The focus for this week’s Success Club module is on boosting brain functioning, yet I have lived a week of brain blunders and scattered thoughts. Granted life threw some challenges: a loved one’s illness with no diagnosis yet, an unplanned day off from work to help loved one, extra meetings and technology issues at work, and a co-worker’s loss of a loved one.
This week I found myself staring at papers that needed grading in a complete mental fog; an hour passed, and the mental fog of ADHD had usurped that time. Obsessed and hyper-focused on what I cannot control, my wheels have been spinning all week. That day, instead of leaving the papers, I just sat and stared–frozen. The rest of the week my behavior has been similar. Little productivity. Scattered thoughts and actions.
Another week approaches, and there are still challenges in various areas of my life related to both home and work. Much is beyond my control, but I need to snap out of my mental fog and cling to what I can control as I seek to find clarity. Life will always deal me wildcards beyond my control, but I can no longer continue to obsess on the wildcards I cannot control at the expense of what I can control.
Here is what I need to do moving forward:
- Sleep More: With the stress of the week, I got less sleep than usual and the sleep wasn’t always restful because I woke up a lot. I need to make sure I get at least 7 hours of sleep. When I go more than 3 days with 6 hours or less, I compromise my clarity.
- Recognize Stagnancy and Stress: When I find myself staring at a piece of paper, aimlessly wandering the Internet, or otherwise sitting with my stress, I need to recognized this and do something. I should get some fresh air, take a walk, go exercise. I need to give myself a brain break to make my brain work.
- Eat/Drink Right: In times of stress, I find I eat more sugar, and that’s not working for me. Also, I find that I’m not drinking enough water. I need to take care of my brain’s needs by hydrating and eating right. The day of the boiled egg breakfast is much better than the day of the smoothie.
- Think: Last week I wrote that my brain craves complexity, but it needs simplicity. Indeed, this is true. I need to continue to find ways to simplify my life and tasks in a way that encourages clarity.
- Say NO and Realize My Limits: For 5 years I have blogged daily in March with other teachers as a part of a teacher challenge. While this has been great for me as a teacher of writing, this has been time-consuming because each day I write a blog and respond to three other teachers. This year I began the challenge, but I realized that keeping the challenge this year would compromise my priorities, so I cleared it from my plate. My priority this year is to find clarity in my life, so I can live successfully with ADHD–this requires me to find balance.
- Mantra: I’ve been thinking that the Serenity Prayer would make a great mantra for my ADHD brain: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. AMEN.
Taking care of my brain and getting things done require self-awareness of what my brain and body need to function well. As the Success Club continues, I look forward to harnessing brain-boosting techniques instead of being baffled by my brain-blundering habits.