How to Pause with ADHD
"Having ADHD is like having a Ferrari engine for a brain with bicycle brakes."
This is a statement said by Dr. Ned Hallowell, and he couldn't be more right.
I was always told that my brain goes "100 miles an hour" and the truth is, is that there's space for that in this world.
We ADHDer's tend to thrive in stimulating, fast pace environments as it gives us that dopamine rush that we sometimes need and it's one of the reasons as to why we often (not alwayys) make great for jobs such as firefighters, emergency room jobs, ad agencies, food service, so much.
There's a problem though.
It's that we can get over stimulated. We can take on too much and in turn, it takes a toll on our mental health, our work performance, our relationships and our sleep - all things we don't want as men with ADHD.
Today, I'm going to share with you 3 of my favorite tips on preventing over stimulation and make space for "pausing" in your life.
Proceed with caution. I recognize that there are some breathing practices that worsen anxiety and I am by no means providing any sort of medical advice.
One of my favorite things to incorporate throughout the day for me is a breathing practice. Taking a moment (or several moments) to incorporate a breathing practice that works for you is usually a good idea.
My go to is box breathing. To do this, you start by full exhaling. Then, breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds and hold for 4 seconds. I like to do this for a few minutes ( I recommend setting a timer) often with my phone on airplane mode and maybe some calming music to get me back in more control.
Having a meditation practice has really made a large difference for my own personal life. It's a moment for me in which I aim to be fully present, bringing a sense of calm and control to the day that I am pursuing.
The good news about meditation is that it doesn't have to be that hard to learn. For those of us with ADHD, I'm a big fan of using a guided meditation app of some sort or attending a class. This is helpful because during moments of distraction, which will undeniably happen often for us, the teacher will help us navigate that and bring us back to the practice.
It's similar to the difference between going to the gym by yourself vs. going to the gym with a personal trainer.
Let me say this loud and clear - your hobby is productivity. One of the things we tend to get caught up in is this idea that if we are not "working" 24/7 we are simply doing ourselves no good.
This couldn't be further from the truth. If you like biking, making sure you do it regularly matters. If you like singing, it's best you sing. Whatever it is for you, engaging in these hobbies will help you "reset" when you need to and bring a sense of more loving-kindness towards yourself as you are actively taking time out for yourself, and often, that time can be really healing.
What I really want you to get from this article is that taking the time to re-charge is something that matters and contrary to popular belief, doesn't always show up as being in bed all day. Doing this regularly can really make all the difference in how we pursue our day to day lives and how we connect with our loved ones.
I dare you to give it a go.
Be sure to check out my new podcast, ADHD Men's Support on Apple Podcast and Spotify! This is a space for men to learn about their ADHD, feel connected, understood and motivated as well as a space for those whose loved ones are men with ADHD. I'd love if you check it out, leave a review and share with someone who may benefit!