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Posts tagged ‘adhd’

Day 44: Rain, rain, go away!

I woke up in a much better mood than yesterday, despite heading into a second day of nonstop rain.

I don’t know if most people experience random “low” moods, but I definitely do. They can be pretty frustrating, for a lack of a better word. There’s no apparent cause for them, and they’re hard to really explain or understand. They’re not necessarily bad moods – I’m not angry or sad. It’s more like a numb feeling? Like I said, it’s just a weird mood to be in.

Fortunately, since I’ve started this challenge, my “low” moods have been practically non-existent. One of the most positive changes that have occurred over the last 44 days since this challenge started is the change in how much better I feel overall. Not just in the physical sense, but in my mental and emotional state as well.

These past couple of weeks, I’ve felt the best I have in years. It’s not that I’ve necessarily felt happier, but that I feel a lot more in control of my life. As a person who was diagnosed with attentive deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as a grown up, I’ve struggled with adulting. I’ve lived in this sort of fog and chaos, jumping from one thing to the next haphazardly, unable to remember important things, and feeling utterly incapable of accomplishing even the most basic tasks.

Trying to find the right medication after being diagnosed has been a lot harder than I thought it would be. The side effects of stimulant medications can be rough, and determining the proper dose takes a lot of trial and error. Toss is a pregnancy, and it’s taken me over three years to finally get on the right medication at the right dose.

While I’m sure finally getting my medication right has a lot to do with how much better I’ve been feeling, I’m confident the changes I’ve made during this challenge have also had a significant impact. I’m much more active and I’ve been working out consistently. As a result, I’ve been sleeping better. I’m drinking less alcohol, so it’s easier to get up in the mornings and make it to the gym. Now that I’m eating less, I feel less bloated and heavy. Every small change feeds into the next.

It’ll be interesting to see how I’ll continue to change as I become more inconsistent in meeting all of my goals. I like to think any changes will be positive ones, not just in how I look on the outside, but in how I feel on the inside.

Current step total: 9,011

Current step goal streak: 14 days  

Previous step goal streak: 2 days

Longest step goal streak: 14 days

Day 5: The importance of habits and routines

I was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) a few years ago. I could easily write a very lengthy and very detailed post about what being diagnosed with ADHD as an adult is like, but suffice it to say, my diagnosis and treatment have highlighted the importance of habits and routines in my life. Habits and routines aren’t just important for people with ADHD like myself though, they benefit everyone.

In my Day 1 and Day 3 posts, I mentioned Charles Duhigg’s habit book. Obviously, I really like this book, and with good reason – it’s a great resource for learning about habits and how to change them. In the part of his book where he discusses keystone habits, Duhigg specifically mentions willpower as “the single most important keystone habit for individual success.” He considers willpower a habit.

I can’t explain Duhigg’s reasoning as to why willpower is habit. It’s something you really have to read for yourself, but I do want to try and share what I took away from the ideas he shared: basically, whenever you have to make a decision or complete a task that requires some thought, you use willpower. The more thought or effort you have to put into each decision or task, the more willpower you use, and unfortunately, willpower is a finite resource. You only have so much of it to use each day. Habits are automatic, so you use less brain power to do them. If you create habits and routines for the things you have to do throughout the day, you’ll conserve willpower and be able to use it for other things, like cutting back on junk food.

Although I’m still trying to change my habits and figure out what routines work best for me, I’ve determined that my morning routine of waking up at 5:00 am, having a light snack, and working out right afterwards, make my day begin a lot smoother. I’m by no means a morning person, but the more consistent I am in sticking with that routine, the easier it becomes. As I mentioned in my Day 3 post, you don’t really get rid of your habits. Yesterday I realized that this applies to good habits as well. Despite numerous weeks of “falling off the wagon,” waking up early and working out yesterday wasn’t as hard as I had expected it to be. My day went a lot smoother too. I had a lot more energy, got stuff done, and I was in a much better mood. I also hit my step goal fairly easily and logged all my food. Not too shabby.

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