When Your ADHD Brain is Running on Empty

by Margit Crane on July 29, 2014

 

I had very full days Sunday and Monday. Today is Tuesday and it feels like my brain is running on empty. This is a little problematic since I have 4 hours of clients and I need to sound intelligent. Plus, I’m not on medication (the only one that works causes my heart to get too excited!) so I’m going to have to jumpstart my brain all on my own.

I’m not worried though. I have a few tricks up my sleeve to power up my brain when it seems like an impossibility. You can do these with your ADHD children as well!

  1. I don’t look at the whole day. I look at what I need to do right at that moment. Then I look again. So, for instance, when I wake up, the first thing I do every day is take my pills. So when I wake up foggy-brained, I can ask, “What do I need to do right this second?”
  2. I take a quick tour of my surroundings. Often, a visual cue will remind me what I need to do. It may be something small or something bigger. Here’s how this worked for me today: I took my pills then got out of bed. I saw my laundry hamper and remembered that I was planning to do laundry this morning. Why was I planning to do laundry? Because I’m going on a short vacation. That cued me to get my suitcase from another room. Now I’m in the other room and my suitcase is in the same vicinity as my camera and I remembered that I wanted to bring my camera. It just sort of unfolds when I’m not pressuring myself.
  3. Are there things I can do at the same time? For example, I can blog and then shower while the laundry is going. If there aren’t things I can do at the same time, I let that idea go. I’m just gathering information here; I’m not trying to win a medal! 
  4. I don’t pressure myself (as I just said). Stress shuts the brain down. That is the opposite of what I want! Right now it’s 10 am. My first client is at Noon. In an hour and a half I can’t get everything done, but I can get the first things done (First things first, and all that). So I know that my first things are:
Laundry
Blogging and the Ultimate Blog Challenge
^^^ (This one could be put off but I have time so I’m doing it)
Pack my suitcase and “briefcase”
Shower and dress
Pack some food for my day

 

It’s sort of a novel concept to just do one thing and let the rest unfold. Perhaps you have a fairly open day in the coming week when you can try this out?

What are your thoughts on ADHD and brain fog?? Just scroll down to the comments and share your brilliance!

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Like this post and want more interaction? Check these out:

1. I’m on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest. I’m @GiftedWithADD

2. 30-minute free phone consultation. Schedule here.

3. If you haven’t gotten your copy of “Revolutionize Your ADHD Parenting in One Week,” grab a copy at this link.

xoxoxo, Margit

Copyright 2014 Margit Crane All Rights Reserved

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No is the ADHD Yes

by Margit Crane on July 28, 2014

 

http://www.whitehotcenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/just-say-no.jpg

In the movie, “Yes Man” with Jim Carrey, protagonist Carl is encouraged to say YES to everything that comes his way. In doing so, he is assured, he will be saying YES to life and he will be rewarded.

Jim Carrey in "Yes Man!"

But Carl does not have ADHD. Carl has a built-in filter that makes new adventures seem overwhelming. He is not a sponge. He is an avoider. For Carl, saying YES ushers him into a life of excitement and thrills. We watch as he welcomes new opportunities and new people into his life. He is happier and more successful with his new YES routine in place.

However, for many people with ADHD, another YES means crowding our brains and our schedules with yet another event or activity that needs to be analyzed, understood and assimilated into a storehouse filled with exciting events and activities. For every YES, there is the pain of saying NO to something else and not knowing which NO to choose. The ADHD brain can suffer from the confusion of having to choose one thing from among many tantalizing possibilities, all of which seem to be equally dire.

YouTube Preview Image

As Michael Jackson and the Little Flintstones remind us – saying NO can actually be a life saver, and for people with ADHD, I’m not just talking about drugs.

For example, adult client Annabelle has said YES so often that her life looks like a 12-layer cake of mud. She says YES to her parents wishes, so that she is on the hook for quite a few commitments. She says YES to her kids so much that she can’t possibly meet their expectations and they are disappointed. She says YES in various ways to all her boyfriends, girlfriends and husbands. And she says YES to activities that take her away from such basic tasks as finding time to shower, finding time to shop for healthy foods, and finding time to sleep.

Teen client Declan says YES to his friends first and foremost – and his friends apparently need him multiple times a day, especially the girls. He says YES so many times a day that, by default, he says NO to everything else in his life. He’s good at being a friend and enjoys saying YES to the thing that makes him feel competent. He says NO only to those things that makes him feel incompetent, although he’s never really given them a fair shot. For Declan, saying NO is not a protection, but a way to make room for more YES, more avoidance of reality and his future adult life. He doesn’t actually say NO; he just says YES to everyone else.

If you’re like me, you soak up information as it’s presented. If it’s pretty, shiny, colorful, expansive, complex, got clean lines, or an interesting configuration or structure, it automatically goes into the brain. We are used to saying YES. In fact, for many of us, the only way we know how to say NO is by immersing ourselves in TV, computer games, reading, drinking or drugs. We need to numb out to say NO because we know no other way.

But is this what you want? Is this the life you want for your children? I’m sure not. How do we learn to say NO, to protect our precious brains from overload and confusion?

Parents: here are 3 tips you can put into play to teach your kids to say NO. ADHD Adults: here are some good ways to parent yourselves.

  1. Create daily situations where choices are expected and point out that only one is a YES and one is a NO. For example: “Do you want to wear your blue socks or your striped socks?” Only one is a YES. The other is a NO. Or, “For lunch do you want to choose your dessert or your drink?” Of course, these little activities take a bit of time but teaching takes time and you are the teacher in these moments. You can even make two cards, one the says YES and one that says NO, and your kids can move the YES choice to the YES card and the NO choice to the NO card. Visual and kinesthetic learning works great for kids with ADHD.
  2. For older kids and for you adults, make a chart or mind-map of what will happen if the choice is NO vs. what will happen if the choice is YES. Here’s an example: If today, I choose to sleep until 3pm then everything on my calendar that was scheduled before 3pm needs to be rescheduled. Where will I reschedule those activities? Play that out on a calendar. Where is there room to reschedule. This works well with Google calendars because you can move events easily.
  3. Practicing this with money is great for kids and adults. If you spend your money on candy/a new game/a movie/a soda, where will you get the money you need to go on vacation/buy some songs on iTunes/buy a souvenir/buy a gift for a friend.

As I said before, it’s really helpful to chart this out so that you can actually see what you’re talking about. Sometimes words just don’t have much of an impact for people with ADHD, especially if they can be ignored!

What techniques do you have to teach yourself or others that it’s often healthier and more calming to say NO?? Just scroll down and share your insights in the comments section.

====================

Like this post and want more interaction? Check these out:

1. I’m on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest. I’m @GiftedWithADD

2. 30-minute free phone consultation. Schedule here.

3. If you haven’t gotten your copy of “Revolutionize Your ADHD Parenting in One Week,” grab a copy at this link.

xoxoxo, Margit

Copyright 2014 Margit Crane All Rights Reserved

=======================

 

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Keep Calm and Take a Time Out

July 27, 2014

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The Perfect ADHD Bumper Stickers

July 25, 2014

Tweet Pin It   What’s your favorite quote?? Scroll down and add your favorite quote to the comments section!

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The Most Important Person in My ADHD Life

July 25, 2014

Tweet Pin It   Everybody can point to a few people who have influenced them in wonderful ways. And it’s hard to argue that our families are not the most important people in our lives. But as far as the development of my ADHD – the development of the gift – I have 3 people [...]

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Rock n Roll Blogging With ADHD Family Strategist, Margit Crane

July 24, 2014

Tweet Pin It   Many of you know that, when I blog, I listen to Rock n Roll. The beat makes me work faster and, thanks to ADHD, I can blog and sing at the same time, or at least hum depending on what I’m writing. Some people asked what I listen to and, honestly, [...]

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Finding Your Voice as a Person With ADHD

July 23, 2014

As people with ADHD, we are accustomed to being told that we need to change something. But how do we do that? Meds can help, as can alternative modalities, but only ADHD Coaching can give us the support and training we need to become the people we yearn to be.

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Nourish Your ADHD Soul with Interior Design

July 22, 2014

What would my childhood bedroom look like if Ty Pennington of Extreme Home Makeover had designed it? What would I be doing now if my childhood bedroom had reflected my interests? Would I have been more focused?

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Energize Your ADHD by Doing Only One New Thing

July 21, 2014

Consistency is great; predictability can shut down an ADHD brain. ADHD Strategist, Margit Crane, shares that when we’re feeling down or sluggish, all we need to do is just one new thing.

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Motivating Your ADHD Child or Teen, Shoreline Library, July 21

July 18, 2014

Tweet Pin It   I’ll be speaking on the topic of motivation this Monday at Shoreline Library from 6:30 pm – 8:45 pm. It’s free! The address and phone number are: 345 NE 175th St, Shoreline, WA 98155 (206) 362-7550 I hope to meet you there! ====================== Like this post and want more interaction? Check [...]

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