The ADHD brain is quick, creative and intelligent. It has certain things it likes to do and things it doesn’t like to do. You probably have a great ability to focus on something when it is of high interest to you or is new. Or maybe you struggle with attention or focus. Focus also includes the ability to determine the best thing to be paying attention to, as well as, when it is time to switch to something else. Focus can have a negative effect when we don’t notice how much we are focusing on something. COVID-19 is new and that can cause you to want to learn all you can about it. Some might say you could easily hyper focus on it. With frequent updates on the internet and TV you could binge watch and overload on information. All this does is to heighten any anxiety you may already be experiencing.
Enter Covid-19, the “bad guy” in this case, stealing your attention and your ability to focus on the important things. So, what can you do instead? Pick specific times to watch the news or the updates from the President or the Governor. Record them if they come on at a time that doesn’t work for you. I noticed the 5:30pm updates were moving my dinner time to 7pm or later and that didn’t work. I also noticed we were hearing the same things over and over and yet I was expecting something new or different. It used up a lot of energy, energy that could have been used to work in the garden or take a walk or work on my business. Brain energy is limited each day, so choose wisely what you want to use it on.
Covid-19 will want you to stay in your pajamas because it feels safer and more comfortable when dealing with extra stress and it will want you to eat to feel better about this situation. Which means you may gain weight and not exercise (or even move off the couch) because you can’t even remember what day of the week it is. The structure that was built into your day whether it was around getting your kids to school or yourself to work, driving here and there fulfilling your daily responsibilities is now gone or at least changed. I understand many are still working their regular or even extra shifts to keep us and others safe (including my husband) but the structure has changed for them as well. Your kids thrive on structure! The school creates the habits and routines to help them be better able to learn. Have you noticed how your child’s ability to think and entertain themselves other than with a screen is gone? Score one for Covid-19☹
Help your kids thrive during this time by creating a structure to their day. Make sure everyone gets up and gets dressed by a “normal” time and then take this opportunity to experiment with different routines that include learning time, exercise time and play time for all.
This is a great opportunity to use whatever “new” time you have whether you are still able to work or not in order to focus on something that you have been wanting to do, or need to do. Possible ideas are exercising more regularly, eating healthy meals or trying new recipes, playing with your kids more, decluttering and organizing your home or taking up a new hobby, getting the taxes done or learning to meditate. Whatever it is, this is the time to do it. Score one for ADHD.
No one knows how long this may go on but one thing is for sure – you have the chance to take advantage of this time or let it stress and overwhelm you – which will pay off in the long run? Don’t let Covid-19 knock you out!
If you are looking for support, we have moved our services and some of our group classes to online during this time.