Living Well with ADHD Blog

It's Now!

BY KELLY THORELL

Have you ever told yourself you are going to do all the things today? Yep, me too, but after you look up, you have only done one thing mainly because you didn’t realize how long it was going to take you. Hello time blindness!

 


Avoiding Back-to-School Emotional Pitfalls

BY GRIFFIN ROUSE

My clients know that summer is ending soon, and they’re already dreading the upcoming year. This response is usually filled with angst, dread, fear, and grief. 

With the new school year’s “storm” approaching and growing in intensity, helping your child be aware of these emotions and helping them process those emotions with tools designed to support ADHD brains can make all the difference in the world. 


ADHD and the College Accommodation Process

BY ANDREA YELLINEK, MS, OTR/L, ACC, CACPC

By now, you’ve been accepted to the college of your choice and have probably already registered for your fall courses. 

If you were granted accommodations in high school, you’re probably already somewhat familiar with this. However, it’s important to understand the key differences between high school and college when it comes to accommodations.  


Giving Our Kids a Plate Load of Fun with a Side Dish of Exercise

BY KATHERINE JAHNKE

I read an article on Lifehacker that had some really great thoughts on how to involve our children in exercise without actually promoting it as “exercise” but as “fun”. Reminds me of how I tried to get my kid to eat healthier without telling him that’s what I was trying to do. You know, a parent’s way of using some sort of reverse psychology. 

 


ADHD and Collision Sports

BY NATE HOOPER

Recently, American football, rugby and other collision sports have come under fire from research in the area of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). This research dispels the myth that permanent damage to the brain is only achieved through concussive forces. 

A “significant association” has been found between traumatic brain injury (TBI), mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and their ability to facilitate ADHD-like symptoms.


How to Tackle Transitions

BY VICTORIA ROCHE, MSW, PCC

Transitions are difficult for ADHD brains. What makes transitions so challenging? Let’s first explore three types of transitions.

1. Physical Transitions include getting out of bed in the morning, getting out the door, and getting ready to start tasks in the day.
 


Did You Say Yes? Notions of Choice and Follow Through

BY ROBIN NORDMEYER, PCAC, CLC

Several sources cite that the average adult makes over 35,000 conscious choices a day. And with each of those choices, we are likely saying Yes, No or Maybe to someone or something. Yes, 35,000 conscious choices a day, really! This got me thinking, noticing, and trying to track my choices as I made them…which lasted about 20 minutes before I thought…forget it, this is crazy! 


The Sneaky Ways We Give Attention Away

BY RILEY KARBON, PCAC

Have you ever been in the zone, in the middle of your flow, working deeply on something and someone interrupts you? And IT IS THE [EXPLETIVE] WORST?! Have you ever wondered why the RAGE for something so “small?” 

To those of us with ADHD, it’s NOT small. 
 


Feeling your Feelings: A Parent's Story

BY KELLY THORELL

Let’s talk about being a parent. As a parent, it’s sort of a double challenge, right? We need to recognize and deal with our own feelings, and we need to do the same with our kids’ big feelings. I have always envisioned myself as a calm person who would go with the flow and could regulate her emotions easily. After having kids, I realized it differed ‌from what I had pictured in my head.
  


You Deserve a Break

BY KATHERINE JAHNKE

I read an article in Psychology Today that really got me thinking about how I approach my day. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, Americans on average are working 48 minutes more per day now than they did before the pandemic. But the question is are they taking any more breaks?

 


The Tug of War with Work, Life and ADHD

BY ROBIN NORDMEYER, PCAC, CLC

The tug on us is very real. In many ways, the two can’t exist without the other. A perspective once shared with me is “We work to live, we don’t live to work.” One disclaimer — I work in a business centered around my passion of ADHD Coaching, so there are times when I might argue with that motto. Yet, recently a blinding flash of the obvious struck me front and center.  
 


Perfect Strategy, Meet Imperfect Mindset

BY ABBY RILEY

Sometimes, you must learn the same lesson again and again. Especially if you’re me. Earlier this week, I was brainstorming blog topic ideas with a colleague. We got to talking about the body doubling strategy, one of my go-to’s. Imagine my surprise when I heard myself apologizing for relying “too much” on body doubling to get things done. After saying it, I realized how flawed it sounded. 

 


Suppressing Emotions, How Bad Can It Be?

BY VICTORIA ROCHE, MSW, PCC

I was listening to Brene Brown’s lecture on HBO Max, and she was referring to the 87 emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human based on her new book Atlas of the Heart. I was astonished by how many emotions there are. If you have HBO, it’s worth watching. It’s about the importance of meaningful connections with others. 

 


The Don’ts of the Dos List

BY KATHERINE JAHNKE

When it comes to the manufacturing of to-do lists, I am an expert. However, tracking “things I want to get done” lists can rise to the level of an archeological dig into my life. I have uncovered lists in the strangest of places and spanning the many years of my existence. The trail yields many thoughts of “where was my head on that one?” and “I really wanted to do that?” Then I just have to laugh because it’s just so … me!

 


“Butts in Car” Time

BY RILEY KARBON, PCAC

On my Google Calendar, you’ll find two times: the time of the event and the BUTTS IN CAR time (all caps are absolutely necessary). Time can often be a magical concept for folks with ADHD. This addition to my calendar came about because I was noticing how the clock by the back door always seemed to be behind the time on my car’s dashboard. 


 


How Do We Do Hard Things?

BY KELLY THORELL

That’s the ultimate question: how do we do the hard things? Growing up, I could put almost any task off. I did not know why; I was just stuck. I would hear, “you just need willpower,” “you just need to get started,” or “just get it done.” In reality, those things were hard for me, but I expected them to be easy. 

 


How to Keep Your Kids Engaged and Growing Over Summer Break

BY ROBIN NORDMEYER, PCAC, CLC

With the school year soon coming to a close, it’s time to start planning. As an ADHD mom, it can feel a little overwhelming trying to plan out the perfect summer to keep kids engaged. Why not take a little pressure off yourself and let the kids help you brainstorm? The more they weigh in on the options, the easier it goes.

 


Managing Expectations So They Don't Manage You!

BY GRIFFIN ROUSE

If you have an ADHD child you’ve likely experienced the consequences of expectation management or lack thereof. For people with ADHD, expectations are important. They are how we create order, how we cope in a world that doesn’t necessarily fit us very well. Misaligned expectations can lead to confusion, anxiety, and sometimes even a full-blown meltdown.

 


Diary of a Pregnant ADHDer: Feelings on Feelings 

BY ABBY RILEY

30 weeks. 30 weeks of “pregnancy brain” with the volume jacked up by my ADHD. This “big mama” (as my 8-year-old now lovingly calls me) is carrying a somersaulting, high-kicking, eggplant-sized baby boy that is starting to keep me up at night with bathroom runs and sore hips. And boy, do I have feelings about it.
 

 


The Role of Dopamine in ADHD

BY ANDREA YELLINEK, MS, OTR/L, ACC, CACPC

The dopamine/ADHD relationship seems to be a hot topic these days … at least within the ADHD community. But, what exactly is dopamine, and what is its relationship to ADHD?

 

 



Training the Brain to Pay Attention

BY VICTORIA ROCHE, MSW, PCC

Let’s face it, there are so many interesting things to learn about all around us that it’s really hard to resist getting distracted by anything that pulls us away from what needs to be focused on. I recently found a skills-based app that helps users develop the skills to manage their minds.

 


It Takes Two, Baby…To Make Our Dreams Come True

BY ROBIN NORDMEYER, PCAC, CLC

We find each other. We fall in love. We decide to make a go of life together. We have definite ideas and dreams for what our future holds. What we didn’t know at the outset was about ADHD. 

 

 


The Case for Doing Taxes with Friends!

BY RILEY KARBON, PCAC

If you’ve ever said, “I've got to get started on my taxes, but I just can't,” let's talk about why taxes are legitimately hard for ADHD folks and how to actually get them done in an ADHD-friendly way.


 


Being Honest and Vulnerable in Our Parent and Child Talks

BY GRIFFIN ROUSE

By talking with your child, sharing your own struggles, sharing what's important to you, even when it might not make a lot of sense, we open ourselves up, we show vulnerability, and we give our children the opportunity to rise to the occasion.

 


We Will Always Be “Solving” It

BY ABBY RILEY

I’ve been on a kick recently of strengthening my awareness of my own ADHD. As someone diagnosed with ADHD 20 years ago, and a former special education teacher and current ADHD coach, you’d think I’d have a pretty decent handle on the whole ADHD awareness thing. ADHD is a complex and dynamic disorder, and so is life. Mix the two and you’re bound to experience a good share of unpredictability.

 


It’s Not My Fault, The Doorway Made Me Forget!

BY KATHERINE JAHNKE

At some point a few years ago, I heard the term “doorway amnesia” and it seemed like a perfect phrase to describe what I experienced frequently on any given day. This is my common and extremely annoying experience of arriving somewhere only to realize I've forgotten what I went there to do. One aspect of memory in particular that is often disrupted in ADHD is working memory.

 


Simple Self-Care Strategies for Busy People

BY ANDREA YELLINEK, ACC, CACP

Let’s face it — juggling the demands of daily life can be draining … especially if you're dealing with ADHD-related executive function challenges. Whether it’s working, studying, caring for family, or managing an endless list of daily chores, it’s easy for us to neglect ourselves and put self-care at the bottom of our to-do lists.

 


The Beginning of Your ADHD Journey

BY KELLY THORELL

If you are newly diagnosed with ADHD or just starting to address it, chances are you are not sure where to start and have a lot of overwhelming feelings surrounding this process. This may be because there is a lot you don’t know yet. So here is a starting point and some things to think about when you are on this journey. 

 


A New Year and a Fresh Start - Part 2

BY KATHERINE JAHNKE

In a continuation of last week's blog, I keep looking at motivation and the fact that motivation does not precede action but that action precedes motivation. This means that when I think motivation is needed, I will think motion instead — to get into movement of some kind towards my committed or valued action rather than stall out waiting on a feeling. 

 


A New Year and a Fresh Start - Part 1

BY KATHERINE JAHNKE

I actually allowed myself time to do a quick review of the year past before jumping into planning for 2022. Which is sort of incredible considering the lunacy that encompassed most of last year and how I couldn’t wait to wash the remnants away. But no better way to salvage any learnings from the debris than to look in my rear-view mirror and see what I see. 

 


How to Make Spring Semester More ADHD-Friendly

BY RILEY KARBON, PCAC

Finals. Are. Over. Finally! Your kid has caught up on the sleep they lost from late-night cramming and is now home to eat all your food and do weeks-old (months even?) laundry. Amidst the family and holiday events, be sure to find quiet time to reflect on this past semester with your student. Know that if the fall semester didn’t go well, you’re not alone! Here are some ways you and/or your student can plan for a more ADHD-friendly spring semester. 


Productive Adult Syndrome

BY GRIFFIN ROUSE

A common refrain I hear from parents of my teenage and young adult clients is a fear that their child won’t grow up to become “a productive adult.” Parents with this fear rely on all kinds of rules (bedtime, early weekend wakeups, diets) and tactics (nagging about homework, rigidity, helicoptering) to try to convince their child to be more “productive” or to “prepare them for the real world.” 



The Impact of Music on Productivity

BY ROBIN NORDMEYER, PCAC, CLC

Research shows that music can provide many benefits to your brain and overall cardiovascular health. It can increase your blood flow, making it easier to concentrate and relax. Increased blood flow protects your brain from memory loss, allows you to de-stress, and reduces inflammation that can damage your body's healthy cells over time. 



Helping Your Teen Build Self-Advocacy Skills

BY ANDREA YELLINEK, ACC, CACP

If your teen has ADHD, odds are you have spent a great deal of time and energy advocating for your child’s needs in order to protect him/her from life’s harsh realities.  But as parents, one of the greatest gifts we can give our children is to teach them how to advocate for themselves. Here are some important components of self-advocacy, along with specific tips for helping your teen build these skills. 


The Struggle to Stay Connected to Those We Care About

BY KATHERINE JAHNKE

If you have ADHD, chances are you also struggle with staying connected with friends and loved ones on a regular basis. We tend to think of ADHD as problems with losing things or staying on time or even remembering to do what we really should be doing. But as much as we dislike losing our phones or keys, we should loathe the loss of our community and comrades. We need those people connections more than just about anything else except for food and water. 


The Fastest Way to Fix Your ADHD!

BY RILEY KARBON, PCAC

Early spoiler alert: There is no “fixing” ADHD — but acceptance and trying differently (not harder) is the fastest way we see clients make steps forward in their life. We work with our clients to truly accept their strengths and limitations and to let go of doing things in ways that are not serving them. Here are a few of the most common examples we see in coaching ...

 


7 Tips for Being Successful at Work with ADHD

BY KATHERINE JAHNKE

It is a pretty common misconception that people with ADHD are unable to pay attention or focus. After all, it is called “attention deficit” right? The reality is that adults with ADHD can focus. It's just that we have a hard time staying attentive and focused. That's especially true when the activity calling for our attention isn't one that we find especially engaging. 

 


Managing Your Adult Child Who is Struggling to Launch

BY ANDREA YELLINEK, ACC, CACP

Are you a parent of a young adult who is living at home and seems to be unmotivated to lead a more independent, self-sufficient life? Over my years as an ADHD coach, I’ve encountered many parents who seek help for their adult child who remains highly dependent, stuck at home, and avoids higher education, vocational training, and/or employment. 

 


10 Ways to Connect and Nurture Your Relationships with ADHD

BY ROBIN NORDMEYER, PCAC, CLC

Strong relationships don’t just happen! Sometimes our clients express wishes to be more connected and feel closer to the important people in their lives. They may be spouses or significant others, children, family members, friends, our professional colleagues, and even the new people we meet. Here are a few tips and strategies that may help.



Learning Self-Compassion

BY VICTORIA ROCHE, MSW, PCC

Each of us experiences challenges throughout our lives. So how can we manage the challenges before us, protect ourselves from mental exhaustion, and embrace that joy that life has to offer? The key is to know how to turn passing experiences into inner resources built into our brains. This is positive neuroplasticity to change the way you think.



Accepting Your ADHD & Thinking Instead of Judging

BY GRIFFIN ROUSE

Identifying the things that make us different as individuals with ADHD can be difficult, and accepting those things is often even harder. However, acceptance of our quirks is part of the larger process of living well with ADHD. Through acceptance, we can create systems and mechanisms that make our lives easier and more enjoyable. We can also make simple adjustments with meaningful impacts on our lives.


The Importance of PURPLE

BY RILEY KARBON

Has this situation ever happened to you? You and your partner are discussing something innocuous in the kitchen. Your partner notices some crumbs on the counter and then they make a small comment about how there are always crumbs on the counter and ask you to clean up after making your toast in the morning. 

 


Techniques for Parents to Support Their Children with ADHD

BY KATHERINE JAHNKE

Parents do the best with what they know and then do better when they know more. So, the more you get educated about childhood ADHD, the more strategies and tools are available to you to manage the challenges and speed bumps that are going to arise from living with this disorder. Here are some tips that you as a parent can use to manage the symptoms ...

 


Managing College Life with ADHD

BY ANDREA YELLINEK, ACC, CACP

The college years can be a very exciting time in your life. College life presents itself with endless choices and opportunities, both academically and socially. While this freedom can be appealing, it can also increase the challenges you may have managed as a high school student … especially if you have ADHD. Here are some steps you can take to make your college experience less overwhelming and more fulfilling. 
 


5 Simple Ways to Build Decluttering into Your Life

BY ROBIN NORDMEYER, PCAC, CLC

Decluttering isn’t something you do once, and then you’re done with it forever. If such were the case, no one would ever feel overburdened by the stuff since most of us have decluttered our homes at some point. The key to decluttering is realizing it needs to be a mindset, a set of habits you develop that not only cleans the extra stuff out of your life but keeps the clutter out as you move forward.

 


Ideas for Overcoming Indecision for Adults with ADHD

BY KATHERINE JAHNKE

Making decisions is a challenge for those with ADHD. One of the reasons is that we are challenged by distraction. And we can get challenged in both our internal and external lives. So, what strategies can aid us to become better at decision-making? Here are a few ...


 


Typical Hurdles to Getting Things Done with ADHD and How to Rethink Them

BY GRIFFIN ROUSE

Having ADHD means our brains work a little differently from others. Sometimes, we feel like we need to force ourselves to be like other people, so we try to make our brains work in a “normal” way. The things that work for other people don’t always work for us, and that’s ok!  

 


Parents, Fill *Your* Cup!

BY RILEY KARBON

You, as a parent, have done so much to support your ADHD child. You’ve gotten them support from a therapist or coach, school and have set up creative routines and reminders at home to help them to live and learn easier. (You’re a great parent by the way). And what about support for you?


 


Investing in Relationships: Mixing and Mingling Made Easy

BY KATHERINE JAHNKE

We are most certainly living in uncertain times while dealing with this chaotic and unpredictable world. Which makes having friends to provide security and stability all the more important. We all need human connection now more than ever. 

 


Learning and ADHD: The Value of Learning Strengths

BY ROBIN NORDMEYER, PCAC, CLC

In the legal realm, ADHD is not considered a disability. Yet, unless an individual learns the unique ways they are wired to learn best, the process of learning can be quite disabling!  The fact is that up to 50% of children and adolescents with ADHD will also have a coexisting learning disability. It can be quite a challenge to tease all that out. So, we leave that to the professionals trained to do so! 



5 Tips to Combat ADHD Time Blindness

BY ANDREA YELLINEK, ACC, CACP

Do you struggle with chronic lateness or the tendency to lose track of time? Are friends, family, coworkers, or professors getting annoyed with you for missing deadlines? If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. Time blindness — or the inability to properly sense the passage of time — is a common struggle with those of us with ADHD.

 


A Work Schedule That Works for Us

BY KATHERINE JAHNKE

When organizing our work schedule whether at home or in the office, we need to consider more factors than what time we should start each task. Because we all are so uniquely wired, our preferences and methods can vary. So how can we create the order needed for ourselves to accomplish our work tasks? 

 


The Perfect System ... That Didn’t Work

BY GRIFFIN ROUSE

Parents I speak to for the first time almost all have at least one thing in common. They are tired. They’ve been trying so hard to support their child every way possible. But it seems the harder they try, the worse their relationship with their child gets. This often leads to parents trying to create the perfect system that will solve all of the problems they are having with their ADHD child.

 


Finding Time to Connect

BY VICTORIA ROCHE, MSW, PCC

Now that we are getting a reprieve from the pandemic, it’s time to connect with the sources that bring us some level of calm and fulfillment. Summer is here and the nation is beginning to open up after being isolated for a year. For some of us, it’s a slow process. As we begin to re-enter society, it may take us time to adapt to a new normal. So let’s check in on our health and well-being.

 


Reading Is Far Better for Learning Than Audio or Video

BY KATHERINE JAHNKE

The pandemic caused the dynamics of learning to change as we had to adapt and move from classroom learning to online learning. That meant we also turned to digital texts and multimedia structures as part of that online learning.

 


7 Quick Tips for Self-Care Any Time, Any Day

BY ROBIN NORDMEYER, PCAC, CLC

We all know that self-care is super important, yet it’s not always easy to find time for yourself. As a result, you press on and make excuses. You’ll do it when you “have the time”, as though time will magically appear someday on your schedule. The fact is prioritizing small bits of time for self-care on a daily basis is one of the best ways to begin minimizing the impact of ADHD.

 


5 Reasons You May Be Procrastinating and What You Can Do About It

BY ANDREA YELLINEK

Do you struggle with procrastination? We all procrastinate — or put things off — sometimes. But those of us with ADHD or executive function challenges tend to procrastinate even more. Here are 5 common reasons you may be procrastinating, as well as some corresponding strategies to address them.

 


Your Child Is Not Broken. Their System Is!

BY RILEY KARBON

You probably have recognized traditional school settings (system) are less suitable for ADHD kids. All the sitting still, listening quietly, and working independently can have our kids climbing the walls, daydreaming, and falling behind. Here are 3 steps to recognize when something needs to change to better suit your child’s needs. 

 


With ADHD Choosing the Right Career Makes A Difference

BY VICTORIA ROCHE, MSW, PCC

How do people decide what job or career is best for them? The process of career exploration for an adult with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a complex process that takes time. It involves a good amount of self-exploration, a level of commitment to the process and being open to options you may never have considered.  



Morning Habits to Kick-Start a Positive Day

BY KATHERINE JAHNKE

As soon as you wake every morning, every choice or decision you make starts dipping into your brain’s willpower reserve tank and consuming fuel. There is plenty of research that shows us that willpower is a limited resource. So, it is not difficult to see why when the tank runs dry, we tend to take the path of least resistance or grab those instant gratification choices instead of the things we really need.

 


The Power of Brain Breaks to Increase Your Productivity

BY ROBIN NORDMEYER, PCAC, CLC

Have you ever noticed that when you create too many things to do, you end up getting less done? Or when you get into hyper-focus mode for hours at a time, you work a little slower? Did you know scheduling more intentional breaks in your day can actually increase your productivity?

 


6 Tips to Support Healthy Sleep Habits for Your Child

BY ANDREA YELLINEK

Is your child getting enough sleep? Sleep deprivation is a common problem for many of our children with ADHD and related issues. So what can you do, as parents, to support healthy sleep habits in your child or teen? If you’re looking to make some changes, here are six tips to point you in the right direction ...

 


Chore-Splitting vs. Chore-Sharing

BY RILEY KARBON

One issue that often comes up when discussing combined relationships (one person has ADHD, the other does not) is household chores. Who does them, when, with what frequency and what’s the balance of labor between the two partners.

 


The First 5 and Last 5 Minutes

BY GRIFFIN ROUSE

If you have a child with ADHD, especially if you have a teenager, you have likely heard from them, “I didn’t know we had homework, or “I did not know we had a test that day, so I wasn’t prepared.” But how can it be possible to not be able to keep track of such obvious and important things? 

 


4 Techniques for Saying No to Self-Doubt

BY ROBIN NORDMEYER, PCAC

One offhand remark from someone you look up to or a reminder of a past failure can cause you to downward spiral all over again. You're focusing on failure. You're telling yourself every reason in the world why you should stop now. In short, you've just derailed yourself completely. It’s time to pause and pivot as you start by saying 'no' to self-doubt, using these simple techniques.

 


Getting to Yes

BY GRIFFIN ROUSE

ADHD children place a high value on transparency and understanding, and when they don’t have it, they fill in the blanks with negativity. From their perspective, they are trying to get you to say yes, but you are ready to tell them no. In order to combat this, you can shift the way you approach these conversations (thereby shifting the way your child approaches them).

 


7 Tips to Build on Our Self-Reliance Mindset

BY ROBIN NORDMEYER, PCAC

Just about everyone can benefit from building a self-reliant mindset. Think about it; all it means is that you rely on yourself more. You are more independent, and your success isn't tied to anyone else. Here are 7 tips to help develop more self-reliance and a 3-step action plan to get you going.

 


Support Your Child Through ADHD Meltdowns

BY GRIFFIN ROUSE

If you are the parent of an ADHD child, it's likely you’ve experienced a notorious ADHD meltdown. It’s important to know that meltdowns are rarely caused by a single event;  they are typically brought about by a slow and steady building of stress, tension, anxiety, isolation, or any number of other internalized negative emotions or experiences.

 


Positive Thinking in Tough Times

BY ROBIN NORDMEYER, PCAC & KATHERINE JAHNKE

Yes, these are some troubling days we are all going through. Turn on the news and you’ll get an earful of how bad things really are—not only in your community but around the world. Dive into social media and you can't help but be reminded of the difficulties that folks are enduring on an entire host of upsets, not just the virus. The real question is what does any of that do to empower any of us? 

 


Personal Growth in 2021

BY ROBIN NORDMEYER, PCAC

Personal growth and development are not just something you do because you want to feel better or be healthier. It is actually a way to take back control over your life and your decisions. Here are six ways that personal growth can help you feel more in control of your life and on track with the goals and changes you want to experience.