Starting the New Year Off Right with ADHD
Happy New Year! May your 2021 be full of wonder. This is a good time to take a breath and focus on the positive aspects of our lives: loved ones, pets, careers, homes…. Most of all, as we start the new year, I wanted to remind you about the gifts of ADHD. We know our brains are wired differently than the brains of neuro-typicals and that there are things that they can do that we aren’t able to. However, in return, there are things that we can do that they can’t. Your gifts, or superpowers, are the foundation upon which you can build the life or career you want. I thought in this kick-off newsletter, I would focus on three seasonally appropriate positive aspects of ADHD.
People who have ADHD, or who act as they do, often are spontaneous, high energy people who are the life of the party. Researchers tie this to impulsivity, hyperactivity, or both. Either way, we can be a good person to be around because we are a lot of fun. At work, we are enthusiastic team members and work well in teams engaged in problem-solving.
People with ADHD are people pleasers who often put the interest of others above themselves. As we start the new year and see the increasing infection rates, it’s a great time to think about taking care of our neighbors. This idea resonates with the person with ADHD, who can be kind and generous to a fault. We easily see and empathize with the problems of people that we encounter. At times, we can be too generous with our time and resources. At work, this can show up as helping colleagues with their projects while missing our own deadlines. At home, this can be helping our neighbors with their DIY project while our own languish. This is the time to indulge in your urge to help others.
Finally, people with ADHD are creative and think outside of the box which means we can find ways to help others get through the stay-at-home orders or working from home in unique ways. When combined with our desire to please others, our creativity can result in uniquely thoughtful solutions. At work, this creativity and ability to think outside of the box makes us a valued team member, great at brainstorming particularly when there is a problem to be solved.
Does this sound like you? Or, someone you know? Just remember: the secret to success for the professional with ADHD or ADHD traits is to recognize your gifts, develop them and build your career in an environment that values those attributes.
A Strategy for Dealing with the Starting the Year Off
The holidays can be overwhelming. Partner Up recently delivered a Workshop on Mindfulness for Attorneys in conjunction with R.E.S.S.E.T. Studios. Based upon the materials presented at that program, I recommend an exercise in gratitude that can help you relax, still the bombardment of ideas in your head and help you fall asleep.
- Start breathing deeply and slowly.
- When you are breathing deeply and slowly, start thinking about the people in your life that you love or care about the most. Really feel them. Savor them.
- Feel how grateful you are for having these people, one by one, in your life.
- Feel how grateful you are that these people are safe and healthy—feel it for each one.
- Feel how grateful you are for having your friends, your pets, your clubs, etc.
- Feel the other aspects of your life that you are grateful for (home, job, school, community)
At times your mind will wander, but just pull it back to your feelings of gratitude. Your head will clear, you will feel better and more relaxed and you just may fall asleep.
I highly recommend listening to the ADHD Experts Podcast episode titled “ADHD Is Different for Women: Gender-Specific Symptoms & Treatments.”
As most of you know, I began coaching in the area of ADHD because of my experience raising two sons with ADHD, supervising attorneys with ADHD and managing my own ADHD-like behaviors. My philosophy has always been that ADHD is a double-edged sword in that it has both positive and negative aspects. This year, I decided to enroll in an ADHD coaching course to formalize my training in this area. I found an organization whose philosophy matches mine. I am learning more about the science behind ADHD and new strategies to help my clients. I look forward to sharing some of this new knowledge with you in 2021.
Have a wonderful and safe holiday season and let’s all have a great 2021!