Its October, already?!? The theme this year for ADHD Awareness Month is Moving forward with ADHD.
I’m again writing about ADHD’s impact at the last minute.
Even with known time blindness, and a plan for months to do “more” for it this year.
Breaking news: I’m not.
But I need to give myself credit too, instead of “just moving the goalposts”. I can admit, there is a plan. The newsletter will go out next week, I’m talking about ADHD Awareness Month and that hasn’t happened before! That’s a win.
Where does ADHD Show Up in My Life?
I’m not aware of a lot of it because it is so baked into my existence. But I’m starting to look for ways to notice that I struggle more than other people and find ways to scaffold that. (Scaffolding is things you do to make the process easier without changing the outcome).
For this newsletter, I always ask my VA, Erin with Birch Tree Creative, to seed my writing process with some questions after we’ve talked about what I want to accomplish in the newsletter for the month. While my systems are certainly helping make this less last-minute, it’s a work in progress! It helps me form a direction instead of struggling for hours not knowing where to start. I need to talk part of this out and using others to help me find the form of my ideas has been great.
ADHD shows up in lots of areas in my life. One of the hardest to see from the outside (and one I don’t even catch–i”m doing it internally most of the time) Setting standards that I can’t consistently meet (but did once! So I know i can do it!!-forgetting that my execution varies based on lots of other stuff) so I’ll be good enough and not cause the rest of the world difficulties.
It also shows up as being hyper-verbal for me. And an ability to follow multi-thread associative conversations that confuse the daylights out of other people. It shows up in super-variable task initiation (getting started on stuff takes forever or I’ve responded to your email immediately!).
It shows up sometimes in fatigue, especially if I am bored or have put out a lot of mental and physical resources to try to keep all the balls in the air.
It’s taken me a lot of years to get a better sense of where and how ADHD shows up in my life. Recently, I’ve been going back and doing some emotional work around ADHD issues in my childhood and even if I know logically the difficulties were ADHD, I haven’t dealt with a lot of the emotional weight I still carry from that.
My Awarenss and Exercise:
I don’t notice exercise directly impacting my thinking, but it does impact my energy, and motivation and ability to initiate tasks. I find that something as little as 10 minutes of low-intensity walking or biking in the morning can be enough to substantially impact my day for the better. Even when I’m dragging, often 10 minutes will shift my mood enough to start getting something done again.
A study from 2022 shows for the first time that low and high exercise intensities differentially influence brain function. Using resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (Rs-fMRI), a noninvasive technique that allows for studies on brain connectivity, researchers discovered that low-intensity exercise triggers brain networks involved in cognition control and attention processing, while high-intensity exercise primarily activates networks involved in affective/emotion processing.
Interoception and Excercise: How Much is Too Much?
Last month, I was focused on interoception. I’ve often had a hard time telling how hard I push myself, even with scales like this:
I always was confused in track practice or swim practice when they were talking about going from 50% effort to 75% or 80% effort. I have a sense of about 3 levels: no effort, some effort, and I might die.
Yes, I understand what the words mean, but how to tell the difference when jogging between 50% and 75%? Uh … I don’t have the internal sensation difference awareness to know this. So, needless to say, I learned to push really hard and didn’t think I liked exercise.
Today, I’ve pulled way back into the range of what I find feels good to me And I do like it. And apparently I only like about up to a moderate level on the scale above.
But my internal awareness continues to grow! And that is another way I’m moving forward with ADHD.
Learn more about ADHD Awareness Month
Something to Ponder:
What would you from a year ago appreciate about what you are doing now?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!