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Still Learning to Fail (day 24)

Posted by Mindy Katz on October 24, 2015 in All about ADHD, Flourish with ADHD |

It’s the weekend so I decided that I was just going to find something visual to post. I have spent hours looking for just the right thing on the internet and I found something interesting to share.

This buzzfeed post is concise with clear visuals, it is perfect. I am committed.

Just a little cutting and pasting and I’ll be ready to go. Nope, images won’t upload that way.

It has over 20 separate images, I can do it. Ok, each image needed to be uploaded twice. Once to my computer and then from my computer to my email server. Looking good, things humming along.

Uploading, uploading, uploading to my computer. Not so much fun anymore. Read more…

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A Community That Understands Us (day 23)

Posted by Mindy Katz on October 23, 2015 in All about ADHD, Flourish with ADHD |

CHADD Hi Res CustomAfter several years as a CHADD (Children & Adults with ADHD) support group coordinator, it is clear to me that both adults with ADHD and parents of children with ADHD experience a sense of isolation. It can be hard to escape the judgements and well-meaning advice from people who have not walked in your shoes. It seems that on a regular basis the media headlines yell at us that we or our parenting is deficient. A community that understands and supports us can balance out the negativity. Read more…

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Guest Blogger: How I Connected the Dots

Posted by Mindy Katz on October 22, 2015 in Flourish with ADHD |

Guest Blogger (1)

To my amazement, I was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult. After all, there was no reason to think I would be. I had homeschooled four children for over ten years, earned straight A’s in all my schooling and was successful in every job I had taken with promotions gained quickly and often. I was always told I could be/do anything I wanted. I was even voted most likely to succeed my senior year of high school. That didn’t sound like ADHD or focus issues! Read more…

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How Do You Work? (Day21)

Posted by Mindy Katz on October 21, 2015 in ADHD at Work, Tips & Tools |

Sucess Straight line squiggly line.jpg

While you can’t tell from the outside looking in, experience may have told you that the ADHD brain doesn’t work the same way as the typical brain.

With a different operating system, ADDers do best when they find non-typical ways to get to their goals.

Take a moment and think about where and how you work. Step back and survey your situation to really look and see what is already working and what changes would better serve you.

Here are some questions to ask.

How is your workspace set up? Do you need less distractions around your computer screen? Would reminders and to-do lists work better if they pop up on your phone or computer? Are there enough flat surfaces? Would a desktop sorter help keep the things you refer to nearby and visual?

How do you work? Could a reminder help you to step away from what you are doing every now and then to clear your head? What noises in the environment distract you? Would some white noise help you concentrate? Do you make timelines for projects? How do you keep track of what is most important?

How do find the information that you need? Would binders and checklists be your style or would searching digitally serve you better? Would it help to file by topic, project or date instead of alphabetically? What needs to be right out in front of you everyday and what can you put away?

Love the Brain You're With

The key is to find the right systems for your brain. Don’t give up until you find something that DOES work, not something that merely SHOULD work. With that support, you can focus on what your brain does well.

The disabled runner with titanium prosthetic limbs and the elderly person with a walker have found a way to get from point A to point B, and so can you!

If you can’t have the brain you want, love the brain you’re with

If you would like some help figuring out how to work with your brain let me know, Mindy@YourLife-PlanB.com

#adhdawarenessmonth #adhd #oneof15m

 

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Practicing Mindfulness (Day 20)

Posted by Mindy Katz on October 20, 2015 in Flourish with ADHD, Tips & Tools |

This is last week of a Mindfulness Meditation program (MBSR) that I started 8 weeks ago. Having been introduced to many forms of mindfulness meditation during the course, my biggest surprise was how much I enjoyed the practice of just sitting quietly focusing on the breath. Not only do I enjoy the silent meditations, I found that I was able to sit comfortably in that quiet for up to 40 minutes.

I didn’t start at 40 minute intervals. This was something that I had worked up to over several years. I had started with taking a single breath, then 10 minutes and then 20 minute guided meditations. What surprised me this time around, is that I am able to sit without a guide and that I look forward to this designated quiet time.

We often think about meditation as going into a non-thinking state, however, mindfulness meditation is not about clearing our minds. This particular form of meditation is about focusing on something in the present moment, like your breath, and when your mind wanders off bringing it back. Like a muscle, increasing it’s ability to lift heavier weights, mindfulness trains our brains to come back to our intended focus more easily. Focusing awareness and bringing it back, that is the practice.

Research has shown the benefits of mindfulness for all brains including those with ADHD. In my experience, the practice of mindfulness helps with impulsiveness, emotional regulation and my ability to settle down and get things going. As always, everyone has a different experience.

While the regular MBSR program isn’t for everyone, there is a mindfulness program outlined by Lidia Zylowska in her book The ADHD Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD.

Shoot me an email if you would like to know more about getting some mindfulness in your life.

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How to Slow Down and Proceed with Caution

Posted by Mindy Katz on October 19, 2015 in ADHD at Work, Flourish with ADHD, Tips & Tools |

ADHD Awareness Month – Day 19

adhd head spinning

Sometimes we don’t even notice when our brains are going full speed ahead. We don’t realize that we might be better served if we were to slow down and proceed with caution.

One way that I conceptualize the hyperactivity of the ADHD brain is to imagine it full of electricity, crackling and popping, overcharged with energy, ideas, thoughts and emotions.Electric Brain

Wouldn’t it be nice to short circuit that snap, crackle and pop to get some peace and quiet? The solution is nearer than you may have thought: it is one breath away.

Take a breath. Not one of those shallow breaths that start and end in your chest. A real breath: one that starts in your belly and rises up through your chest. Exhale. Notice your brain now. Is it slower, less frenetic? Do you feel like you have a grip again, even if it is only for a nanosecond? Enjoy the break, even if it is momentary.

The next time everything is swirling around you, try taking a breath to short circuit the cycle that makes you feel overwhelmed. With practice, a few breaths can give you the relief you need and the chance to find a new perspective.

When everything seems to be swirling around you, what can you do to remember to take a breath?

Email me Mindy@YourLife-PlanB.com and let me know how can I help you catch your breath.

 

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Starting Is The Hardest Part (Day 18)

Posted by Mindy Katz on October 18, 2015 in All about ADHD |

Guest Blogger (1)Guest Blogger: Tim Justice

Songwriter Tom Petty wrote that “the waiting is the hardest part,” and while that may be true in relationships, there is little doubt that for millions of people struggling with mental issues, addiction, and or even making positive change, starting is the hardest part.

You may have heard the moral judgement people make about ADD, “You’re so smart, it’s a shame you don’t try harder.” It’s important to turn this morality into ADD truth: you know what to do, but you have trouble doing it. You succeed at the classic definition of insanity: you keep doing the same things and keep getting the same results. Never mind that ADD probably keeps you from doing the same things exactly the same way.

Never mind that people sometimes avoid what they know is best because they can’t face the perceived pain of change. Never mind that change is hard, but so is re-living the pain.Human nature is such that substantial change comes in a moment of crisis, when the pain is such that you either give in and despair or take the most important, essential step, which is to acknowledge the pain.

This is the first step of the classic 12-step program, but it is also the first of the Buddhism’s Four Noble Truths that “life is suffering.”  In the West, it may be viewed as a “dark night of the soul” or a Biblical “cry in the wilderness.” I think it’s important to let your spiritual self that dwells with emotions encounter the pain, which is emotion, on its own terms. Doing so allows you to see that you are not ADD and ADD is not you: ADD is something you can choose to deal with.

I reached a moment where I was tired of feeling like a victim, where I was tired of feeling like an observer in my own life, and where I simply wanted to change. The East may see it as a moment of enlightenment. The West may see it as a moment of salvation. I prefer satori, a Japanese Buddhist term for awakening, “comprehension; understanding”, but you can simply call it knowing.

The ADD brain finds inspiration in all sorts of places: the G.I. Joe cartoon characters used to give kids advice like, “Don’t accept a ride from a stranger,” and they always ended by saying, “Now you know… and knowing is half the battle!” They were right, because knowing is the first step to owning.

You must own ADD in order to change.

_______________

Tim Justice is a 61 year-old local technical writer who dealt with major depression for years only to come to realize the depression was a major outcome of his ADD trials and frustration. Although relatively late in life, he stays on the journey of self realization while striving for compassion.

#adhdawarenessmonth #adhd #oneof15m

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Alternative Treatment for ADHD (day 17)

Posted by Mindy Katz on October 17, 2015 in All about ADHD, Flourish with ADHD |

Natural Relief ADHD SarkisI am often asked about non-prescription treatments for ADHD. Sometimes they are promoted as safe alternatives to medication; however, that is not often the case. Frequently, these claims are not backed up with good scientific studies to support their claims.

Stephanie Moulton Sarkis, Ph.D., in her book “Natural Relief for Adult ADHD” reviews the research and cites the non-medication treatments that have been shown to be effective at managing many of the symptoms of ADHD. She reminds us that there is no cure for ADHD.  The goal of all treatments is to manage the symptoms.

Dr. Sarkis cites the following as having been shown to be effective, complementary non-medication treatments for ADHD:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Coaching
  • Exercise, in all of its forms, including sports and instructor-led classes
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Good sleep hygiene (going to bed and waking up at the same time every day and getting tested for sleep apnea, if needed)
  • Accommodations
  • Omega supplements, especially omega-3
  • A healthy balanced diet

Finally, Dr. Sarkis reminds us that we don’t need to spend a lot of money for many of these treatments. “Always look at the long-term benefits of the treatment. If you’re going to spend the time, energy and money on a treatment, you want a reduction of ADHD symptoms that continues throughout the treatment.”

You may have to try a few different approaches, alone and together, to find out what works best for you.

As with any treatment, it is strongly suggested that you keep a daily log of your symptoms so that you can track and notice any changes or improvement.

#adhdawarenessmonth # adhd #oneof15m

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ADHD Myths – BUSTED!

Posted by Mindy Katz on October 17, 2015 in All about ADHD |

ADHD Myths BustedAre you tired of hearing false information about ADHD? I love the list below that Jodi Sleeper-Triplett published – 11 myths and truths about ADHD.

Use this information when you hear false comments about ADHD. The information and explanations below will help you fight the misinformation and stigma,

MYTH: ADHD is a result of a child eating too much sugar.

Research doesn’t support the theory that sugar can cause ADHD. In fact, it’s highly unlikely that sugar intake can affect the size of parts of a child’s brain, as is seen in patients with ADHD.

MYTH: Kids with ADHD are just poorly disciplined.

ADHD is a condition of the brain that makes it difficult for children to control their behavior. While researchers have been unable to find the exact cause of ADHD, they have discovered a distinct change in brain size and activity in children with ADHD. Because these children have difficulty controlling their behavior, they may be labeled “bad kids.” This is far from the truth.

MYTH: ADD is just a lack of willpower.

Persons with ADD focus well on things that interest them; they could focus on any other tasks if they really wanted to. ADD looks very much like a willpower problem, but it isn’t. It’s essentially a chemical problem in the management systems of the brain.

MYTH: Everybody has the symptoms of ADD, and anyone with adequate intelligence can overcome these difficulties.

ADD affects persons of all levels of intelligence. And although everyone sometimes has symptoms of ADD, only those with chronic impairments from these symptoms warrant an ADD diagnosis.

MYTH: ADD doesn’t really cause much damage to a person’s life.

Untreated or inadequately treated ADD syndrome often severely impairs leaning, family life, education, work life, social interactions, and driving safely. Most of those with ADD who receive adequate treatment, however, function quite well.

MYTH: People with ADHD just need to try harder

While effort is important in overcoming obstacles caused by ADHD, it isn’t the whole story. You can likened the misconception of working harder in ADHD to poor eyesight: “We don’t tell someone with bad vision that he just needs to try harder to see well.” People with ADHD have been trying harder their entire lives, but don’t have as much to show for their efforts. This is why it’s important to address ADHD with appropriate treatment and ADHD-friendly strategies that take into account how the ADHD brain processes information.

MYTH: ADHD only affects school performance.

ADHD impacts a child’s functioning in all areas of his life, not just the classroom. Inattention interferes with his ability to complete tasks and follow directions; impulsivity leads to conflicts with parents and friends, as well as dangerous behaviors. Teenagers with ADHD are at higher risk for auto accidents, substance abuse, unprotected sex, and brushes with the law.

MYTH: He’s just lazy and unmotivated.

This assumption is a common response to the behavior exhibited by a child who is struggling with ADHD. A child who finds it nearly impossible to stay focused in class, or to complete a lengthy task such as writing a long essay, may try to save face by acting as though he does not want to do it or is too lazy to finish. This behavior may look like laziness or lack of motivation, but it stems from real difficulty in functioning. All children want to succeed and get praised for their good work. If such tasks were easy for children with ADHD to accomplish, and provided rewarding feedback, those children would seem just as “motivated” as anyone else.

MYTH: He’s a handful—or, she’s a daydreamer—but that’s normal. They just don’t let kids be kids these days.

It is true that all children are impulsive, active, and inattentive at times, sometimes to the extreme. A child with ADHD, however, is more than just a “handful” for his parents and teachers, or a “daydreamer” who tends to lose herself in thought. His or her hyperactivity and/or inattentiveness constitute a real day-to-day functional disability. That is, it seriously and consistently impedes the ability to succeed at school, fit into family routines, follow household rules, maintain friendships, interact positively with family members, avoid injury, or otherwise manage in his or her environment.

MYTH: ADHD Can Be Treated With Just One Treatment

Parents of children with ADHD are frequently forced to listen to “miracle cure” stories. Some people argue that medication alone can fix ADHD and that there’s no need to go to therapy or change parenting strategies. Others vehemently oppose medication, emphasizing that school accommodations and the right approach to parenting will “cure” the condition. The truth is that many people with ADHD have to try several different treatments before something works. The most effective way to treat ADHD is with a combination of medication, therapy, academic interventions, and lifestyle changes. If you skip one of these approaches, you’re reducing the efficacy of treatment.

MYTH: ADHD is a Personal Failing

ADHD makes everything about life more challenging. From getting up each day and going to school to finding and keeping a job, people with ADHD struggle more than the rest of us. Because everyone is familiar with procrastination and disorganization, though, the symptoms of ADHD can look a lot like the symptoms many of experience every day when we tackle the challenges of life. For people with ADHD, though, these symptoms are much more pronounced, and they can’t simply be thought away. Research now conclusively shows that people with ADHD are not choosing their condition. Instead, they have clear brain differences that can be treated with medication. Research also suggests a clear genetic component for ADHD.

Jodi Sleeper-Triplett, MCC, SCAC, BCC is a world-renowned expert in youth coaching and ADHD youthcoaching. She is the founder of the ADHD youth coaching movement and has been working with young people for nearly 35 years.

 

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Recap and Links to All Postings (So Far) ADHD Awareness Challenge Day 15

Posted by Mindy Katz on October 15, 2015 in ADHD at Work, All about ADHD, Flourish with ADHD, Tips & Tools |

Woo Hoo! We’ve arrived at Day 15, the halfway point in my 31 day blogging challenge for ADHD Awareness Month.  I want to take a moment to thank you for following along, and to summarize what we’ve covered so far.

We’ve looked at information about ADHD – the myths, frustrations and workplace issues. I’ve shared my own personal experiences, challenges and determination. We’ve had a few laughs and discovered some great resources, along with some tips about how to live better every day.

I’ve compiled  each of the daily posts (with the links) on a list below to use as a reference. I know that the daily emails may feel  overwhelming. Don’t worry about having to save every email, losing or forgetting any particular one, because they are all listed here.  

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the feedback and requests that I have gotten so far. It’s been so gratifying to hear from folks about how helpful these posts have been. If you know of anyone who might benefit from any or all of these post, please feel free to forward and share.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or requests for future posts. I‘m taking a deep breath, there are 16 days to go.

 

Day 1
ADHD Awareness Month Challenge Begins: Day 1
Day 2
I Want to Scream (ADHD Awareness Month Challenge: Day 2)
Day 3
ADHD is Real!
Day 4
Everything You want to know about ADHD in a minute (or two)
Day 5
ADHD in the Workplace – Should I Tell?
Day 6
Life Hacks for ADHD (ADHD Awareness – Day 6)
Day 7
When I Started Asking People What Went Well, Everything Changed!
Day 8
Need a Laugh?
Day 9
Perfectionist or Optimalist*?
Day 10
Resources for ADHD Information – Where to Start?
Day 11
This is so hard!
Day 12
Are You One Of 15 Million?
Day 13
6 Tips for Looking Neat and Organized (Day 13)
Day 14
Podcasts about ADHD, More Resources For You! (Day 14)

 

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