Then there’s the internal distractions… like that year when I was a ballerina… and external distractions. Managing the thousands of messages that are pouring into your brain every second through your eyes and your ears what you see and hear and also what you taste what you smell what you touch. That’s why those tags on clothing can feel like a porcupine stabbing your neck, or noisy places, loud restaurants bright lights.
Executive function is about sorting through all of the signals separating what’s crucial from the background chatter. Right now you should be focused on what your child is saying but instead you’re thinking about cheese. Prioritizing deciding what’s more important. That script that’s due today or playing around on my model railroad. and if executive functions are not a big strength of yours it can lead to chaos and chaos becomes overwhelming, but with ADHD we get busy we like busy our brains like busy they love busy our brains are wired to go looking for trouble for drama danger excitement or opportunities.
Always On The Alert and Then ZZZZZ
Always on the alert or on the alert until we run out of gas and we hit the wall and we sink into a torpor which we do more often than other people and suddenly burnout overwhelm nap time! The rabbit not the tortoise, slow and steady wins the race? Yeah that’s okay I’ll try another race, and once you’ve hit that wall and you’ve collapsed in a heap snoring away or playing Sudoku instead of finishing the big assignment. What do you do? well at some point you just keep playing Sudoku. OR take a short nap 10 to 30 minutes or get some food another thing I learned about overwhelm was from taking courses with coach Linda Walker noticing my energy levels throughout the day. A lot of us are up in the morning but flat by mid afternoon and then we get a kind of a second wind in the evening which is why when I was doing a lot of live theater I noticed that by 5:00 p.m. most days I thought I was coming down with the flu, I didn’t think I could go on and then by 8:00 curtain time I was alive alert ready to walk out on stage. I think my body knew what was coming and just took the time to knock me flat and store up some energy.
Ways to Avoid Becoming Overwhelmed
There are other ways to avoid overwhelm which is probably better than getting into overwhelm and trying to dig your way out. Drink water, have snacks, take breaks, in fact my Fitbit. I love this, it has me every hour get up and walk at least 250 steps and then it gives me a little cheer and I know I’m a grown adult it shouldn’t matter. It does for some reason and here’s the big one and you’re not going to like it because you have ADHD but it’s under schedule. Plan to do less than you think you can. I know I know you have so much to do you need a long list of tasks. That’s exactly what I did for decades creating long lists that I never got done and I kept doing that till my coach asked does that work? oh? and don’t feel bad because big projects like I don’t know home renovations or say making a blockbuster movie, usually goes over budget in cost and in time. Think about that. Here are the best planners, accountants production managers schedulers. The best in their field and they can still dramatically overestimate how much they can get done in a day or underestimate how much things are gonna cost, how long they’re gonna take how many people will be required, the energy the reserves. I know under scheduling sounds restrictive and it can sometimes feel restrictive.
I’d rather do this but it works for me. Enough about me, what about you? how do you manage overwhelm? or even prevent life from reaching that state of mind boggling nerve rattling soul sucking paralysis. Share in the comments below, or drop by the house and tell me…