Breaks and ADHD — ADHD Tip O the Day 962

Everyone needs breaks, probably more so with ADHD, but they can be difficult.

Breaks throughout the day, week, and year can be very beneficial, even necessary.  That’s why we have vacations, and why it’s best not to work during them.  We need time to recharge our mental batteries, to let the gunk clear out of our brains, to see things from a distance and in perspective.

Breaks help prevent burnout and increase efficiency.

Most people have an attention span of around an hour and then mental function begins to decline.  We need a break. Speeches, sermons, or lectures longer than an hour lose interest, attention, and effectiveness.  With ADHD our attention span may be shorter, so it’s useful to determine yours and plan your day based on that.

During the day:  Have several breaks for 10 minutes or more where you do nothing, or take a walk, or talk to a friend.  Have mini-breaks , 2 minutes long, every hour. Just stop what you’re doing, pause.  You can practice awareness or not.

We may need strategies to make sure we get back on task and not off on a distraction.  One is to realize what the dangerous break activities might be, perhaps playing a computer game or getting on the internet, and avoid them.

During the week: You need a  minimum of one day off, really more, not filled up with other chores.

During the year: At least one vacation, and one week is not enough.

Personal Notes O the Day:

Working in the psychiatric emergency room was stressful.  I knew I needed time off whenever I changed from “I wonder how we can help this poor soul” to ” I wonder what this SOB wants” whenever a new patient came in.

I had to learn how to take vacations.  For years I would get antsy by the end of a week, but I learned how to do two weeks. It takes me the first week to unwind and begin to relax.

Various reasons breaks can be difficult include the inner flywheel which constantly drives us, the pressure of the long to-do list, and the awareness that many tasks take us longer to do than they do for vanillas.

Now that I’m retired, I’m still busy, especially when I’m working on a book.  I try to take three day “retreats” at home where I don’t use the computer or watch TV or do any tasks.

The next book, another on ADHD, is about 70% done but I’m taking a break from writing for while, now that the novel, Alma Means Soul, is finally published.




Breaks Benefits

Omega 3 Fatty Acid  EPA is the good stuff, DEA not so much.  Be cautious about buying supplements; you don’t really know what they contain.

James Clear

He needs a break.




We need a break NOW!

Oh My, the problems!

#ADHD  #adultADHD @dougmkpdp @adultadhd @adhdstrategies

About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at, or (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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6 Responses to Breaks and ADHD — ADHD Tip O the Day 962

  1. rammkatze says:

    I recently “found out” that I am unable to relax in the strict sense of the word. I was taking a test for ADHD (because of changing shrinks) and the psychologist who did the testing asked and replied the question “‘It it easy for you to relax?’ no, I can’t imagine you relaxing, by your own admission”. I said I could spend a few hours doing puzzles, which was very relaxing to me, but that doesn’t count as relaxing. She had to explain she meant just sitting down or lying down and do nothing, not even figdet with a piece of clothing. My immediate response “What the hell?! Is that a thing people actually DO?”
    Apparently, it is…. but as long as I feel I can unwind doing puzzles or figdeting with something while lying down, I’m good with it. 🙂
    Also, I love vacations. They’re exhausting if done properly. A vacation to me is really… being able to be me away from work, and that I can do in the bat of an eye.


    • ram
      i know, i know. it has taken me a long time to learn how to do nothing, but i value it. being rather than doing. i sit by the river and do nothing, not meditating or praying or planning. i am obviously doing something – i look at the trees, watch and listen to the birds, feel the sun or the breeze. i cant do this for too long and its taken me a long time to get there. i dont know how to tell someone how to learn this, maybe its just practice. but you have ways to relax and you can do vacations so you are on a good path. took me a long time to get there too.
      thank you always for your comments
      best wishes


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