Coronavirus Pandemic: ADHD Perspective
Can Your ADHD hyper-focus help in the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic?
We really need all the creatives and out of the box thinkers right now.
As I went to the grocery store yesterday, I noticed that the shelves were getting empty very quickly. Panic began to set in that I needed to join the masses and make sure I had enough canned soups and toilet paper. My thoughts were, how are we going to regulate the use of this toilet paper within the household and make sure that we can make it last?!
I started getting into panic thinking and reading a lot of the social media out there and the news. It made it hard focusing on my work. When we have a crisis in our life, it can consume us. I felt that it was bringing me down and feeling a little lethargic as I moved through the day.
My own life was becoming to fall down around me as I was looking forward to my son’s baseball game this weekend. It would have been nice to get out of the house to be in an environment I thought would have been relatively safe from the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Our local schools canceled all the baseball games following suit with the national sports. At that point, I really felt the gravity of our situation.
It started to give me anxiety.
I was feeling a little down and not motivated to do what I usually do: creating a lot of blogs, instagram posts and podcasts. Should we halt everything and put everything on hold? I certainly felt frozen and confused.
I woke up this morning and thought, “No!” What we need is the very people that I speak to, the very people that I work with. We need all our creativity and need everybody to help. Because we are really a one-world economy now.
We need to think outside of the box outside of our homes, outside of our towns and the country. There is a responsibility to the world to get through this.
I came across this quote from a professor from a university, Leonard Sweep, and it really struck me.
“The future is not something we enter. It is something we create.”
What can we do to create a future when we’re just reacting, and we’re closing things down?
I feel like we are kind of like a mouse in one of those cages where you’re you’re going down a ramp, and somebody puts a block down that stops you. You turn around and you find another block placed.
As Americans, we cherish our freedom. We cherish our ability to move around freely to do what we want to do. This is what we pride ourselves in. We are being shut down and being confined to our homes.
Driving around my community, I feel anxious. Even going to the grocery store to buy essentials is stressful. Disinfecting my hands and cart and feeling awkward with my fears, I enter the battleground at the grocery store. I leave feeling embarrassed that I’m walking out with a 24 pack of toilet paper, but grateful I snagged one. But obviously, that’s the smart thing to do. I just want to be home, but yet I’m restless. These are strange conflicted times.
I’ve got that restless entrepreneurial spirit and this makes it hard. I like to get out and exercise and am still going to the gym, but I’m reading in the news that people are getting sick in the gyms, so they’re starting to shut them down.
I’m thinking holy cow, you know what does this mean for me? So, this inspired me to write that it’s time for us; the out of the box thinkers; the creative people to start tapping into that inner superpower and hyper-focus during this challenging time.
Now, my own hyper-focus has been on the news and the devastation. I want to understand the impact of what is going on right now.
We’re in a time that calls for us to tap into our inner creative energy to help us navigate through our current world crisis. We don’t want to shut down our thinking of solutions.
The future is not something we enter, but is something we create.
How do we handle the situation?
And respond to the duty to protect our vulnerable?
Go about our daily business while minimizing this hysteria?
This is a very tragic situation. And I have full trust that it’s going to get solved, but we’re in it for a while. Meanwhile, it is wreaking havoc on our world and how we live and work.
We are facing a lot of changes in our routines and how we work.
Could it be a possibility for a positive change?
Can this movement of social distancing and relying on our technology to stay informed and even fed in some areas be something positive and productive?
What do you do when you have all this extra time on your hands?
I’m talking about the extra time you have from canceled sporting events, travel plans, work commute. It really is going to free up some of your time. We can just sit around and read the news, watch the TV and just consume media and feel frozen in life. This is what I am guilty of this last week!
Or, we can shift it.
I often talk about taking a walk in the woods on a lunch break or before you go to work or when you get home to decompress. Since this is a time when you need to distance yourself, Social distancing, you could use it for your personal benefit.
Can you go for a walk around your neighborhood?
Go to a park and go for that walk slowly through the woods?
Use this quieter time to practice being mindful?
Put that energy into something that is going to help you through this or something in the near future?
Or, is there something you’ve been wanting to reflect on and realign your life?
Maybe it’s a career or academic goal. Or, it’s perhaps an interpersonal goal. But this could be an opportunity to really reflect within. Start to tap into some of that creative energy.
You could have a solution for something in your community that is a real problem. It could be a health care issue that you have this great idea for that you can use this time to contemplate. Many inventions come out of problem-solving a current issue. Well, we currently have a lot of problems to solve in a global world. What does our world need right now?
And this change in your day-to-day life can just be what sparks something positive or we can choose to wallow in our grief, anxiety and fears.
If you are healthy and taking the mandatory precautions, heed this advice!
Be proactive in your extra time while social distancing and tap into your creative spirit. You might just change your life for the better or someone else’s!
Let your creative ADHD brain process our current world dilemma and get proactive.
If you have something to share, please comment.
How can we CREATIVELY steer our lives NOW in the most sensible direction for when COVID-19 does pass?
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Give the gift of presence this holiday. It is what makes for lasting memories as the gift that truly keeps giving!
Practicing “Mindfulness” as the Key to a Peaceful Holiday Season
“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence.
When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.“
— Thich Nhat Hahn
This holiday season is a great reminder of what truly makes memories that will last a lifetime. It isn’t the number of gifts we receive but rather the time we spend with our loved ones. In short, it’s the act of being present.
A person struggling with ADHD or other executive functions may need direction this time of year on how to become connected to the true gifts of the holiday season of love joy and compassion. The term “mindfulness” is the energy that helps us recognize the conditions of happiness that are already present in our lives.
As Thich Nhat Hahn, the renowned Vietnamese Buddhist teacher would remind the world to do — Be present, be in the moment and Enjoy life.
Here is a list of some ways you can help create a peaceful holiday: being mindful can bring you joy in every moment.
- Be connected to your breath.
Conduct a simple breathing exercise of inhaling and saying to yourself, “I am here” Then, breath out and feel the air leave your body for a few seconds. This can bring you back into the moment and leave you feeling connected with yourself, again.
2. Pick a healthy way to take care of yourself. Take a walk.
Walking mindfully and slowly while paying attention to the sensations on the bottom of your feet offer other personal experiences. Notice how the body moves as you walk with awareness. Take one step at a time.
- Prioritize your time.
Start each day with a few minutes of quiet time. Reflect on the day ahead to help you prioritize your tasks and stay in tune with your emotional state. Recognize important things that need to be done. Identify any stressors and decide how you plan to address them. This process can help you follow through successfully each day.
- Actively listen to one another.
As students get excited for the holidays and receive an academic break from school, it can be a stressful time in the household. Elementary students are exploding with boundless energy while anticipating once-per-year events. High school and college students are studying frantically for their final exams. Parents are preoccupied with navigating their holiday to-do lists.
The combination of feeling overwhelmed, being excited with the seasonal events and the reality of academic stress can severely affect family relationships.
Now is the time to encourage one another to identify the feeling.
What emotion are you experiencing? Are you sad, stressed, angry, anxious, joyful, disappointed, excited or embarrassed? Accept the authenticity of your feelings and express the emotions verbally.
By expressing your feelings it can release negative emotions. Also, by being an active listener, you can demonstrate that you are present and validate the needs of others.
When you practice mindfulness, you are in a state of concentration. Because you are , and can sustain that awareness, it is said that you are concentrated. By being fully concentrated, you have an opportunity to make a breakthrough – and to achieve insight.
This practice of cultivating stillness in your life, loving speech and deep listening will bring joy and happiness to others and yourself. This holiday, achieve the true gift of happiness and joy by being in the moment and being present for others. It may be the most joyous season yet when all feel that their needs are being heard and therefore met.
Michelle R. Raz, M.A. Ed., is a professional executive function coach and educational consultant. Raz Coaching specializes in helping people with executive function challenges associated with ADHD, PTSD, Stress, TBI’s and ASD find careers they will love and land them. Read more at www.razcoaching.com/about Or sign up for the weekly blog or purchase my new book Happiness+Passion+Purpose. It is packed full of exercises and strategies you can put to use immediately.
Boosting Your Self-Esteem Will Give You a Fresh Outlook
When you’re down on yourself and thinking negatively, it can permeate into your current career, or you might not be landing the job that you want if you’re looking for one.
Shift your perspective and change how you feel about your job situation and outlook.
Take Brenda for example, she was feeling drained and defeated by recent comments about her “fun factor” at work. She had been told by a fellow employee to “lighten up” at work and not take everything so seriously. This put her into a tailspin of depression and self doubt when she shared it with her family and they agreed that she needed to lighten up. Brenda was drained and felt unappreciated in her life and work. In her mind, she felt that everything she did was for the future of her family and work and it was serious business. She was left feeling conflicted and full of self-doubt at work and home which was affecting her performance.
She came to me looking for ways to change her “fun factor”.
After working together and defining what she considered fun, it was clear that having order and structures in place where important to her in order to have space in her mind for enjoyment. Once she felt things had a purpose and place, she was able to relax, lighten up and actually have fun.
We looked at the positive qualities of a person that had a personality like hers. We were able to come up with terms like: responsible, leadership, organization and goal oriented. We role-played situations in her work where her strengths were demonstrated and how others benefited from them.
She found that her personality contributed to the ability for others to take a lighter role and enjoy their work because of her traits and work habits. She felt fulfilled seeing the flow and dynamics of others enjoying their jobs that she organized. This was her enjoyment, which made her happier and content.
In the end, she didn’t change a thing, but rather embraced her own characteristics seeing how her characteristics contributed to others in a positive way.
She became happier and it showed in all areas of her life!
If you were to describe yourself, you might say some negative characteristics, like, “I’m no fun.” You might say that because you have heard it from others or perhaps because you don’t find yourself smiling and laughing a lot.
How could you shift this thought into one that empowers you to have a new view of where you stand with your career or job search?
The answer is to flip the negative to a positive.
- I Am No Fun.
This inward statement becomes “I am serious and responsible” when you focus on the positive. Doing so can give you insights into what kind of work you enjoy and more confidence that you are just the kind of employee employers want.
A serious and responsible worker is someone who completes their tasks, is helpful to customers, and who takes the initiative to solve a problem when they see it without being asked to.
If you’re a serious and responsible person, you also probably prefer a certain type of work culture, which is important to know if you’re going to job interviews. Ask about the culture of the company, and pay attention to clues from other employees and the building’s environment when you are there to interview. Do you think you’d enjoy working there?
- I’m too Opinionated.
If you’ve been told that you’re too opinionated, and you believe it, it’s time to look at the situation differently. While there is definitely a time and place to share your opinion and a nice way to do it, you can say, instead, “I’m a leader, and I’m courageous and able to take charge.”
When no one else will say what needs to be said for the organization to move forward, you are the one spearheading the efforts to get the organization going in the right direction. If you have ideas about how things should be done, you’ve got the guts to lead a group and help ensure that those ideas are implemented.
A good leader always listens to those around them and takes their thoughts and advice into consideration, but, by sharing your own ideas in a constructive way, you’re helping the company take steps toward improvement.
- I’m Not a Good Decision Maker.
Feeling like you’re not great at finding solutions to problems can be reframed as “I’m a person who takes all views into consideration.” You are someone who does not blindly make decisions without considering the risks involved.
You seek out the input of all stakeholders, which is a truly team-oriented action. When you have all the information you think is necessary, then you can make a decision for your organization or for the next step in your job search.
It can be difficult to make decisions, but, by taking active steps to research the situation, you’ll be equipped to make the right choice when it’s time.
Viewing negative statements about yourself from a different perspective can help you improve your self-esteem and help you feel great about the job you have or the job search process.
When you have a positive perspective about yourself everyone benefits.
Raz Coaching specializes in helping people with executive function challenges associated with ADHD, PTSD, Stress, TBI’s and ASD find careers they will love and land them. Read more at www.razcoaching.com/about Or sign up for the weekly blog and learn about my new book Happiness+Passion+Purpose.