All posts by JM

ADHD and Responding during Heated Political Times

This past week has been emotionally tense for many in North America. The murder of a female protester, the injury of peaceful protesters, and the heated debates surrounding the reasons for these protests have revealed the true feelings and ideology people hold regarding race, immigration, human rights, and other crucial topics.

I’ve had to bite my tongue too many times this week. I’m not a quiet bystander whose greatest contribution is creating Twitter hashtags, or clicking “like” on a Facebook post. I’m certainly not a quiet person who doesn’t speak my mind, I speak my mind, a lot. I’m also not a person in denial about what is happening in our country and that of our neighbours in the United States. I’ve had to bite my tongue because I know that if I give in to the ignorant, hateful, ridiculous views and actions of those who support hate groups I will turn into an ugly person.

My ADHD symptoms make it all too easy for me to become angry with people who are ignorant and hateful.

Having ADHD leaves those of us with this disorder extra vulnerable for some of the following reasons:

We sometimes lack focus, trying to address too many different causes at one time and therefore not being well informed as to what is happening at a deeper level beyond media headlines.

Difficulty with emotional regulation. This makes it easier to experience and express intense emotions. Once these emotions begin, it can be difficult to refocus and be open to what is happening in the moment.

Holding on to grudges. Whether having peaceful discussions or heated disagreements, these encounters can lead to holding onto grudges. Grudges create barriers to understanding where others are coming from with their own views, forgiving others, and makes it difficult to work with others we disagree with.

Inappropriate spontaneity can happen due to a mixture of strong emotions and impulsivity. Emotional outbreaks can lead to unnecessary disagreements, making situations worse, and moves people’s attention away from the actual situation.

Having ADHD doesn’t mean that one can’t become involved in meaningful conversations, advocacy groups, and peaceful protests; what is means is that one has to be cautious and careful, taking into account what they need to be most aware of due to their own ADHD challenges.

When you find yourself in the midst of uncomfortable discussions, debates, and disagreements make efforts to be mindful of how you are feeling, your body language, your tone of voice, and what you are saying. It’s perfectly alright to pause, speak slowly, or respectfully end the conversation.

Over the past two weeks I’ve had to remember this popular verse:

If you’ve done wrong by loosing your temper, saying hurtful words to your opponents, or held unhealthy thoughts and feelings in your heart bring them to God. He is our healer. He knows our frustrations and what we go through with having ADHD. In order to fight “the bad guys” we need to remember not to mirror their hateful actions, and words; if we don’t, we will all be losers in this fight for justice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADHD and The Princess Bride

2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the film release The Princess Bride. This whimsical movie was one of the first I had seen in a theatre. At the time I was young and didn’t fully understand the jokes or the brilliance of the cast and screenplay. With each passing year my enjoyment for the film has grown.

On Valentines Day there was a The Princess Bride Quote-A-Long. For those energetic person’s with ADHD this is an excellent way to view a film. Not only do you get to watch the film but you are given full permission to enthusiastically and openly quote lines from the film.

Inconceivable

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

I’ll explain, and I’ll use small words so that you’ll be sure to understand, you warthog-faced buffoon.

As you wish.”

I love events where my ADHD symptoms blend right in. Talking during a movie? I love it! Hold my popcorn please, while I fully participate in this movie!

In my free time I try to include activities where I don’t have to struggle with my symptoms. I spend the work week managing this disorder, during the weekends and evenings I want to be free from having to struggling with controlling my ADHD.

I strongly believe part of developing an ADD/ADHD self-care routine involves choosing activities where you don’t have to worry about your symptoms. It means choosing a few activities where you: don’t have to be concerned with periods of daydreaming; can fidget all you want; talk non-stop about something you are passionate about; forget about the time, and freely lose yourself in whatever it is you are engaged in.

If you don’t give yourself time during the week to be as ADHD as you want to be you are stifling yourself and your creativity. “Letting the ADHD out”, as I like to call it are some of my most creative times. I have noise in the background, a messy desk, snacks within arms length, and all the tools I need for getting things done.

 

When you find that you are stressed out, frustrated, or are not as productive as you feel you could be, carve out some time during the week to “let it all out”. Just be sure you don’t allow this to be at the expense of responsibilities and duties such as watching your children, being late at the expense of others, etc.

 

 

 

 

Adult ADHD and Imposter Syndrome

People who aren’t familiar with ADHD sometimes mistakenly believe that people with this disorder have some sort of advantage; whether it might be the supposed super powers of prescription stimulants, being given special needs status, receiving inclusion education status in college, or some sort of magical mental ability to learn things quickly and exhaustively.

When it comes to getting a head in life, being successful, and achieving personal goals, ADHD provides no advantages. None. Those with ADHD, like everyone else have to put in effort, discipline, determination, and consistency in order to accomplish achievements. What having ADHD does mean, is that for some persons with this disorder it takes a lot more effort to accomplish end goals due to this neurodevelopmental disorder.

When anxiety and ADHD decide to work together in your mind it usually means personal disaster for many individuals. Accomplishments are quickly disregarded and downplayed by anxiety that manifests itself as Imposter Syndrome.

First described by psychologists Suzanne Imes, PhD, and Pauline Rose Clance, PhD, in the 1970s, impostor phenomenon occurs among high achievers who are unable to internalize and accept their success. They often attribute their accomplishments to luck rather than to ability, and fear that others will eventually unmask them as a fraud. Though the impostor phenomenon isn’t an official diagnosis listed in the DSM, psychologists and others acknowledge that it is a very real and specific form of intellectual self-doubt. Impostor feelings are generally accompanied by anxiety and, often, depression.” American Psychological Association

Be careful not to let anxiety and Imposter Syndrome rob you of the joy of what you have achieved. You worked for what you have, enjoy it. Humbleness is important, but low self-esteem, imposter syndrome, and depression are not the same as having a humble spirit.

If your achievements were earned without stepping on others, dishonest means, or blatant injustice then you have no reason to embrace your accomplishments.

But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator.” Colossians 3: 8-10

Give thanks to God for what you accomplish and thank those who helped you along the way. Gratitude is a great way to chip away at imposter syndrome.

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17

If you’d like to learn more about Imposter Syndrome and how to overcome it, below are a few links to articles on the topic.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/margiewarrell/2014/04/03/impostor-syndrome/#61d2b31648a9

https://www.verywell.com/adhd-and-imposter-syndrome-3888166

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/26/your-money/learning-to-deal-with-the-impostor-syndrome.html

 

Prayer Does Not Cure ADHD

Prayer and ADHD

Things That People Have Said To Me About ADHD:

Have you tried praying that your ADHD will go away?

When you’re distracted, pray.

God can heal your ADHD.

Are you sure you have ADHD?

I thought only children had ADHD.

I came upon this blog post by Andy Lee  http://wordsbyandylee.com/how-to-focus-adhd-prayer/.

I’m not sure if she has ADHD, but she titled her post “How to Focus ADHD Prayer.” She listed the following symptoms checklist:

Do you have trouble focusing your thoughts when praying?

Do you pray the same prayers everyday?

Do you get bored when praying?

Do your prayers get lost in your plans or worries for the day?

Her solution: “If you struggle praying, if focus is impossible, there is a very good chance the enemy is running interference. Put on your helmet. Tell Him to go away in Jesus’ name.

She and others who take this approach are certainly people of faith. They have met spiritual interference and battled it with the help of God’s mighty spirit and strength. This is great, but ADHD is not a spiritual battle. It is not a sin. It is not something that can be prayed away.

Those of us with ADHD do need God’s help when dealing with the symptoms of ADHD, but I must be clear in stating that ADHD is not a spiritual disability.

Distraction A Warning

If we keep our focus solely on our disability instead of focusing on our abilities, yes, we will eventually beat ourselves down spiritually. If we don’t keep our emotions in check we can end up believing things that are not from God such as thinking:

-we are not good enough

-we don’t have gifts and talents to offer the world

-there is something wrong with us

-we are less godly or spiritually disciplined than “normal” people

If you have ADHD please know and believe that you do not have a spiritual disease. While spiritual disciplines and faith in God can help you manage your symptoms, it cannot “cure”, “solve”, or “get ride of” ADHD.

ADHD and Marching Women

On Saturday January 21, 2017, women and their supporters marched to send a message to the new government in the United States. I didn’t attend the march. I spent the afternoon ill, curled up in bed yet again, wishing I was at the march instead of at home.

I live in a city of barely 1 million people, but a couple thousand people showed up to the march. I was impressed with the numbers in my city and around the word. Women were marching, women were serious, women meant business.

I felt this way until I realized there were a number of women who were marching and didn’t quite know what they were marching for. I read new articles which blamed the problem on so-called whiny feminists, air-head millennials, and all sorts of other negative reasons. With so many injustices in the world, how does a woman show up to a march without a cause, without something worth fighting for.

I’m not a feminist in the traditional sense of the word. I don’t know what you could label me as. The reason I don’t call myself a feminist is because I find it to be a difficult concept to describe. I care about women’s rights, but I don’t think that is enough to tag the label feminist onto me.

labelling-yourself

I think it’s important for people, especially women, to be careful when “labeling” one’s self. We live in a culture that seems to like labels and expects us to wear them and live a certain way according to the label we give our self. Some of us wear more than one label and that can add additional problems to the already focus challenged life of the person with ADHD.

Environmentalist, Feminist, Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Conservative, Vegetarian, Raw Foodist, Whole 30ist, Paleo, Roman Catholic, Mainline Protestant, Evangelical, Pro-Choice, Pro-life. This is just a very short list of the labels we are expected to choose from. Not only do we have to choose these labels, but we also have to be part of the causes associated with these labels.

Label People

When I think about this, I’m not surprised there were a number of women at these marches who didn’t know what they were marching for. To be fair, not everyone has a passion and not everyone has a cause they are fighting for. Not having a passion for something is foreign to me; I’ve always been a passionate person since I was a young girl in elementary.

With ADHD it’s easy to become interested in many different protests, causes, charities and organizations; but I’m writing this to say that it is alright to only remain heavily focused on one or two issues. By remaining focused on only a small number of issues you provide yourself with more time to dedicate to activities related to your causes. You can attend marches and be able to clearly state what you’re marching for and why.

Staying focused means being able to learn more about issues at a deeper level. You can take the time to read legitimate news pieces, blogs, and online resources. Focus also allows you to spend time with others who are equally as dedicated to a cause as you are.

Lack of focus isn’t exclusive to those with ADHD, but we do have to be extra careful to give our attention and energy to the things we are concerned about the most. It is too easy to spread ourselves thin and be of little use to ourselves or the causes we are involved with.

proverbs-21_15

Whatever you march for, don’t give up. Stay within the will of God, ask for His strength to help you, and His Spirit to guide you.

ADHD and a Not So New Year

 

january-start

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2017. I’m looking forward to all the great possibilities that will be presented to me this year. My hope is that as you read this, you are looking forward to the good things this calendar year has to offer you.

As I have been doing for the past few years, I have chosen to pass on making new year’s resolutions. Instead, I continue to choose one word and one verse to be my focus for the year.

This year my word is Ephphatha, an Aramaic word meaning “be opened”. The word is taken from Mark 7:34 where Jesus heals a mute and deaf man. The pronunciation is “EHF-uh-thuh”. My verse for the year is from the Book of Ecclesiasus/Sirach 1:23-24 (found in the Apocrypha) “A patient person puts up with things until the right time comes: but his joy will break out in the end. Till the time comes he keeps his thoughts to himself, and many a lip will affirm how wise he is.”

As a person with ADHD I’ve accepted that a New Year doesn’t mean a new me. The date on the calendar doesn’t mean anything. I and others with ADHD can’t make a New Year’s resolution to quit ADHD or resolve to have less ADHD. Our disorder is here and it’s not going anywhere.

no_new_year_resolutions

There is no need to give into the idea of needing to make changes in January or create resolutions that you will likely not maintain. Setting goals and making changes takes time; and waking up on January 1st after several days of over eating, reduced sleep, and keeping up with all the holiday festivities is not the right time for anyone to make unprepared life changing decisions.

Because I was like many people who made resolutions and forgot what they were by the end of the first week of each January that passed by, I knew that whatever was on my list wasn’t important to me. If I had considered these resolutions important I would have remembered them and committed to achieving them by the end of the year. If something is important to you, you will commit to it. You might not be perfect at it, you might have days where you fall behind, or struggle, but you will still be committed to it and it will show by your actions, not your words.

At the beginning of each January I do a review of the previous year. I pull out that paper where my one word and verse are written and the hopes that I had for the then upcoming year.

james-1_5

As you make your way through the first month of the year, try doing a self-reflective review of the previous year, ask yourself some of these questions:

What obstacles did you overcome?

 

What did you accomplish during the year?

 

What are some things that you learned?

 

What changed about you?

 

Were you satisfied about your life?

 

What would have liked to accomplish but didn’t?

 

What are some things you learned about yourself?

 

How would you rate the quality of your relationships (friends/family/co-workers) during the past year?

What were your hobbies/recreational activities/fun times from the past year?

After you review your past year, celebrate. Even if the past year was difficult for you, there is still something to celebrate. You are alive, you made it into 2017 and that is a gift that millions of people around the world didn’t get.

Life never goes exactly as we plan, and that isn’t a sign of failure, it’s a natural part of life. This is why I’m not a fan of new year resolutions; why start of the year with plans and goals you have no intention of achieving. Start the year off being realistic. With ADHD we have a tendency to jump from one thing to another, leaving many ideas and plans incomplete. The best way to have a great and prosperous year is to be honest with yourself and others about what you can do and are willing to do.

Whatever you choose to focus on during 2017, I wish you the best. I wish you peace, transformation, and personal growth; these are some of the most important accomplishments a person can aim for.

 

 

 

 

Advent +ADHD = A Hectic Season

 

At the time of writing this we are currently into week 2 of Advent.

Advent: Latin (Adventus) for “coming”. “Advent marks the beginning of the liturgical year. While it expresses the deep longing of all humanity for God, it celebrates the three-fold coming of the Lord: remembering the events that surrounded the Lord’s coming long ago, celebrating his coming among us today, and looking forward to his final coming in glory.” Archdiocese of Toronto.

advent-wreath-Peace-2 candles

For me and others Advent + Introvert + ADHD = Hectic, frantic, increased disorganization, over booking, cancellations, and a need for more rest.

I look at all those nativity scenes and paintings and things look peaceful at the home of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus; and I wonder, why can’t the Advent season look like that in my life. I also know that traditional Nativity Scenes are nothing more than fantasy. I don’t truly believe for one second that Jesus came into the world and into the lives of Mary and Joseph in a quiet, peaceful manner. I don’t believe that animals suddenly behaved and became best friends with the house guests. I don’t believe that Mary and Joseph suddenly went from a life of busy to a life of leisure.

I think the reality is that Mary and Joseph now had an extra mouth to feed. There was increased pressure to make a home suitable for a family. There also would have been the social pressure from Mary having given birth within a time frame that might not have corresponded to the length of time they had been married. Remember, this couple is still adjusting to married life while having to move away from home, travel, and stay at the home of family. This is not a peaceful way to bring a first born into the world.

I no longer care to feel guilty about not having mastered the experience of a quiet Advent season. It’s not realistic for me and for others who lead busy lives. I make time during Advent to reflect on the meaning of Christ in the world and in my own life, but that is as deep as it will get. This year I didn’t have time to be deeply committed to lighting the advent candles every day. The advent centrepiece sits on my fireplace mantel with those little LED lights. No time for candles. I simply flick a switch and my advent “candle” is lit.

busy-bee-christmas

 

This year, as with many other years, I don’t have time to make it to every religious musical event. No Lessons and Carols, no weekday evening Christmas choir performances, no extra activities that I know will only lead me to feel tired, drained, and over extended. This is not what Jesus expects or asks of us. Guilt be gone.

With ADHD we have to remember it is much easier for us to mis-prioritize, become overwhelmed, and forgetful. I encourage you to choose a few Advent and holiday activities and traditions that are most important to you and let the others be optional.

During the holidays there is no need to go all out. If you are like me, who has one too many potlucks to attend; let others do the work. I utilize bakeries and grocery stores and use the extra time, not to add more activities to my list, but to make time for me to rest and relax amidst the holiday rush. I purchase gift cards when I don’t have the time to pick out actual gifts; people love gift cards, so don’t stress it.  I choose a block of time to write all my Christmas cards and a second time frame to send them via Canada Post. This only requires one trip to the post office and no standing in line!

However you choose to spend your Advent and holiday season, remember, the idea of a quiet season is a myth. It wasn’t quiet for Mary and Joseph, and it won’t necessarily be quite for us. Your energy and emotional wellness is most important. Jesus isn’t asking for anything extra at Christmas time. Year round He calls us to love him, love God and love others, follow the commandments, and grow in our faith.

This Christmas, give yourself the best gift ever; self-care!

ADHD – Gratitude and Resiliency

Give God Thanks

It’s November, the month of Thanksgiving, and we will likely be hearing a lot about being thankful and having a spirit or sense of gratitude. I love reading the different gratitude challenges posted on social media and blogs during November. It’s a great reminder to take note of the many things you have to be grateful for. It can be easy to miss the good and positive things and experiences that we have in our life until we actually take time to sit down and think about it.

I’m learning that there is a strong connection between gratitude and resiliency.

Gratitude: a feeling of appreciation or thanks; b) the state of being thankful

Resilient: tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change; b) able to return to an original shape after being pulled, stretched; pressed, bent, etc.

Qualities of Resiliency

Managing the struggles and challenges that accompany having ADHD make us resilient, but it doesn’t necessarily lead to us being grateful. Here’s what I’m learning about being simultaneously grateful and resilient:

Mistakes: When I make a mistake, forgive myself. Don’t let bitterness or anger get a hold of my emotions. If I stop and reflect on why I made the mistake and how I can avoid repeating this mistake in the future, I develop a stronger character. I take the time to thank God for bringing my mistakes to my attention and I give thanks for the opportunity to carry on.

Sense of Humour: I have no problems laughing at myself. This was not something that came naturally, but over time I learned that if you have adult ADHD you need to be able to laugh at yourself. I used to become easily angry with myself for doing things that seemed “stupid”, but now I’ve accepted that certain odd behaviour is part of the disorder. Yes, I am that person with ADHD who has placed dinner in the microwave, forgotten about it, only to discover the plate of food two days later when I went to heat up another dish.

I am that woman with ADHD who has had to leave the house with only half of her curly hair straightened because my morning time management skills were well off. I eventually learned that the half curly, half straight look is not likely to be in style at any time and it’s better to leave the early morning hair straitening sessions for weekend.

I’ve known other adults with ADHD who rarely wear a matching pair of socks. They could easily let that get to them, but instead, they’ve learned to accept it. Who cares if one sock is white and the other is black? If it doesn’t bother you, let it bother the others; it’s their problem not yours.

Self-knowledge/Self-acceptance: Once an adult accepts that they have ADHD, life changes for the positive. We don’t get to choose our disorders and disabilities, but we do get to choose how we perceive affects our life. I remember the years when I had not yet been diagnosed with ADHD. Because I didn’t know that I had ADHD I spent a lot of time wondering “What is wrong with me?”. I couldn’t understand why I was so forgetful, had poor time management skills, was always fidgeting, had a short attention span for certain activities, and was always moving from one project to the other. Finally being diagnosed allowed me to develop an understanding of what ADHD is, the symptoms, and how to manage them as best as I could.

Thanksgiving Blessing

I am thankful that we live in a country where we can be diagnosed and provided with much needed help and assistance in order to live a more productive life. For me, resiliency means silencing the internal voice that sometimes still asks the question, “What is wrong with me?”; the difference is that I know what’s “wrong” with me, there is nothing “wrong” with me or anyone else with ADHD, we have a disorder and we diligently work to increase our strengths and decrease our weaknesses.

I’m thankful those who have forgive me for my past habits of being chronically late; disorganized, frazzled with anxiety, forgetful, being the loudest in the room, and sometimes blurting out things that are cringe worthy. Resiliency means looking in the mirror and seeing an adult with ADHD and knowing that we are more than a diagnosis.

Gratitude is being thankful for our quirks; resiliency is not hiding them, but instead living with them and saying, “Hey, this is part of who I am!

We all have a variety of things to be thankful for and different ways resiliency is experienced in our lives. I encourage you to take some time during this month of thanksgiving to take an inventory of the things in life you are thankful for and how having ADHD has helped to make you a more resilient person.

 

ADHD and the 2016 U.S. Election

This 2016 U.S. presidential election has been a real struggle in ADHD management. Those impairments of executive functions are really being tested. During what has turned out to be a bizarre, almost unreal, circus-like election campaign has tested the emotional control of people all over the world. A U.S. election is never only about Americans; the person who is elected President of the United States of America has an impact on the entire world.

The most frequently asked question in my neck of the woods went from “What do you think about Trump?” to “Can you believe Trump said that?” Personally, I’m not surprised by anything Donald Trump says, what surprises me is that he is so comfortable saying such things without any concern about how it might impact others.

From time to time I struggle with keeping my emotions in check regarding this current election. Nothing that Trump says surprises me, NOTHING. So when others around me are acting as if this is all a surprise that people believe and support the outlandish beliefs and actions of Trump, I want to ask those who are in shock, “Where have you been for the past decade?” Sexism, misogyny, racism, anti-Islamic myths, and obnoxious people have always been around and are written about in the media constantly.

This election can be difficult for people with ADHD who want to engage in civil, respectful, discussions where everyone gets to be heard and not demonized for who they have given their political support to. But the emotionally tense nature of this campaign can make it even more difficult to manage ADHD symptoms. We can be tempted to interrupt those we disagree with; we face difficulty modulating our emotions and returning to tasks after heated discussions; and it is a challenge to sustain attention to long drawn out political discussions and news articles in the media. There is also the challenge of preventing your political thoughts from being blurted out at inappropriate times and places.

This blog post that I am linking here was first posted in the Globe and Mail (a national Canadian newspaper). Dr. Gabor’s reflections on both Clinton and Trump are great food for thought and provide some insight into possible reasons why both candidates behave as they do.

I don’t know who is going to win the 2016 election. In my heart I wish America could go back in time and pick two completely different candidates; but time machines don’t exist and no President will ever be a perfect leader. My hope is that Americans will go to the polls and vote. Don’t be a political couch potato, sitting around having heated discussions with others and the television, but never taking action.

 

 

ADHD and Winter in October

winter-in-october

This evening, October 7th, 2016, our city received its first official snow fall of Winter. I’m not surprised, dark clouds have hovered over the city for a few days, and the mornings were becoming chillier with each passing day.

I don’t have a lot of Halloween decorations in the front yard, but what little there was is now a mixture of orange and white; the colours of winter weather in October.

During the Winter I tend to not want to venture outdoors once I get home from work. It’s dark outside by 4:30pm and it’s freezing, oh and one more reason to complain, there’s snow everywhere. Our long, cold, dark winters tend to throw off my ADHD management plan every year. It’s almost as if I have to have a different method for dealing with my disorder; one for Winter and early Spring, and another one for late Spring and Summer.

The absence of warm weather and long hours of sunlight mean no more meditative and relaxing walks. It’s hard for me to meditate outdoors while trekking through ankle deep snow and ice while fighting the wind. I’m more focused on getting home to my warm place where I can defrost and wrap myself in a blanket and spend my evening doing nothing more than remaining warm until I am forced to leave the house the next day.

For the longest time I couldn’t understand why the transition from Fall to Winter was so difficult for me emotionally and physically. I find Fall to be a beautiful time of year; the burst of yellow, green, and red leaves; a temperature I can handle now that it’s not too cold and not too hot; and the anticipation of a new “year” of activities in September. It eventually dawned on me that Fall is hard for me because of the rapid decline of happiness to sadness; Fall is the death of all the things I loved the most about nature. The evenings begin to get darker earlier and earlier. Those mutlicoloured leaves are actually dying. They turn to beautiful colours then fall off the tree and die all over the ground. The sun is mostly gone, the beautiful green grass is turning colour, the once cool air is now cold, and the rain that made everything grow is replaced by snow that withers and kills most of what it touches.

This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving, and I want to give thanks to God for everything, but I’m not going to pretend (especially since God knows all our thoughts) that I’m thankful for winter. I’m not thankful for the sadness it brings to my life, but I still know that there is a reason for everything that occurs in nature. My like or dislike of something in nature doesn’t determine the value of it’s purpose; it’s simply a reflection of my attitude and outlook on life.

Winter is a great way for me to procrastinate about getting necessary things finished. Once I enter the front door to my home, I feel as if I’ve won a battle against the elements and my reward is to curl up on the couch and watch my favourite shows; neglecting things like housework, assignments, and fun things that I had intended to do but changed my mind about after deciding that I really don’t want to go outdoors again.

It takes a lot more effort during the colder months for me to get things done so I had to change my ADHD management methods. I intentionally limit the amount of time I allow myself to be on Facebook. I rarely watch t.v. (helps that I don’t own a television) and I set a time limit on how many shows I can watch on Netflix during the weekdays. It isn’t easy, but it’s a necessary plan that has worked for me and seems to be the only way I can accomplish tasks during the winter.

I highly recommend taking some time to think about what your life with ADHD looks like during the colder months and during the winter. Do you find that there is a difference based on the seasons throughout the year? What about your eating and sleeping patterns? Are they worse, better, or do they remain the same? Do you find yourself more distracted due to the temperatures in your home, workplace, or school? Do you find it more difficult to be on time and be organized when the weather is bad? What changes might you need to make to be ready for winter as a person with ADHD?

We’re so used to our ADHD symptoms, I think this sometimes prevents us from checking in with how we are feeling, and how things are working for us. We’re diligent in winterizing our homes and vehicles; maybe it’s time we started doing the same for our ADHD symptoms. Being prepared for the season ahead is an excellent way to help manage our symptoms and our lives.