One of the most difficult things I find is setting boundaries. Not in a way that I don’t know wrong or right or don’t have any morals or values, but in the little things.
I have been on a number of committees and organised a bunch of events, and combining that with a social life, academics and until recently a relationship, has been really hard. Before my ADHD diagnosis, I didn’t recognize when I was overwhelmed, and even if I realized I wasn’t feeling okay, or worse, getting anxious, I didn’t feel like I should be and just kept going. The result of that would be that my body would eventually pull on the emergency brakes & I would get migraines, because I had just pushed myself way beyond my limits.
My diagnosis allowed me to cut myself some slack. I learned to recognize the signs of feeling overwhelmed & learned to pace myself (a bit) better. One of the ways is just by scanning my body sort of, where I pause, check if I’m feeling tense, breathe deeply, and then 9/10 times, if I am tense, this helps.
Furthermore, planning. I know, from personal experience, Planning alone can be tough & overwhelming, especially for someone with adhd, but my psychologist recently put it this way, “see it as you have 8 spoons of energy, wouldn’t you rather you knew you were gonna spend those 8 spoons okay, rather then be already 2/3 through your energy by midday with a party still happening tonight??” I admit it sounds easier than it is, but I genuinely spend a spoon less energy if I’ve spent time in the morning just checking my agenda & knowing carefully what I will spend my energy on, rather than just going in head first, worrying if I’m going to have a breakdown at dinner time today, because I’m just. all out.
& my very last piece of advice?, which I also struggle with like crazy – don’t hold on whatever you’re feeling. I was the person that would tell myself constantly “I’m not going to let this affect me, I’m fine, I’m going to keep going. But then I would suddenly have 2 days where the littlest thing would make me cry, or agitated or sometimes even make me really really angry for no reason at all! So feel. Let yourself feel & it won’t be as bad as you think. (I need to repeat this to myself more often than you realize).
I know this sounds like basic self-care, and maybe you already know this or already do this (good job!!) I don’t, & I guess I’m also trying to help myself here. If you’re interested in why I have so much trouble with this, look forward to my next post! It’ll be a bit deeper perhaps on why and how. Either way, lots of love and until my next post!