Everyone describes their teen or adult ADHD differently…
I describe mine to non-ADDers this way: “Ya know how you feel those last five minutes of the workday or your study session, where things are getting foggy and you’re just wiped out and getting declining mental returns? Well, that’s how it feels to me pretty much from the get-go, every day.”
However your ADHD feels to you, we are indeed at a distinct disadvantage in the workplace, the household and at school not only due to our impulsiveness and distractibility: a big culprit is the quick onset of the feeling of mental fatigue.
BUT…There are ways power up your brain before taking on weighty mental engagements — and even have more mental stamina overall…
…to feel less like this….
…and more like this…
First, Cut the Crap
No special tricks here. Just the simple fact that sugar, carbs and toxins to the ADDer are like a ball and chain to a sprinter.
Sugar and simple carbs are like crack for us – a quick burst of mental energy, then *pift*…big crash. With the only rescue being another dose of sugar or potato chips.
So cut this crap out! Watch for sugar in your snacks, check all ingredient labels for high sugar or carb counts, and switch from white to brown foods – brown rice, dark bread, yams instead of white potatoes, etc.
Next is an incredibly simple trick for powering your mind. I call it…
When your mind becomes worn from study or a tough task, get up and go somewhere else. To another room. To another chair at the same desk or in the same room. To your porch. To a coffee shop.
The movement gets blood and oxygen to your brain…and the brief break rests your brain muscles – plus, the new environment gives you a psychological fresh start.
Yes, you’ve run the clock a bit by the time you’re back to working, but you can get gads more mileage from your brain’s fuel tank with this simple trick.
The next trick is to…
Not all of us are physically hyperactive, but we’re all mentally hyperactive. Our wheels are constantly spinning—worrying, over-analyzing, daydreaming. Which only contributes to what’s been called, “the constant state of ADHD overwhelm.”
Indeed, worry and frustration are as fatiguing as work itself. And our inner dialogue burns precious mental fuel mostly on two things: worries about the past, and worries about the future.
So how DO we quiet our minds?
First, just be AWARE of the CONTENT that’s whizzing around in your brain. If you actually listen to your seemingly involuntary inner dialogue — you’ll see the quantity of worry and its focus outside the present.
And here’s the funny thing about our internal dialogue: it’s NOT totally involuntary – we CAN control it, if we choose to.
And the funny thing about the past? IT’S GONE. No amount of stressing will change it. Unless we’re formulating how to avoid repeating a past mistake, we are wasting time and energy.
And ditto for the future: IT’S NOT PREDICTABLE. We stress over what’s “gonna happen” tomorrow in the parent/teacher conference or final exam, as we imagine the bad things and feelings to come. But unless we’re strategizing a SOLUTION to a foreseeable problem, we’re wasting time and energy.
SO…When you catch yourself cranking out worry and anticipation when instead you should be cranking out a report or helping the kids with their homework…Shut-Up-A-You-Mind!
…by doing nothing more than closing our eyes and quieting the inner dialogue for even a few minutes – then re-engaging your tough tasks.
When you’re able to get the crap out of your diet, make a simple change of venue or just quiet your thoughts for a few, you are calmer and less irritable – and your precious mental fuel will last a LOT longer.
Peace Be With You!
P.S. If you haven’t yet heard of www.CrusherTV.com, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab