Emotional Energy and Faith: Helps with ADHD

To-do lists. Planners. Day-timers. Post-its. Scraps of paper. Oh the tools of time management and productivity; the resources are endless. Three months into the year and I already had to switch day planners twice (I always have a paper version and simultaneously an electronic version). There were a couple of weeks where I was drained of energy and my daily to-do list received zero attention from me. I only had enough for work, some light exercise, heating something in the microwave, and then heading to bed in preparation for a 4:30 a.m. start the next day.

Have you felt that way lately; that you only have enough energy for work with only a small amount to give for anything and anyone else in your life? If you have, this article from Spirituality & Health is a great way to check your to-do list intentions against your energy.

Living a purpose filled life means having to address and defeat the anxiety that often tries to rob us of our rational intentions. Fear, worry, and the resulting unnecessary dilemma’s take us away from doing the things that are necessary and beneficial to us. God’s message to St. Paul is the same message He has for us, “My grace is all you need.My power works best in your weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Those with ADHD and Anxiety often have less energy than others; these are two disorders that are known for draining people emotionally, physically, and cognitively. When planning for the day or the week it’s important to factor in your energy levels. I encourage you to read the linked article by Traci Pedersen: “Got a Busy Schedule? You May Not Need More Time, Just Energy and Perspective.http://spiritualityhealth.com/blog/traci-pedersen/got-busy-schedule-you-may-not-need-more-time-just

As you create your schedules, take time to pray for clarity in being realistic about how much energy you will have for things you intend to do and the people you want to be with. Peace and blessings to you.

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ADHD and Easter

ADHD Easter

I love the Easter season for many reasons: the bright colours, the anticipation of Spring arriving, the music, and of course the celebration of the Resurrection. For an ADHD person like myself, all this excitement is a great opportunity to get into ADHD trouble.

Easter can be overwhelming; I want to celebrate the end of Lent, do days’ worth of crafts, attempt to make traditional baked goods, walk the Stations of the Cross and fit in the 2-3 church services that are crammed into the long weekend. I’m not embarrassed to say that all of this is a to-do list/wish list combination which I have never managed to achieve. At this stage of my life, I’m cool with this failure.

Easter holidays can easily test the time management and planning skills of even the most organized person, but for those of us with ADHD, we can easily become overwhelmed, stressed, agitated, and forgetful in the midst of preparing for the festivities.

The main reason I was able to end my past whirlwind Easter activities was by remembering what the festivities were truly about: the resurrection of Christ, and the greatest gift God has given us, that of salvation. When we stop focusing on getting things done, we can slow down enough to place our thoughts and our hearts on God and Christ. This is thee most important time of the Christian year and somehow we’ve fallen into the consumer trap of turning a sacred time into a commercial time, no different than Christmas holidays.

I’m excited to share with you some simple ways to keep Easter ADHD friendly and focused on Christ.

Easter Sunday, Keep It Simple

Meals

-Does your church have a free Easter meal? Consider skipping cooking at home and instead join others at church for the meal and some fellowship.

-Do you really need a turkey? It’s Easter, it’s warmer outside and you might not want your time spent in an hot kitchen. If you eat ham, consider baking one or two in lieu of the turkey. You might even want to try making a beef roast.

-If you think cooking anything might be overwhelming on Sunday, consider going to a restaurant instead. Find one in your price range and celebrate by going out instead of eating in.

easter-eggs

You’re Not Martha Stewart, You Don’t Have a Staff Team

-Crafts are fun, but if you are craft challenged or don’t have much time, purchase plastic eggs and items that are already decorated. If you are limited for funds, there are always plenty of options at dollar stores.

Treats are Sweet, but leave you beat

-Sugary, heavily processed candies are not a healthy choice for those with ADHD. If you can avoid the excitement and temptation of all those cute little bunny chocolates and colorful treats, excellent! If not, then try setting a realistic predetermined limit to how much you will consume. If you know which treats are your biggest weakness, make a plan to limit or avoid eating it altogether. You mind a body will function much better without all that processed sugar.

Rest is for the Blessed

-Don’t’ forget to get some rest during the holidays. Consider taking one of the days to sleep in or go to bed earlier than usual. Either of these options will ensure that your holidays are truly a time of rest.

-If you can’t fit in an activity or time to visit others, that is perfectly alright. You know your personal energy levels and it is best to be honest with others and say, “I want to, but I can’t this time around.”

resurrection sunday

The Reason for the Season, this Includes Easter too!

-Keep Easter focused on Christ and his resurrection. If you are able to achieve this, your Easter holidays will not be about anything else. Jesus was never scattered or hurried, he didn’t multi-task, and he stayed focused on the purpose of what he was doing. Whatever he chose to do, he stayed fully mindful and present for those he was with. Let us learn from Christ and follow his ways when it comes to living a life of mental and physical peace.

May the remainder of this Lent season be filled with blessings, a renewal of faith, and gratitude for all the God has done for us and will continue to do for His creation. Peace.