Today I'd like to talk about one way to tackle overwhelm; slowing down.
If you have adult Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), then you know that slowing down is a hard thing to do. There are so many tasks to accomplish in a day, and so little time to get them done! So your mind goes into high speed, thinking about what you want to accomplish and how you'll manage to do it, and worrying about the fact that getting it all done on any given day seems impossible. As a result, you spend a lot of time stressing out, and very little time enjoying life.
While slowing down is a difficult skill to master, it's essential for good ADD management. Slowing down your speedy brain helps you get into a calm and centered place. Once there, you're in a much better position to manage your stress and get things done.
Here are 6 proven ways to slow down the adult ADD brain:
1. Leave Work: Although sometimes it's necessary to work late, don't do it unless you absolutely have to! You'll work more efficiently during the day when the time you have to accomplish your tasks is limited. And take weekends off (or at least 2 days a week)! You deserve it.
2. Plan a Fun Night Out with Others: Nothing is more fun than a night out with people you like. This could be coworkers, friends, family, or members of a group you belong to. Give yourself something to look forward to every week, and enjoy yourself!
3. Make a Weekly Commitment: (Like Taking a Class or Participating in a Group) Find a reason to get out of the house and out of the office every week! Take a class, preferably learning something you always wanted to know how to do. Make sure you pay for the class in advance so you won't be tempted to skip it!
4. Journal: Journaling forces you to stop, reflect and process. It helps you manage stress and gain clarity. Make the decision to do it every day, even if it's just for 10 minutes! Don't worry about grammar, spelling, or punctuation because no one else ever has to see what you write.
5. Practice Mindfulness Meditation: There are many different ways to meditate, and my favorite practice is mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation is simply the act of being in the present moment, whether you are working, walking, or doing the dishes! Try to keep your mind in the moment, instead of thinking about the past or worrying about the future. It's okay to begin slowly by doing 5 minutes of mindfulness meditation a day, and then building on your practice as you become more comfortable.
6. Turn off Your Computer 2 Hours Before Bed: Computers are quite stimulating, especially for ADDers. Oftentimes, you'll find yourself sitting at your computer at 3:00 in the morning totally engrossed in researching something completely random. Turn the computer off two hours before bed in order to properly wind down, and slow down, at night.