always used to feel that I was lagging behind in my life and didn’t understand why. Everything was 10 times harder for me in my life and I really couldn’t understand how others seem to have it so easy to live their life.

I always felt different and never knew why. After I realized I might have ADD and started coaching, everything shifted and I became a master of my life. The dark days are over and are like a distant memory.

It’s crazy Jacqui! You have helped me turn my life around!’
Dee

(Don’t worry! Dee gave me the OK to share her email and story.)

When Dee started coaching, she was in the last few months of medical school. The final exams were looming and she wanted to get her life organized and pass the exams!

They would be the last exams after years of studying. The pressure was on.

She was experiencing all the classic ADHD traits. Feeling disorganized and scattered. Not able to concentrate or focus unless there was a deadline.  A deadline meant things could get done but there was also lots of anxiety and fear.

During our Coaching we covered these topics

Practical techniques

Dee learned some How-to techniques designed for her ADHD characteristics and tailored to her situation. Her topics included:

  • How to study
  • How to be productive
  • How to arrive on time to work and class • How to do housework • How to balance work, study and home responsibilities

Understanding ADHD

Dee was also new to ADHD, so the coaching helped her • Understand what ADHD is • How ADHD affected her • How to get her family and husband to take ADHD seriously

Emotions

There is always an emotional aspect to coaching too.

In Dee’s case:

  • How to feel good about herself
  • How to ‘own’ her achievements
  • How to get her inner voice to be less critical • How to reduce anxiety in exams

Treating ADHD Naturally

Because Dee was new to ADHD, we talked about the ways she could treat her ADHD naturally and that included implementing these suggestions into her daily life

  • Eating an ADHD friendly diet
  • Making exercise part of her life
  • Meditating

The story has a happy ending! This week Dee passed her final exams!!!

And she starts her first job as a medical doctor next week.

You might not be a doctor, or sitting exams. However, this case study shows just how varied ADHD Coaching is and how quickly tangible results can be seen.

Another cool thing about this story is I have never meet Dee in real life. Like many of my clients, Dee lives in a completely different continent and all the coaching was done via Skype.

If you could use help with your ADHD and your life, email me! I would love to help you get some awesome results too!

Warmly

​Jacqui

How to Decide What to Wear When You Have ADHD

How to Decide What to Wear When You Have ADHDDeciding what to wear in the morning can be hard. However, it can be extra painful when you have ADHD for these reasons.

1.     Decision making is challenging: big and small.

2.     Mornings aren’t your best time; you might not feel awake for 3 or 4 hours after you get dressed.

3.     Social rules are a bit of a mystery, so you aren’t sure if  there is a dress code you don’t know about.

4.     You aren’t confident about ‘what goes together’.

5.     Keeping on top of laundry is a challenge; you don’t always have the items that work together that are clean at the same time.

6.     Sensitive to texture which means some clothes make you itch or are very uncomfortable to wear.

If you went to a school that had a uniform, you know it was very easy to get ready each morning. No thought was required. All you had to do was put on the standard shirts and skirts / trousers.

Even though you might not have an official uniform to wear now, why not create your own? It takes the brain work out of getting dressed every day and it means you always look good, feel confident and comfortable

If you are male, it is slightly easier for 2 reasons: You have the option to wear a suit (which is like a uniform), and society doesn’t pay such close attention to what men wear.

Think of Will and Kate. The press pays very close attention to what Kate wears and whole blogs are dedicated to her wardrobe. Yet, we rarely hear a whisper about which designer made William’s suit.

Recently, a news anchor proved that people weren’t paying attention to what he wore by wearing the same suit for a whole year.

It is possible to wear the same thing every day if you are female too.

In an article that went viral, Matilda Kahl explains her decision to wear the same thing every day. She has been doing it for 3 years.

 

Creating your own uniform doesn’t mean you have to wear the exact same thing every day. You can create a formula that works for you, then interchange clothes within that formula.

Let’s say you like ballet pumps and have a brand you get on well with. Buy a couple of pairs in different colours. If you like a certain style of trousers (and they fit nicely and don’t itch), buy them in black and linen. Next, pick out a few tops you love and there you go!You have created a stylish work uniform that looks great, takes all the brain work out of mornings.

What helps you decide what to wear in the mornings?

Do You Have ADHD And Daytime Sleepiness?

buddha-85673_128075 percent of adults with ADHD have problems with sleep, getting to sleep, staying asleep and waking up are the most common issues. Another type of sleep problem is falling asleep during the daytime at unusual times. For example, in class, meetings or while driving. The people who experience this usually have inattentive ADHD.

This daytime sleepiness is interesting because it is triggered by the environment. If the environment is mentally stimulating and interesting, paying attention and staying awake is not a problem. However, if the setting is dull, then staying alert becomes impossible and the person falls asleep. It doesn’t matter how important the event is. VIPs could be at the meeting, or the class could be vital to getting a good grade, but if the content is boring, sleep takes over. However, if something exciting happens or if it’s possible to get up and move, then the sleepiness goes away.

Because physical movement stops the sleepiness, some people look to be hyperactive, but it really is a behavioural strategy they developed to stop themselves from falling asleep.

If the person had a disrupted nights’ sleep, then daytime sleepiness would be expected. But this group of people experience daytime sleepiness even after getting ample sleep at night time. An extreme form of struggling to stay alert is narcolepsy. It is possible to have ADHD and narcolepsy. However, the type of daytime sleepiness that these ADHDers have isn’t as severe as narcolepsy.

If you have an on-going problem staying awake during your day-to-day activities, here are some suggestions.

Rule out other options

1. Get checked out for sleep disorders, including Sleep Apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome and Narcolepsy.
2. Get assessed for depression.

Treat your ADHD

3. If 1 and 2 comes back clear, then treating your ADHD is your next action step. Adults with ADHD and alertness problems find ADHD meds very helpful. Work closely with your prescribing doctor and find the therapeutic dose for you.
4. If you are taking ADHD meds, be sure that they are in full effect when you are driving in your car.

Make your environment stimulating

Here are a few examples

5. If you are doing a dull household task, use your timer to keep you moving as much as possible.

6. You might not be able to get out of a boring meeting, but you can liven it up for yourself by offering to take notes on the white board for everyone, or be one of the presenters.

7. Change activities frequently.

Do you ADHD and Daytime Sleepiness? What helps you?

14 Ways to Eliminate ADHD Afternoon Crashes

14 Ways to Eliminate ADHD Afternoon CrashesBetween 2 pm and 4 pm, Adults with ADHD often experience afternoon crashes. Everyone experience afternoon slumps to some degree; where you feel mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. However, there are factors in the ADHDers’ life; which means you don’t just experience a little slump, yours are full blown crashes. Aside from wanting to fall asleep on the spot, they also affect your attention, focus, productivity, and your ability to stay calm and rational.

Here are 14 things you can do to minimize or eliminate your afternoon crashes. The more suggestions you implement, the more results you will see.

Mindset

1) Don’t feel guilty! ADHDers feel a lot of guilt and shame for a lot of things in their life including afternoon crashes. They feel bad they can’t concentrate on the meeting or that they are falling asleep in class and blame themselves. It is not your fault! It’s the way our bodies are wired. Circadian rhythms (which control our sleep) send sleep signals at night time and in the afternoon. Instead of blaming yourself, observe what is happening in a non- judgemental way and then use the suggestions below to help.

Preventative

2) Set Yourself Up For Success
Most ADHDers don’t eat breakfast; either because they don’t feel hungry in the mornings or because they are in too much of a rush to get out of the door. However, starting the day with an ADHD-friendly breakfast is incredibly helpful to avoid the afternoon crash.
Click here to learn what the best ADHD breakfast is. http://untappedbrilliance.com/the-adhd-breakfast

If you aren’t hungry because you take ADHD meds, eat first then take your meds. If you just can’t face food in the morning, make a protein smoothie because it’s easier to consume than solids.

3) Have an ADHD-Friendly Lunch
Lunch is often a meal eaten on the run, or skipped when you have ADHD. Or because you missed breakfast, you are ravenous and eat a big heavy lunch. What you diet for lunch has a direct effect on your energy in the afternoon. Take time to eat a gluten-free lunch with some good-quality protein (chicken or fish) and fiber in the form of vegetables. Your afternoons will be transformed.

4) Your Zzzzzs
75% of ADHDers have problems with falling and staying asleep. If you are sleep deprived or had a night of poor sleep, then an afternoon crash is more likely to happen. However, they can still be minimized with the other suggestions on this list. To learn more about how to sleep well when you have ADHD, head here. How To Sleep Very Well When You Have ADHD

5) Be a Smart Caffeine Drinker
Caffeine isn’t bad; and if you become a smart caffeine drinker, you can still drink it and not get afternoon crashes.

Drink your first coffee of the day after you have eaten breakfast.
If drinking coffee gives you energy highs and lows, then switch to green tea.
Both of these tips will give you more sustained energy. Don’t drink caffeine after 2pm because it will infer with your sleep (which in turn affects crashes).

6) Get Moving
After you exercise, your whole body and mind is energized for 3 hours. To capitalize on this, move your workout to lunch time and see if you notice a difference in your energy level in the afternoons.

7) Drink up
Staying hydrated is by far the simplest ways to fight fatigue, yet remembering to drink water throughout the day isn’t as simple. Don’t skip this step!
Head here for my tips to drink water when you have ADHD.

8) Goodbye Stress
Stress is exhausting! If your morning is full of tension, mini crisis (forgetting things, mad dashes for deadlines), worry and anxiety, then by the afternoon, you will be emotionally exhausted and ready to crash. Combating stress is a long term project.

Stress comes from 2 sources: things you can control and things you can’t.
Focus on the life stressors that are in your control. Managing your ADHD and using strategies to reduce your worry and anxiety (which ADHDers are natural pros at) is a great place to start.

9) Stop Multi-Tasking
ADHDers love to multi-task. It feels exciting and exhilarating. However, it’s also very tiring. Every time we shift focus, we burn glucose, which is the food our neurons use. After a couple of hours of speedy shifting, we feel drained and ready for a nap. Also, our glucose store is depleted; cortisol (the stress hormone) has also been released, causing us to feel edgy and stressed.
Stop multi-tasking and start single tasking.

During a crash

10) Have a Protein Afternoon Snack
If you notice yourself heading towards a crash, have a protein snack. Perhaps some nut butter with an apple. It is a really helpful pick-me-up. You might be craving sugar in the form of a candy bar, but that will only delay the crash. Protein will divert it.

11) Meds Crashes
Do you take ADHD meds? A powerful reason why you experience afternoon crashes is because your meds have worn off. If this is the case, here are some tips for you.

a) Consider speaking to your doctor and get prescribed another tablet to see you through to the end of the work day.
b) If you are taking your medication at the same time every day, your crashes will occur at about the same time every afternoon, which allows you to create a plan for that time. Don’t schedule meetings with other people then. Have some food at hand because you will probably be starving. Be gentle with yourself. Plan to have at least 30 minutes downtime until you can start functioning at your best again. A little walk outside, or meditation is also helpful.

12) Switch Tasks
Sometimes your brain needs a break. Rather than forcing yourself to stay doing a task that is putting you to sleep, switch over to another one. Pick one that you are motivated to do, that is going to engage your brain but not overtax it. It’s best if it’s away from a screen. Bonus points if it involves physical movement.

13) Turn Up the Music
Music can energize you and revitalize you. Put some of your favourite tunes on. Be sure that the music is upbeat and happy. Sober music or one with depressing lyrics will bring you down and make you tired.

14) Go for a Walk
Going for a quick walk will shake off the tiredness. Movement increases your blood circulation, which increases blood flow to your brain. Walking in the fresh air is a bonus.