Reply To: Really struggling, any advice appreciated please

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Hi there. I agree with the other two posters. I would definitely try to find some way to put the phone somewhere that is out of sight so that you don’t reach for it. It will take some time and effort so if you find yourself reaching for or missing your phone then don’t beat yourself up about it. (I know I often do which only makes it worse for me) Instead realize that it’s normal and that it will take time but, that it’s OK not to be perfect. Also, both posters had the good idea of slowly putting away the phone longer and longer over time. It can help to ease the transition although, it may not be the right move for everyone. The key is to find strategies that fit you.
Also, there may be under lying conditions that are helping to aid you in your phone use.

One of them might be that you need some downtime when you get home so you turn to the easiest source, your phone and then you get distracted. If this is the case then you might be able to work through it by putting your phone away immediately and doing something that you enjoy or something that makes you feel treated. Probably not something to do with a screen. You could lay on the couch and read a book, you could take a nice long bath. Or you can do a task, if you like crocheting you might give this time to yourself to do that. You could write in a journal, take a nap, stretch/exercise, etc. It really depends on where this is coming from. If you’re physically tired after work you might be more focused on resting if you’re mentally tired you might be more focused on either resting your mind or providing it with stimulation that is fun and interesting to it. I would putting your phone out of reach/view for you and setting a time limit (with an alarm) for when you will stop doing whatever it is. It could be something as simple as 5-15mins. or an hour. If a shorter time doesn’t work for you then make it longer. If something isn’t working then change it as needed. Then afterwards, make sure that you also set some time to talk or spend time with your children. Don’t focus as much on the length of time (this can trigger guilt sometimes) focus more on the quality of time. This is time where you will give your kids your undivided attention for however long. Then make dinner.

Another possibility could be that you are feeling overwhelmed by the number of things to do. It sounds like you might be feeling overwhelmed trying to manage everything. I understand that and can feel it as well. This might mean that you need more self-care time and focus on implementing the strategies you already know of rather than spending time looking for new ones. If you want to spend some time looking up new strategies I would suggest setting aside a time of the day to make it happen. Also, set some time aside for reflection. We all need to make sure that we are correctly seeing the efforts that we put in on a daily basis (and showing ourselves love for it) rather than focusing on all the things we aren’t doing. Stress can make it hard to act at all and if you are feeling overwhelmed you might have too much going on or may need to ask for help. Despite what society says, we don’t have to do it all.

And, lastly, you might be feeling lonely and isolated in some way. I know that many people who are addicted to their phones feel that way. With a phone you can have immediate feedback. For people with ADHD it’s probably harder to control because we like having immediate satisfaction. If you are a sociable person then you might feel like the phone is your portal to the outside world and even though it might leave you unsatisfied in the end, for those few seconds where you get a response, it feels really good. If you think that it might be isolation or feeling lonely then taking time to connect with people in your life or scheduling time to socialize (even if it’s just once a week) can help. It’s ok and perfectly normal to feel lonely and to want people to spend time with (I often suffer from feeling shame and like I’m a burden to others so I may be projecting but I wanted to include it in case you were feeling the same way). We are a social species and it can help us feel calmer when we feel less alone. Perhaps take some time to reach out to a person everyday or once a week just so you are getting your needs met. If you are feeling like a burden to others, just keep in mind how nice it feels when someone calls you out of the blue.

Also, if you’re anything like me, you might be procrastinating on spending your time with your kids simply because you feel guilty about not spending time with them. You panic because you think you will be on your phone again and ‘fail’ at being a good parent. But if your children are well loved and have their basic needs being met then you are probably doing just fine. Yes, it would be nice to spend a little extra time with them but it’s also not something you need to feel guilty about. No parent is perfect and that’s ok, kids get along just fine with loving, caring parents, they don’t need perfect ones. If this is the case, take some time to remind yourself that it’s ok not to be perfect. Also, reflect on the time that you do spend with them. Think about how long that is and what the quality is. For example, do you really think that every parent needs to spend every minute of everyday doing nothing but doting on and supporting their children? If it was your friend who did a lot but couldn’t see it you’d probably tell her that it’s perfectly ok to take a little me time and that she is doing a great job as is. Be that friend to yourself. I have perfectionism and often hold myself to unrealistic ideas of who I should be and how I should spend my time. It has only be recently that I’ve realized how truly hard on myself I am. One thing that helps is when I am feeling frustrated for not doing or being something, I ask myself, if this was someone else, would I expect this of them on a regular basis doing exactly what I expect of myself? It’s fine to have goals and to want to improve but if you find that your expectations seem to unattainable for someone else, then it probably is for you as well.

I hope that some of this might help. I know that some of the things I struggle with benefit from these things but what you struggle with might be completely different. I hope that either way, you find strategies that work for you and that you give yourself the flexibility to make them work even when they aren’t perfect.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by JadeFlores.