Category Archives: Mental health

Alcohol and Stress


A few days ago, I provided helpful tips which should help if you are struggling with anxiety and Alcoholism. Stress and anxiety often go hand in hand, so let’s examine how the role stress plays in this addiction.

Alcohol and stress have a complicated relationship. An occasional drink can help you to feel happier and more relaxed. On the other hand, heavy and prolonged consumption increases your risk for anxiety, depression, and other undesirable consequences.

Much of this is due to how alcohol affects your brain. When you’re healthy, your body deals with stress by increasing hormones like cortisol that prepare you for action, and then quickly restoring the usual levels once the challenge has passed.

Relying on alcohol disrupts this balance. Your stress responses become less efficient, and you may build up tolerance, so you have to drink more to achieve the same effects. Meanwhile, your drinking may create additional sources of tension. You may develop mental and physical health issues, and your drinking may interfere with your relationships and career.

You can break the cycle if stress is making you drink more, and your drinking is causing more stress. Try these tips and reach out to your doctor and your loved ones if you need more support.

Tips for Dealing with Stress:

  1. Think positive. Pay attention to the wonderful things that happen each day. Remember that hardships are temporary. Try to find the humor in difficult situations.
  2. Plan ahead. Identify potential obstacles before they occur. It’s easier to stay calm when you recognize your options and have a plan of action to pursue.
  3. Focus on solutions. Devote your energy to overcoming a challenge rather than complaining about it. Concentrate on the things you can change. Find ways to turn setbacks into opportunities for learning and growth.
  4. Eat healthy. Self-care makes you more resilient. Nourish your body and mind with a balanced diet rich in whole foods and fiber. Limit your intake of sugar, salt, and empty calories.
  5. Sleep well. High quality sleep promotes healing. Go to bed at the same time each night so you’ll wake up feeling alert and refreshed.
  6. Exercise regularly. Physical activity reduces stress hormones and lifts your spirits. Enjoy a variety of workouts so you’ll stay motivated while you build up your strength and condition your heart.
  7. Live mindfully. Meditation and deep breathing can help you calm uncomfortable emotions and racing thoughts. Practice on your own or browse for instructional videos and apps online.

Tips for Drinking in Moderation:

  1. Set limits. Decide how many drinks you’ll have before you get started. That way you’re less likely to overindulge. You may also want to schedule alcohol-free days or weeks.
  2. Slow down. Pace yourself by sipping your wine. Stay hydrated with a glass of water in between each alcoholic drink.
  3. Eat a snack. Alcohol enters your bloodstream more gradually when you have food in your stomach. You still need to drink responsibly, but a snack gives you some extra protection.
  4. Resist peer pressure. Do you find yourself drinking more when you’re around some of your friends or coworkers? Create strategies for dealing with such triggers, like suggesting activities that don’t involve alcohol.
  5. Avoid binge drinking. There’s a big difference between having one drink a day for a week and having 7 drinks in one evening. Stick to the conventional guidelines for no more than 1 or 2 drinks a day.
  6. Ask for help. Moderate drinking is safe for most adults, but you may need to give up alcohol if you have certain medical conditions. Talk with your doctor about the appropriate decision for you.

Positive thinking, relaxation practices, and self-care are more effective than alcohol when it comes to handling stress. If you think your drinking may be affecting your health and wellbeing, call a community hotline or ask your doctor about resources that can help you get back on track. 

September is National Recovery Month. SAMSHA is a US government website with a huge list of helpful resources. Get started today. Help is available 24/7 by calling or texting the Crisis Hotline : 988

You your success, 

Juan

 

Those Pesky Evening Snacks!


If you’re trying to lose weight, you may want to stop eating in front of the TV at night. A recent study presented at the European and International Conference on Obesity adds to the growing evidence that when you eat can matter almost as much as what you eat.

Researchers found that the average adult consumes nearly 40% of their daily calories after 6 pm, and hunger typically peaks at about 8 pm. Unfortunately, that’s long after you’ve probably completed most of your usual physical activities. Late night meals and snacks also tend to involve less nutritious food choices. You’re more likely to open a bag of chips than to toss a green salad.

That means you’re likely to go to bed with elevated blood sugar, which leads to storing more calories as body fat and increasing your risk of diabetes. Plus, digesting heavy meals can disrupt your sleep, causing an increase in appetite hormones and more weight gain. Breaking the cycle will help you to eat healthier and slim down. Scary stuff!Try these suggestions for changing your eating schedule to one that supports your health.

How to Eat More of Your Calories Earlier in the Day
  1. Change your bedtime. Do you skip breakfast because you run out of time? Go to bed earlier so you can avoid the rush and wake up feeling refreshed.
  2. Drink water. You lose about one liter of water due to breathing and perspiring each night. Rehydrating will make you feel more alert and stimulate your appetite.
  3. Go outside. Morning light gives you energy too. Make breakfast more appealing by working out outdoors first and eating on your balcony.
  4. Choose delicious foods. If you think cereal and milk is boring, try less conventional options. Eat grilled fish or black bean soup for the first meal of the day.
  5. Make it convenient. A nutritious breakfast can be simple. Heat up leftovers from last night’s dinner. Prepare the ingredients for a smoothie the night before and store it in your refrigerator.
  6. Stop for lunch. You’ll be more productive if you leave your desk for lunch. Pack a balanced meal you can bring with you. Browse online to find nearby restaurants with healthy takeout menus.
  7. Carry snacks. Keep a cooler in your car filled with healthy treats. Put them in your desk drawer too. Smart choices include nuts, string cheese, high protein cereals, and cut vegetables.
How to Cut Back on Late Day Calories:
  1. Plan your menu. Decide what you’re going to eat in advance. That way you’ll be less likely to accidentally binge on pizza or a whole pint of ice cream.
  2. Cook at home. Making your own meals lets you control the ingredients. Restaurant fare usually has more fat, salt, and sugar. I can’t be the only one who needs. nap after eating Chinese
  3. Limit portions. Serve meals on individual plates instead of family style bowls that encourage additional helpings. Buy single-serving snacks or take out 2 cookies instead of bringing the whole bag into the TV room.
  4. Leave the table. Lingering around the dinner table may extend your eating time. Go to another room or clear away the dishes if you want to talk.
  5. Focus on protein. Your body uses protein more effectively if you spread it out throughout the day instead of eating most of it at dinner. For evening snacks, a little protein will help you to feel full and stabilize your blood sugar.
  6. Brush your teeth. Try to stop eating at least 2 hours before bed. Brushing your teeth may remind you that the kitchen is closed until morning.

Knowing when to eat can make losing weight and eating a nutritious diet easier. Enjoy a hearty breakfast and lunch and lighten up on dinner and evening snacks with these strategies.

To Your Success,
Juan

Your Relationship With Food


While I don’t think there is anything wrong with occasional over eating, after all, many things propel us to gorge ourselves into a food coma. Relationship ending, failing an exam, being let down by others, etc.  However, you cannot ignore there is a problem, when you hide the habit from others, feel ashamed, and tried to stop on your own.

Overeating can have many causes, but they all produce the same result. You gain weight and feel like you’re out of control. While you may  blame yourself for lacking willpower or not trying hard enough, there could be something else at work. The real reasons (besides the mental and psychological aspects) why you eat more than you intend, may surprise you, and some are relatively easy to fix. 

There are many common lifestyle habits that tend to undermine a healthy diet. Take a look at this list to find out which things you’ll want to do differently.

Dealing with Eating Habits That Make You Overindulge:

  1. Be flexible. You may think you’re being virtuous for starting a super-strict diet, but being too rigid can backfire. Allowing yourself a few treats can keep you from feeling so deprived, that you wind up eating an entire pizza.
  2. Shrink your menu. On the other hand, planning your meals and snacks around a limited number of healthy foods can help you eat less. The lack of variety dampens your appetite.
  3. Eat mindfully. A lot of overeating happens when you’re busy with something else. Sit down and pay attention to your food instead of watching TV. Beware of nibbling while you’re preparing meals or lingering at the table after dinner.
  4. Slow down. A leisurely pace gives your brain time to tell your stomach that you’re full. Chew thoroughly and pause between bites.
  5. Listen to cravings. Intense urges are usually trying to tell you something important. Eating light snacks can keep you from getting so hungry that you long for junk food.
  6. Avoid low fat foods. Did you know that low fat foods are usually only about 10% lower in calories? Plus, they’re often higher in sugar and sodium, which can make you want to eat more.
  7. Limit artificial sweeteners. Sweetness is one of the signs your brain uses to try to determine how much to eat based on how many calories a food has. Artificial sweeteners make those calculations difficult. Over time, your brain loses the ability to make correct judgements.

Dealing with Other Lifestyle Habits That Make You Overindulge:

  1. Sleep well. A lack of sleep can make you want to eat more and make it difficult for your body to digest food efficiently. Go to bed early on a consistent basis so you can get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
  2. Socialize wisely. We tend to eat more when we have company. Be especially vigilant when you’re enjoying holiday dinners and office parties. Try to find a lunch mate who eats healthy, so you can support each other.
  3. Exercise more. Physical activity burns calories and helps to fight depression and anxiety, which can lead to overeating. Aim to work out at least 30 minutes a day 3 times a week.
  4. Deal with your feelings. While it’s natural to associate food with celebrations and comfort, it’s important to have other ways of managing your emotions. Call a friend or write in your journal.
  5. Talk with your doctor. A slice of cake rarely does much harm, but sometimes there are deeper issues at work. If you binge frequently or feel guilty and ashamed about your eating, talk with your doctor. Effective treatments are available.

Understanding the reason why you overindulge is the first step in finding solutions that enable you to stick to a balanced diet, and maintain a healthy weight. Use these tips to take control of your eating, so you can stay fit and enjoy your food more.

To Your Success,
Juan

 

Get Back In The Driver’s Seat


Is your life out of balance? From time to time, our lives can feel out of control. You spend too much time focussed on work, and your family life suffers. Or you spend too much money on your social life, and your finances suffer. Maybe you’re running yourself ragged and your health is taking a back seat. If this sounds like you, then I hope the following tips help!

Regain balance in your life with these strategies:

  1. Identify the different parts of your life. If you were going to divide your life into columns, what would the column headings be? For most of us, they would include family, work, health, finances, and social life. You might have additional categories such as music, spirituality, and volunteering.
  2. Start with your health. Is your health negatively impacted by your lifestyle? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating properly? How much exercise are you getting each day? Have you been to the doctor lately? How is your bodyweight? What can you do to improve your health?
  3. Evaluate your family life. Does your family only get attention when you have time left over from your other obligations? Are you spending enough time with your partner and children? What do each of them need right now? How can you provide it to them? How can you enrich your relationship with your family?
  4. Is your social life getting too much attention or not enough? Have you lost track of your friends? Is your family upset that you’re spending too much time socializing? Or maybe your overactive social life is causing challenges in other areas of your life. Consider what changes would help balance out your social life.
  5. Take a look at your values and priorities. What is most important to you? You can’t have it all unless your wants are quite limited. Make a list of your values and priorities. Alter your life to emphasize those things.
  6. Where are you wasting time? Perhaps you can bring your life back into balance by freeing up more time for what’s most important to you. First, identify how you’re wasting time and eliminate or minimize those activities.
  7. Learn to say “no”. There’s not enough time in the day to say “yes” to everything that crosses your path. This goes back to your priorities. One of the most effective ways to regain balance in your life is to eliminate the unnecessary. What can you live without? What will you be glad to get off your plate?
  8. Be grateful for what you have. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it can be easy to see the dark side of things. Remind yourself of how much you have in your life already. With a positive outlook, you’ll have a better chance of making progress. Begin each day with a grateful heart, try gratitude meditation, works wonders.
  9. Make a plan. Once you have a few ideas, make a plan on how you intend to put them into practice. Avoid the mistake of believing that identifying the cure is a cure in itself. It’s necessary to take action.

Everything gets out of balance once in awhile, including your life. The key is recognizing the challenge you face and setting priorities. Eliminate those things that don’t add value to your life so you have more time for the things that do. Take control of your life and create a life that truly fulfills you.

Here is a simple, free. Defining-Your-Life-Purpose-Goals-Worksheet-IV to kick things off. 

To Your Success,

Juan

How To Avoid Losing Yourself In a Relationship


Does the rest of your life suffer when you fall in love? Do you have a tendency to lose yourself in a relationship? I certainly have! Looking back, it’s rather terrifying, how easily and completely depended on another for “life support”?

It’s natural to be swept away when you first start dating someone new. The trouble starts when you no longer recognize who you are. It can happen in healthy relationships, especially if you have unrealistic expectations about romance. In less healthy relationships, it’s not too difficult if your partner tries to pressure or manipulate you into becoming dependent on them. Research Narcissist Personality Disorder. It’s a real thing. 

Learn how to balance love with the rest of your life. Try these tips for having a more fulfilling relationship with yourself and your partner. You can tell that you’re sacrificing too much if you know where to look.

Spotting the Warning Signs

  1. Maintain other connections. Neglecting your family and friends is one of the most common and obvious signs. Make time for them in your schedule. When you’re with them, be sure to talk about more than your new love interest.
  2. Do your job. Are you too distracted to meet deadlines and participate in meetings? Keep your mind on work when you’re at the office. Save personal calls and texts for lunchtime if necessary.
  3. Watch your spending. Maybe you’re celebrating a little too much with shopping sprees, overeating, or other indulgences. The sooner you slow down, the easier it will be to fix the damage.
  4. Enjoy your hobbies. It’s great if your partner introduces you to new interests but beware of giving up the things you love just to please them. For example, you can take a class while they go to a hockey game.
  5. Voice your opinions. Speak up for yourself. Let your partner know you like jazz more than hip hop. It’s natural to disagree sometimes.

Being Proactive

You may have noticed that even when you start a new relationship, you soon fall into the same patterns you established with your last partner. If you want things to turn out differently, you’ll need to address your personal issues. Albert Einstein said: “Doing the same things over and over, and expecting the same results is insanity”

Keep these tips in mind:

  1. Boost your self-esteem. Make yourself a priority. Remember that you are worthy of love and respect just as you are. Treat yourself with compassion and repeat positive affirmations.
  2. Create boundaries. In a healthy relationship, partners encourage each other to set their own ground rules. Explain what you need and what you find unacceptable.
  3. Set goals. You’re less likely to lose yourself if you’re excited about other aspects of your life. Develop passion projects that motivate you to learn and grow. As a bonus, you’ll probably make yourself more interesting.
  4. Practice self-care. Treating yourself well makes you stronger and more resilient. It also reminds you of your worth. Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Sleep well and deal with stress constructively.
  5. Spend time alone. Do you enjoy your own company? It’s important to have a healthy relationship with yourself in order to bond with others. Solitude gives you an opportunity to increase your self-awareness and center yourself.
  6. Take a break. If you’re dissatisfied with your love life, you might benefit from giving up dating for a while. Use the time to examine your dating criteria and form new habits.
  7. Consider counseling. Working with a therapist might help too. That’s especially true if you’re trying to recover from an abusive relationship or think that childhood issues are affecting your adult behavior.

Hold onto your identity when you’re in a relationship. Losing yourself is too high a price to pay for wanting to be a couple. You and your partner deserve to feel secure and loved for who you are. 

Wishing You Well,

Juan

 

Get Clear on Why You Care So Much


One way to learn to stop caring so much about irrelevant issues and thoughts of others is to dig in deep and study yourself in a new way to get to the bottom of the reasons you care so much. Three ways help you get clear on why you care so much that you can use.

Journaling 
You can use your computer, buy a specialized journal, or you can simply use a notebook you have created to journal. It’s up to you what type of system you use and whether it’s modern or analog. The important part is that you try to use your journal to express your thoughts, emotions, and stream of consciousness about a problem you’re trying to solve or a feeling you’re trying to explore without judgment or censoring.  Write in your journal every day when you’re trying to understand why you care so much. You may end up discovering your life purpose or a new reason for getting up each day, one you had not realized before. 

Meditation
Before you use your journal, it can help to clear your mind using meditation. Meditation practice is all about not thinking and not judging your thoughts or feelings even as they still happen during the meditation.  Each time you meditate, you can have a purpose of self-discovery, or goal to clear your mind and relax.  To practice this type of meditation, you’ll want to find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lay down. Concentrate on your goals for the meditation, close your eyes, and start focusing on your breathing.  Think about the situation you’re trying to understand for a moment, then clear your mind. If any intrusive thoughts come in, brush them aside by refocusing on your breathing. You mustn’t allow any outside information or sensation to distract you during this time.  Many You Tube videos offer instructions and help.

Therapy
Today, we are fortunate to be able to access psychological therapy from the comfort of our homes using your computer or smartphone. Numerous companies offer this service and varying price points. In addition, many insurance companies include several sessions as part of your benefits.  If you seek therapy, make sure you find someone experienced working with you on overcoming people-pleasing and putting yourself last in life. Remember, your wants and needs matter too. Most therapists can guide you through the self-discovery process, to finally know what you want, regardless of what others think

Any or all three of these methods, help you become crystal clear regarding your motivations to seek approval from others and even help you stop doing it. Remember, what you want from life is important too, and following someone else’s dreams will never get you what you want and, more importantly, content in your life. 

Wishing You Well,
Juan

Approval Addiction


Today’s post might be uncomfortable for some. Anytime we are forced to closely look at more closely, the natural human reaction is to withdraw. No one likes being under a microscope. Receiving validation from other people feels good, so good that some people develop an addiction to receiving outside approval, instead of being motivated intrinsically. If you can’t motivate yourself without someone else’s approval, you may suffer from an approval addiction. The end result is anxiety, stress, depression, and yes addiction.  

Let’s dive into the signs you are addicted.

You’re Obsessed with Getting People to Express Interest in You
You like being on social media, dating sites, or any situation where you can attract attention. It might even be hard for you to settle down with a partner, because you enjoy the dating world more than being  partnered-up 

You Need Constant Reassurance 
When you are in a relationship, you find yourself asking whether they’re “mad” or “upset” with you. This may happen with lovers and friends, and even family members. If you often ask for reassurance about how someone feels about you, this may be due to a validation or approval addiction. 

You Like to Talk About Your Awesomeness
Sometimes people who aren’t confident will talk about impressive things they’ve done, to appear more worthy than they think they are, hoping others will agree and validate their thoughts about their awesomeness, even though they don’t generally believe it themselves. 

You’re Money Focused
If you tend to think more about money than the value you provide the world, you may have a problem with approval-seeking that is bordering on an addiction. Of course, money is a necessity, but it’s not the only thing important about you or anyone else. 

You Enjoy Name Dropping 
If you find yourself dropping names of well known people you’ve worked with or met, this is a sign of insecurity. You never need to make yourself look better by your company because you are special just as you are without anyone else. 

You Make Friends with Folks Based on Their Wealth or Reputation
 
When you look at your closest friend group, are they really your friends, or did you pick them based on what you think they can offer you? Friends should be chosen based on shared values, more than shared finances. 

Your Beliefs Change Depending on The Company You’re Keeping 
If you’re not keeping the same ideas and opinions across all friend and professional groups, you are part of, and you may be trying to please people too much. It’s okay to have your own fact-based ideas, thoughts, and opinions, and it’s okay for everyone else too. Hint: It’s also okay not to have any views or opinions about a topic you’re not educated enough about. 

You Prefer Being in Control of Each Social Situation 
When it comes to networking and making friends or building relationships, if you need to be the one in control of the event before you feel comfortable, you may have an issue with approval addiction. Letting other people oversee social situations and relationship building may seem scary because your self-esteem is low. Letting people lead is a clear sign that you are confident about your thoughts and ideas. 

You Easily Feed into Your Own Victimhood
 
If something starts going wrong, do you have a hard time seeing answers within yourself? Do you place blame on others? Do you feel good and safe being a victim instead of admitting where you have control and where you can make the change? 

Rejection Makes You Feel Out of Control 
If you’ve ever been rejected professionally or personally, you know it hurts. However, if you have an approval addiction, it might make you totally flip out if someone rejects you because you are doing everything (in your mind) to give them what they want, but they don’t want it anyway. If you take this personally, consider that you’re not even really being yourself and this rejection is not personal at all. 

Phew! There are some uncomfortable questions being asked in this post.  If you often find that you’re doing anything that you don’t want to do, only to gain acceptance of a person or group, you may be a people pleaser and even have an approval addiction. To overcome this, you need to figure out who you are, your personal values and design a path to reach your goals based on your own values. 

Next up, we will examine three ways to help you get clear on why you care too much!

Wishing You Well,
Juan

 

Strategies For Putting Yourself First


Below are some healthy ways to help you develop the habit, without burning bridges or negatively affecting your energy, enthusiasm, and motivation. These tips will help you achieve your goals, protect your mental and physical wellbeing, and overcome even your biggest challenges. Bear in mind, if you do have to burn some bridges, don’t dally, just get on with life, and know you are doing what is best for your future self.

Choose Your Purpose: Having a clear purpose is essential. It is the simplest, most basic thing every person needs to live a fulfilling and satisfying life. Without a purpose, you will end up living your life haphazardly. Your purpose also makes it easier for you to say ‘No’ to people and things that do not align with your highest good. Living it helps you identify what you need to do and when. Consciously reaffirming your purpose regularly multiplies your efforts of taking action.

Live by a Vision: Putting yourself first also requires that you develop a clear vision of the life you want to lead. A vision keeps you focused on the journey, and will allow you to effectively prioritize your tasks and projects as the important things will align with your purpose and vision of your ultimate life. To get clear about your vision, start by reflecting on these three questions: Who do I want to be? What do I want to do? How do you want to feel? If you are unsure about your vision, ruminating on these questions will assist you in getting clear. 

 Set Personal Goals and Plan: wise way to ensure your vision becomes a reality. Goals make the realization of your vision much more achievable, will keep you motivated and focused on what you want out of life. After taking the time to set your goals, set aside regular time to plan how you will achieve them.

 Learn New Skills: As you draw up your goals and develop your vision, you may find you need to learn new skills to make your ideal life a reality. Take some time to identify those areas that you may be lacking. Then take proactive steps to bridge the gap between your present level and your desired level.

Set Personal Boundaries: skill you need to master when learning how to put yourself first, because you will need it a lot on every step of your journey. That is especially true if you tend to be a people-pleaser. Others are used to you backing down and giving them what you want, so you’ll need to stay strong. Look them in the eye and kindly say, “No, thank you.” Even when they try to convince you to think otherwise, practice sticking to your decision by not get pressured into consenting. Setting personal boundaries is a vital skill because it enables you to defend your time and your rights which is an essential component of putting yourself first.

Get Active: Putting yourself first isn’t only about goal setting and getting ahead. It’s also about taking the time for self-care. After all, if you don’t take care of your health, you’ll be unable to live your purpose or fulfill your life’s vision. Put yourself and your health first by starting a program of regular exercise as soon as possible if you aren’t already doing so. Engaging in a brisk daily walk is all that’s needed to improve and maintain your health.

Eat Healthy: A healthy diet is equally as important as your body’s need to exercise. Eating a nutritious diet is a huge part of taking care of your health and putting yourself first. If your diet needs a major overhaul, take it one step at a time and work your way up to your ideal diet. Remember, putting yourself first is about being kind to yourself.

Get enough rest: Getting sufficient sleep is another essential component of putting yourself first. It is also necessary for boosting your performance and replenishing your energy. By getting enough sleep, you will be better equipped to face the hurdles of the new day with greater confidence, energy, and enthusiasm. Never allow anyone or anything come between you and the need to get enough sleep.

Schedule Relaxation: Sometimes you may be lacking the energy you need to live your ultimate life. Rather than trying to push through such times, it is better to maximize your relaxation and recovery. You can engage in activities that will help reduce fatigue and replenish your energy, such as meditation, yoga, massage, or a quick nap. If you find you run low on energy and motivation on a regular basis, start scheduling relaxation or downtime into your day. A consistent relaxation routine will keep you on more of an even-keel, so you don’t burn out.

Journal : Apparently, you have 60,000 or more thoughts per day. When you feel you have a lot to do and you are overwhelmed with too many ideas, journaling will help clear your head, can lead to better self-awareness, which is the foundation of putting yourself first. You can journal any way you wish—with paper and pen or by using an app. You might choose to journal every day or only when you feel overwhelmed or unsettled. Whatever works for you is perfect.

Practice Gratitude: Take some time each day to reflect on the positives in your life. It’s easy to focus on the things we’d like to change and neglect to be appreciative for all we have. It is very important to have a realistic perspective on your life and identify the positives for the sake of your health and wellbeing. As you find the time to write down and reflect on all the things you are grateful for each day, you will reduce your stress levels and naturally find more and more to be grateful for in your life.

Putting yourself first is something you must make a conscious effort to do. You must fill your cup first, or you will end up with nothing left to give.  Be prepared for pushback, as this new way of living might not sit well with those in your circle, who take, take, and take. Stand your ground, in a few months, you won’t recognize the person staring back at you in the mirror!

To Your Success,
Juan

 

Self Care Guide: Adults with ADHD


While medication and talk therapy can help you manage the symptoms of ADHD, daily habits pay a big role too. Regular doses of skillful self-care can boost your mood and make it easier to fulfill your responsibilities.

Paying attention to your physical, mental, and spiritual needs is essential. The more you love and nurture yourself, the greater your capacity to deal with troubling symptoms and pursue your goals.  Make your wellbeing a top priority. Use these self-care strategies for getting organized and staying healthy.

Simple self-care routines.

  1. Clear away clutter. Tidying up your home and office, reduces anxiety and cuts down on time spent searching for lost keys and remote controls. Give away possessions you rarely use or donate them to charity. Use shopping lists to cut down on impulse purchases, so you’ll have fewer things lying around.
  2. Go paper free. How much of your clutter is unread mail and magazines? Cut down on paper with digital subscriptions and online banking.
  3. Schedule your time. Maintaining a calendar can be a major challenge with ADHD. Find a basic system that works for you and set aside time each day to plan your activities.
  4. Use reminders. Take notes, make lists, and set alarms. Being proactive can often protect you from the consequences of forgetfulness.
  5. Act promptly. Procrastination is common when you have ADHD. If possible, complete a task immediately while you’re still thinking about it, so you can check that one off your list.
  6. Limit distractions. Figure out where you’re wasting time. Resolve to watch TV for two hours or less each day. Check your messages at designated times instead of watching your phone during meetings and meals.
  7. Browse for apps. See what technology can do for you. Free apps can help you record your to-do list, sort your photos, and relax in between.

Staying Healthy

ADHD can take a toll on your body and brain. Your stress levels rise when tasks become more difficult and relationships more complicated. You may also have trouble remembering to take your prescriptions and schedule doctor’s visits. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Exercise daily or as often as you can. Physical activity trains your mind too. Strengthen your focus along with your muscles. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week.
  2. Take frequent breaks. Pause in between tasks and move around. Go outside to take a walk or work in your garden.
  3. Change your diet. Some research suggests that what you eat could reduce ADHD symptoms. Foods rich in protein help to stabilize blood sugar and balance brain chemicals. Smart choices include fish, beans, and dairy products.
  4. Sleep well. Do you find it difficult to fall asleep and wake up frequently during the night? Try going to bed and waking up on a consistent schedule. Keep your bedroom dark and quiet and avoid heavy snacks and alcohol before bed.
  5. Ask for help. Inattentiveness and mood swings can lead to misunderstandings with family, friends, and coworkers. If you feel comfortable, let others know about your symptoms and the steps you’re taking to make positive changes. They may be eager to support you.
  6. See your doctor. Tell your physician about your self-care program and any natural remedies you use. That way, they can coordinate your care and make other recommendations based on your individual needs.

ADHD affects many aspects of life, but consistent self-care will help you to enjoy greater life balance and peace. Healthy habits and a supportive environment give you more opportunities to use your unique strengths and increase your happiness and productivity.

Self care is the best care. To close out the month, the final post will offer some Natural Approaches to ADHD.

Until the next post,

To Your Success,
Juan

Effective Strategies for Parenting An ADHD Child


Does your child have ADHD? Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a common childhood mental health disorder that affects about 5% of children in America, according to the American Psychiatric Association. However, the diagnosis of ADHD has been on the rise for the last several years. It is an issue parents, educators, and Doctors all have to contend with.

 ADHD is characterized by impulsivity, a lack of focus, and distractibility that are also sometimes intertwined and co-existing with other behavioral and/or developmental challenges. Dealing with an ADHD child can be frustrating, challenging, and confusing for parents as they try to grapple with the question of why their child just won’t “behave.”

Try these techniques to learn more about ADHD and how you can cope:

  1. Realize that the ADHD Brain is Different. Researchers and scientists have shown that the brain of children afflicted with ADHD has different characteristics which are responsible for the child’s symptoms.
    • Once you accept that your child’s brain is simply wired differently, it becomes much easier for you to keep yourself in control, when faced with difficult and challenging behaviors.
    • Imagine for a moment, you have a hundred different things vying for your attention without the self-control to devote your attention to just one of them.
    • The result is what a child with ADHD experiences: something grabs their attention and they go after it. This isn’t their fault, but it’s the distractibility that scrambles their brain and makes it more difficult to focus.
  2. Respond consistently. One of the most important things you can do when parenting your ADHD child is to use consistency when communicating.
    • This is sometimes tough for parents because this assumes that we’re always going to have the same tone of voice and not allow our own emotional states to affect what we’re trying to communicate.
    • However, ADHD children need to hear the consistency in what we say and in our tone of voice.
    • With an ADHD child, we cannot express our expectations about something on just one occasion. Rather, we need to communicate our expectations on every occasion in just the same manner.
    • For example, instead of saying, “Would you please turn off the TV?,” a more effective approach would be to use the child’s name so they recognize that they are being told to do something. Use this same technique every time you want them to do something.
  3. Use token economies for incentives. This is a simple, yet consistent, behavior management approach that uses a token economy system to encourage appropriate behaviors.
    • This will also let your ADHD child begin to learn what’s expected of him, and see that he gets rewarded when achieving those expectations.
    • The basic idea behind this behavior management system is that the child receives a token for following a demand and then he can turn in those tokens for rewards.
    • A token economy system can be as elaborate or as simple as you want it to be. You can use pennies, buttons, colored popsicle sticks, reward dollars, or any other number of objects as the tokens.
    • The frequency of the rewards that you give out will depend on the nature of your individual child. A child that has immense difficulty following-through, for example, will require more rewards in the beginning to achieve the desired outcome.
    • The idea is to eventually phase out the rewards or to spread them further apart so that the child doesn’t become dependent on them.

Parenting a child who has been diagnosed with ADHD is no easy task. It often requires help and assistance from multiple professionals, such as counselors and therapists, school staff, and special education teams. 

Consistency, communication, and a behavior management system are all important keys to parenting success with an ADHD child. If you struggle with disciplining your child with ADHD, the next post would be of interest! 

Until the next post,

Best,
Juan