It’s summer, the season of lightness and play, it’s been a tough ride lately. How do you want to enjoy this time of year? Moira shares how to and why it’s a good idea to make the livin’ easy for an ADHD friendly summer.
Welcome to the ADHD Friendly Lifestyle Podcast, for those of us with ADHD, who have had enough of trying harder and want to live a more comfortable, healthy, and happy life with less frustration and overwhelm. It’s time to get rid of guilt and shame–around having ADHD, our needs, and challenges through stories, knowledge, and humor to speak up about the experience of women, moms, and being late diagnosed with ADHD.
- figure out what our lives will be like post pandemic,
- summer has potential to help
- considering stage of life we are in and what is going on for us
- what is unique about summer and either energetic or absorb the energy of the season to rejuvenate
- we can experience summer as a time to take the foot of the gas and enjoy or finetune our intentions
- is harder to get motivated with ADHD
- when we succeed our brains tend to highlight any negative, and our brain chemistry and memories of success are more fleeting
- to counter these 3 things: important to regularly give ourselves a daily dose of things that bring us delight to boost our get up and go.
- Daily doses of pleasure make it easier to feel good, motivate and get things done
- Summer is a good time to practice daily doses of pleasure, it’s filling up the tank after a long dry spell.
- Look back at previous summers for the good experiences from this time of year
- Moira shares the big and small things she enjoys about summer
- Moira shares ideas both old and new to get into a good grove for summer
- ADHD means that wanting something doesn’t mean it’ll be easy to go for it, how we can make it easier to do more of the good stuff?
take what works for you with have a strong and clear reason or WHY. TS: 13:13
look to our past, near and far to come up with what we appreciate, enjoy, and want to do in summer, we can ask the people around us what it is for them. It depends on what we each want out of summer and our WHY how many and detailed summer ideas we are on the lookout for.
figuring out when we are going to do and put them in our schedule, considering fluctuations in mood/energy/heat and time of the day can make a big difference to how we are doing.
Continually figuring out the same things drains us. Try creating some routines or more consistency that you like for going outside, eating, sleeping, moving, and hydrating. It might not work at first, instead of giving up, what kinks could be ironed out to make it work? Added to freeing up brain capacity, getting regular consistent fuel and rest decreases ADHD symptoms and increases our enjoyment of life.
My 3 tips are specific to eating help with creating some sort of regularity, which our body needs, and making fewer decisions too.
- our body and brains need regular consistent fuel, even when we don’t think we are hungry
- with ADHD it can often feel like we practical eating most of the time:
- anticipating that you’re going to need food and then feeding your body
- stash items in bags that go for those times when out and it’s been a while since eating
- hunger can show up as ADHD symptoms getting worse–struggling with concentration and energy and focus and it can create more anxiety even thinking about food more.
- noticing what’s going on in our bodies is quiet with ADHD
- we might not be able to notice our more subtle hunger cues
- taking a medication that suppresses appetite adds on to this.
when trying to figure out the next step, or what’s most important, try asking what could be the task or thing to do that would make life easier?
Moira Maybin 00:05
It’s summer, the season of lightness and play. What we’re talking about today is what we want to do to enjoy this time of year, and how we can make it easier to do more of that. For show notes and more information on this topic, visit ADHDfriendlylifestyle.com.
Welcome to the ADHD friendly lifestyle, part of the ADHD reWired Podcast Network. This is the place to practice putting on our own oxygen mask so we can breathe and make it possible to show up in our own lives without guilt or shame. I’m your host, Moira Maybin, a woman, Mom, educator, and I have late diagnosed ADHD, we can have an ADHD friendly lifestyle that includes more time with our strengths and passions. Less with our challenges, has ways to adjust what and how we do things to suit us better and expand the ways and places that ADHD is understood and accepted. I suspect many of us have asked the same questions I did. Why is life so hard? Why does it seem easier for literally everyone else? There are things that I wish I had known about my ADHD sooner that are allowing me to make different decisions to make my life better and more ADHD friendly. And I want to share them with you. I finally understand that to live well my lifestyle is not negotiable. It must work for me. It must be healthy. And yep, it’s got to be ADHD friendly. I want to thank you for choosing this podcast and I have been touched deeply by the emails and reviews sharing how my words are helping you. Please take the time to review, share, and subscribe to the podcast on the player of your choice. Going to be experimenting with a few different things on upcoming episodes, to try and see if there are ways that I can get this to fit better in my life. Make it a little bit more ADHD friendly for me. We’re in this together. If you have questions or ideas for me, you can share them at ADHDfriendlylifestyle.com. While you’re there, subscribe to the podcast and sign up for emails to get every episode delivered to your inbox and be the first to hear what is going on. Stay tuned at the end of today’s episode for our feature tell me you have ADHD without telling me you have ADHD.
Moira Maybin 02:16
Okay, let’s get started. This summer is no ordinary summer, it’s summer 2021. Depending on where we are in the world, we are either still in the thick of the pandemic starting to emerge from the limitations or life has almost returned to normal. Where I live, adults are beginning to receive second vaccine doses, fewer people are becoming infected, and we are phasing out public health orders over the next few months. Experiences over the last 18 months have been varied. But what is true for all of us is that the experience has been life altering. As we try to figure out what our lives will be like post pandemic, summer in all its possibility has the potential to help us out with that process.
The stage of life we are in and what is going on for us plays a part in how we experienced this summer. My life used to naturally have more space in summer when I didn’t have children and school was out. I had time to both explore things I wanted to and slow down. It took me quite a few years of being a parent to realize that if I wanted to enjoy summer, being off work and at home with kids, that summer was a time to actively try to do less because I was parenting 24 seven, thinking of it as a time for more projects and chill time with all the other things going on seasonally too. I finally figured that out, had my ADHD diagnosis had one amazing summer, then capped it off by falling off a cliff. Spending the last two summers dealing with health issues means I am very aware of the long-awaited potential benefits and drawbacks of summer 2021. But I am feeling cautiously optimistic too.
Moira Maybin 4:00
Summertime is when we spend more time outdoors, especially if you live in a part of North America that has long hard cold winters. Summer has a different energy from other times of year. It’s a fleeting time to celebrate growth of all kinds, food, animals, plants, really anything that requires effort and energy and tending during springtime. That can be true for us as well. If we want to explore living alongside the natural rhythms of the earth, then we can experience summer as a time to take our foot off the gas and enjoy or finetune our intentions. This may be the year to raise the roof, do some celebrating and shake off our social cobwebs. We may notice a new lightness and energy, feel more social and want to make more connections. So hey, why not run with it.
For all our frontline health care workers who have just been on all the time for this entire pandemic, and even our school children and teachers, this is a time of ending too and they may be dragging trying to simply make it through the day. In that case, it’s time to relax, rest as needed, get rid of what we can from our plate to make it possible to absorb the energy of the season to rejuvenate. Let’s take what we need from what summer has to offer to make our life easier. And if that’s a siesta, enjoy it.
Moira Maybin 05:18
Summer can also have too much heat for some of us. I’m always looking for shade because I burned so very easily. It feels like I’m literally cooking. And heat also impacts my mood for people like me, overheating can lead to restlessness, agitation, and a lower frustration tolerance. When we are feeling out of sorts and tending to anger, it can be helpful to have some non-harming ways to deal with it. Especially if it tends to spill over onto my nearest and dearest. There are some socially acceptable ways to deal with this, like boxing, dancing, you know, perhaps with some stomping in it, singing our lungs out and even screaming into a pillow. And I found that a good sweat of any kind helps me manage my emotions. Well, maybe not any kind. I’d prefer the kind that comes from activity, not from sitting in a hot room. Bottom line, it’s summer. So, take a break from creating more challenges for ourselves, or picking apart what we do if we are doing things wrong, or that we need to get everything right join in as we focus on an ADHD friendly summer, what we want to do, and how we can make it easier to do more of that today.
Moira Maybin 06:25
I told my son I was staying home to work on this episode. And he said, don’t you always stay home? Okay, true son. But he didn’t know that I had planned to go to my daughter’s softball game, as spectators can now attend. But in splitting up parenting, this was the time to work on this episode. on other days, I will also be available to parent and to do some summer things. allowing ourselves to experience pleasure and guilt free pleasure is crucial to our physical and mental health. Part of an ADHD friendly lifestyle can include identifying what tasks or activities are important, and will help us feel better, how to switch gears, what things to leave undone, and do what brings us happiness without feeling bad or second guessing it. It’s harder for us to get motivated. Even when we succeed, our brains tend to highlight any negative, and our brain chemistry and memories of success are more fleeting. This means it’s even more important that we regularly give ourselves a daily dose of things that bring us delight. If we want to make it easier to feel good, motivate ourselves and get things done. Summer is a really good time to practice daily doses of pleasure. It’s filling up the tank after a long dry spell.
Moira Maybin 07:48
We can start with hearkening back to summers of yore. I hope you enjoyed that I sure did. One of my quirks is remembering and wanting to use expressions, even if they are dated or corny. In this case, clear is probably better. Okay. So, what I meant was, we can start looking back on the joy and fun of previous summers. What are the parts of summer that are unique to this time of year, and that we love? There’s no limit to how far back we can go. And for some of my memories, I go back to my childhood for a few reasons. One being that I still have a hard time slowing down and enjoying what is right in front of me. Everything feels easier for me when the days are long and bright. Summer starts off in June with a summer solstice one of my favorite days of the year. I love it because it has the most daylight living in a northern climb. It makes a big difference over those six months from winter solstice and how much daylight we experience. There are countless global celebrations in summer. as diverse cultures celebrate this time of year just because of how great of a time of year it is to experience. So, let’s celebrate that.
Moira Maybin 08:55
There are a few common themes to what I love about summer. The number one is being outside as much as I can. You won’t be surprised to hear that camping is on my summer list. I didn’t ever camp as a child though, so if you haven’t camped yet, you can still try it out. I started as a backpacker hiking into sites, my husband and I attended for part of our honeymoon. And we tend to it as a family until three years ago when we got a pop-up trailer. That’s heaven. As much as I love the outdoors. I’m not a big fan of being dirty. And like many of us I have some tactile sensitivities that required a bit of tweaking to make camping work. Let me know if you’d like an episode devoted on how to make camping more ADHD friendly because I’ve got that figured out, there is very little roughing in it. We want to live in nature, not be one with nature.
When not camping time outdoors can often happen in short bursts. I like to get outside as soon as I can in the morning. I pair that with watering plants because once I get outside, I realize how much I love it and will start to shape my day to include outdoor time. Last summer instead of going in my front Door, up the stairs and into the main living space. I started walking around the outside of my house, up the stairs on the deck and through the back door just to sneak in more outside time. It’s such a small thing, but to me it feels like I’ve discovered something amazing. I have figured out how to do almost everything I could want to at home outside, except working at my computer due to the ergonomics post back surgery. But I think an outside office is in my future. I don’t know when I don’t know how. But it’s on my bucket list. In the morning. It is quiet, peaceful, and the air has a fresher quality to it. I love that. Simple pleasures that fill me up at this time of year include the feel of a breeze on my skin, walking barefoot in the cool sand along the ocean’s edge, walks in the cool of the forests and birdsongs. For years I was stumped not being able to correctly identify the bird that sings a song that I just love. And this spring, I learned it’s the black capped chickadee. Once I was able to match the song to the bird, I can recognize them now when I see them and picture them when I only hear their song brings me happiness, and even solving my own mystery pleases me.
Moira Maybin 11:11
Things that require more of a time commitment to be part of my summer fun includes being in my hammock, and honestly, I can struggle to use it. I might need to put it on my actual to do list this year to see if I can get it at more often. bike rides through the country hiking, outdoor yoga or meditating paddle boarding on a lake. And a major success is being able to gradually get used to the cold water to the point that I can actually submerse myself completely in a lake or a pool. That’s a hard one. I love cool drinks, homemade smoothies, and glorious seasonal fruit, especially ripe juicy berries, cherries, and nectarines. Among all of this would be a lot of reading. One of the few ways I can stay on one spot. For this summer, I’m going to add eating on patios going to movies in theaters, and spending time with friends. I’d love to go to a concert or comedy show for all of us. We can continue being curious about what makes us happy and fills us up. When did we last do those things? What would you need to do to take the first step towards that?
Moira Maybin 12:24
Generally, in summer, I try to be more relaxed and less driven. A mentor I had at the beginning of my career told me she had a small group of teacher friends she went away with for about four days at the start of summer. For the first 48 hours, they could talk shop, and then it was banned. When they returned home, they were in summer mode. I have tried to do something similar, at least in my mindset for many years. I also take advantage of feeling like I need less sleep to get up early and stay up late. My two favorite times of day. In preparing for summer and this episode, I have been thinking about how I want summer to be. I’m about to finish a new weekly schedule to try out and use until the kids returned to school. The last two summers my health was not great. And I was limited this year. It’s rebuilding time. A big goal for me this summer is to have the flexibility and capacity to enjoy it for myself. And to be able to respond to my kids requests that won’t be pre planned, something I haven’t been able to do for far too long. To do this, I will prioritize keeping time unscheduled, except for the things that will help me manage.
Moira Maybin 13:33
So, let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of having an ADHD friendly summer. How can we enjoy the gifts of summer, we know that longing to try differently, or to figure out ways to make life easier, often isn’t enough to bring what we want into our life. So, what help, support or experiments can we try to move towards what we want in our lives? Here are my top five things to try.
Number one is continuing the approach you do you from Episode 13. Take what works for you from this, let your experiences guide you and leave forever or later. things that aren’t easy or have interest now. Doing this is much easier when we have a strong and clear reason why we want to have a good summer. I’m committed to building a healthier, more sustainable life for myself. But I also have ADHD, doing all these things is hard and hard for many people I know. I’m using the fact that I like to help people to help me do these things. I want to be a role model for my family. I want to be a role model to teachers, to people with ADHD. Certainly, I do not mean on a pedestal. I want to harness my sense of doing these things more than just for myself. I can hear my wonderful therapist whispering in my ear that I am enough. And really, I understand that and I’m continuing to work on that piece. In the meantime, I’m going to use It helps me to do the things that helped me. And one of those is to be one more person for anyone looking around for people who love life and are putting themselves at the top of their to do list. I want to be a person who does work I love takes vacations, spends time with loved ones, laughs and have interest I pursue and make it easier for someone else to do that to.
Number two is spending some time to come up with a variety of summer hits. quickies like stepping outside, listening to an upbeat song. Only if we can avoid a rabbit hole, having a freezy or sleeping naked, then maybe we can come up with some that require a bit of effort or planning. If dreaming big is needed. Go ahead. Sometimes we need something big to get us fired up. I know someone who booked a trip 18 months out to give himself the time he needed to do the training required for the trip. And it worked. I also know that sometimes we get big ideas, and then it’s hard to make them happen. If summer is not your favorite season, that’s okay too. What is possible now that you do like if you find it hard to stop and record ideas when you see something you like, take a photo as a reminder, send it to someone and ask them to ask you about it anyway and place that will help you come back to it later. Would it help if we sent ourselves a message or a post it note somewhere saying be on the lookout for ways to bring fun and happiness into our lives? While going through the parts of our life that continue through summer? There are ways to add in a bit of summertime dream joy, play and vacation to your day. How about getting an ice cream after work? One of my favorite additions last year was a very small, almost silent desk fan that I can blast on my face while working at the computer. Do you have a vacation planned a time break from the everyday when you don’t have to work? One of my favorite lines from the show Modern Family is when Claire said, I’m a mom traveling with her kids. It’s not a vacation. It’s a business trip. True that. But a pandemic life is coming to an end, then perhaps it’s time to find the people in places that your kids enjoy giving you and them much needed breaks from togetherness.
Moira Maybin 17:14
Number three is taking those ideas of what we want to do in the summer and figuring out when or how we are going to do them. For some of us putting it in a schedule means we will do it those of us who over plan or plan contrary to our energy, mood or cycle may get the I don’t want us How about instead of giving up on the thing. We swap things around to have things work for us. Summer is fleeting, and sometimes we may need cooling and quiet. And other times we may need excitement. Practically speaking, considering the fluctuations in energy and heat and time of day can make a big difference in how we are doing.
Moira Maybin 17:53
Number four is making fewer decisions to lessen brain drain, instead of starting each day with considering every option under their sun for breakfast would one work. Not for me. But if I have my three regulars on hand, then it’s a quick and easy decision. Having some routines to keep our bodies and brains on an even keel makes life easier. Routines reduce the number of decisions we must make repeatedly. trying some patterns for getting outside, eating, sleeping, moving, and hydrating. are the ones that are going to give us the most bang for our buck. If things don’t work right away, that doesn’t mean that they won’t work, and we can give up on them. Was there any part that helped? Could you keep that and tweak something else, we can become disheartened and decide something doesn’t work before we get a chance to work out the kinks. Movement always helps me do better. In the summer, getting out in the early morning or evening, when the heat and sun of the day have lessened is a good general rule. I’ve discovered that it’s got to be early morning for me for a few reasons. By the end of the day, I just don’t want to, and I don’t have to get up and go to do it unless I was in a running group. And that’s what I learned. I don’t like the warmth of the air that time of day. It’s cooler and fresher in the morning. So, it’s early in the morning, or not at all. So many of us struggle with eating and in the heat, we often feel like eating less than normal. I’m going to talk more about food and eating in future episodes. But as it’s summer, and we’re keeping things easy. I’ve got tips specific to eating, which will help with creating some sort of regularity, which our body needs. And with making fewer decisions to noticing what’s going on in our bodies is quiet with ADHD. And we might not be able to notice our more subtle hunger cues and taking a medication that suppresses appetite adds on to this. Understanding what those hunger cues are, can be helpful, especially if it means lessening our ADHD symptoms. Oftentimes hunger kind of presents itself as ADHD symptoms getting worse. Struggling with concentration energy and focus, and it can create more anxiety, even thinking about food. I recently learned this from Aleta Storch, a registered dietitian and ADHDer. When I heard that suddenly I knew exactly what she was talking about. So, this means tip number one, our bodies and brains need regular consistent fuel. Even when we don’t think we are hungry. It just needs to be regular. Number two, with ADHD, it can often feel like we are practical eating most of the time means we need to anticipate that we’re going to need food and then feeding our body on a regular basis. I often forget. So, I now have a stash of items and bags that go with me for those times when I’m out and realize it’s been a while since I ate.
Moira Maybin 20:47
Number five is dealing with all the other things. When I am not sure what to prioritize or do at any given time, I’ve started asking myself, what would be the thing that would make me feel better. It helps me to tune into myself, but also helps me figure out what tasks are really the ones to do that day. With when everything feels equal, it’s hard to pick, so I’ll pick what will make me feel better, or make everything else easier.
Moira Maybin 21:18
You’ve done the hard work by staying to the end, your reward. Here are the main takeaways from today’s episode, to figure out what our lives will be like post pandemic summer in all its possibility has the potential to help us out with that process. Summer can be the time to take our foot off the gas and enjoy or fine tune our intentions, whether we’re ready to get going, or we need to absorb the energy of the season to rejuvenate. When you have ADHD, it’s harder to get us motivated. And when we succeed, our brains tend to highlight any negative, and our brain chemistry and memories of success are more fleeting. This means it’s so important that we have a daily dose of things that make us feel good. Summer is a good time to practice daily doses of pleasure. It’s filling up the tank after a long dry spell. Knowing we have ADHD, and that even wanting something doesn’t mean we will be easy to go for it. How can we make it easier to get this good stuff in? Number one, take what works for you and have a strong and clear reason why. Number two, look to our past near and far to come up with what we appreciate, enjoy, and want to do in some number three, figure out when we are going to do these and put them in our schedule, considering fluctuations in mood, energy, heat, and time of day. Because those can make a big difference in how we’re doing. Number four, continually figuring out the same things drains us, try creating some routines, or more consistency that you like for going outside. Eating, sleeping, moving, and hydrating. It might not work at first, instead of giving up what kinks could be ironed out to make it work. Adding to freeing up brain capacity, getting regular consistent fuel and rest decreases ADHD symptoms and increases our enjoyment of life. Number five, when trying to figure out a next step, or what’s most important, try asking what would make life easy. I hope you enjoyed today’s show. This is the place for the late diagnosed women moms professionals. Those who want to understand ADHD be heard and know they are not alone. And ADHD friendly lifestyle is for those of us who are done with trying harder and want healthy, sustainable lives that pay attention to our own needs and challenges with ADHD. We want to have the capacity to pursue our goals, dreams and passions with more joy and ease and have tomorrow be a more ADHD friendly day. I’d love to know your thoughts about today’s episode and appreciate questions you’d like to hear on the show to all questions will be anonymous, respected and appreciated. And I can’t wait to continue this conversation with you. To get in touch you can check out my website, ADHD friendly lifestyle.com email Moira at ADHD friendly lifestyle calm. Please remember, I am not a doctor. The information presented in this podcast does not replace the individual recommendations from your health care providers. You can help by subscribing to the ADHD friendly lifestyle on Apple podcast or the podcast player of your choice. You can also help spread the word by sharing this podcast with the people in your life and by taking the time to rate and review. I am thrilled to be part of the ADHD reWired Podcast Network. With this show being its latest addition. There are four other shows ADHD Diversified with MJ ADHD Essentials with Brendan Will hosts Hacking your ADHD. And Eric who brought us all together host ADHD reWired all these podcasts including the ADHD friendly lifestyle are available to everyone everywhere podcasts are available. You can join all of us at our live Q&A every second Tuesday of the month at 10:30am. Pacific to ask us question, go to ADHDrewired.com/events and register. And now for telling me you have ADHD without actually telling me you have ADHD. Do you make it through a sunset at regular speed? I struggle. If you want to tell me you have ADHD without telling me you have ADHD, visit the ADHD friendly lifestyle Facebook page, and continue our thread there. Maybe you’ll hear yours on a future episode. Thanks for listening. See you later.