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.
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.
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