Hello! This is my first time to ever use this thing, and I was about to get on to make a desperate plea… and thought well I’ll just read through some of the others to see if I connect with any. So I have to say: in this life we are tempted to feel like we are alone, the only ones, shame. Not true. I could have written your post myself… and I am positive countless others relate. Feel. No. Shame. Instead be proud of yourself for 1) awareness and 2) reaching out! It’s not that reading all these articles and searching for help online is a bad thing. It’s a start. And yet, you see that it’s actually causing other consequences. So… first, let me introduce me so you know where I’m coming from (cuz I’m on a mission for this very thing!). Then I’ll share what I’ve learned up to this point.
I am 39, currently SAHM of 2, diagnosed with adhd as a young adult post college. I was on meds then for 3 years. Worked to get off and do life with natural strategies. That worked till child #2 came. Back on meds (a good thing, but it’s just one component) and now struggling (in a good way) to find my grounding, fight natural adhd tendencies, be the mom I want to be for my kids, while adding balance to my life (to take care of me), be a good wife, tryyyyyy to keep the house chaos from eating away at our soul, etc. It’s TOUGH! And yet, we get so caught up in working on ourselves that sometimes it’s admittedly hard to just enjoy a beautiful moment with a child and a game without having to fight off impeding thoughts that really just end up stealing some of that time away. I RELATE.
So, medicine does help calm that pinball effect that tends to make me jump from thing to thing. But what it DOESN’t always help with is my magnetic hyperfocus towards INTRIGUE. Enter the DMN: this super short lovely article explains: https://www.additudemag.com/default-mode-network-adhd-brain/
There’s also a bit here: https://www.additudemag.com/current-research-on-adhd-breakdown-of-the-adhd-brain/ (But scroll down to this section: “The ADHD Brain: A Network of it’s Own”).
Now, pair that with everything everyone else said about the built in way technology is literally built to keep us zoned in. It literally creates DOPAMINE in our brains that keep us coming back for more. We craaaave it. Nicotine in cigs (and who knows what in other drugs) does the same thing… dark chocolate (I keep bars of 85% dark, though I don’t crave it when on med)… exercise… they all hit our prefrontal cortex with shots of neurotransmitter chemicals (dopamine) that feels good and we want more. Silicone Valley folks designed the tech to play in to that and you can read articles/see youtube vids on how they will NOT let their kids on tech or attend schools that use tech. Interesting fact.
So, my DMN is lit up ALL the time AND connected with the EMOTIONAL part of my brain (which, emotion… one of the STRONGEST parts of the brain for better and for worse)… so HOW do I break out of my DMN (demon) and put down the damn phone and do what I need to do for… all of us?!?!?
1. The breathing strategy mentioned in the article. This is something I’m trying to explore, and I think it’s good. The hard part? I have to be adamant about recognizing WHEN I need to use it. But, it does significantly relax the body and apparently resets the brain. It did help me when I actually realized “I gotta break out of this.” I was impressed.
2. Hide the tech in such a way that it will be a PAIN for you to get to it. OR download an app that will turn access off for certain hours of the day. OR ask your phone company… for an extra $5 a month, my friend’s company literally turns off her tech so she won’t be on it at night.
3. Water. Water. Water. If you think you need coke or coffee, drink 8 oz of water, then re-assess (then go for the coffee if you still want it. Water gets more blood to the brain. Figure out how you like it (I like it cold or room temp, no ice).
4. Movement gets more blood to the brain. Maybe you and your kids could go on a walk and talk about your day, or a short bike ride. Dance and be silly. Learn some yoga stretches together. Or just do them for yourself.
5. Something I have started at 9:00pm: a self-check in planning time. 1) What is most important in the next 2 hours? (Also considering what to have ready for tomorrow). 2) What can I leave till tomorrow/another day? 3) What are my intrigues that I might rabbit trail and deter from the plan and when can I make time for those things (cuz they aren’t bad). 4) The last hour before bed is for ME. One of my fave things to do (WHEN I stick to plan, is yoga. As a christian, it is a great time for me to reflect, meditate, keep in mind my intentions, pray… all this while opening up the body… it’s all connected… mind… body… spirit.
(It would behoove me to have a self planning checkin also at about 2:30 each day. How am I going to have dinner on the table by 6:30?)
*Might want to look at your planning. Do you have a meal plan? And if so could it be simplified? What could you have out that would inspire you to jump in and get started? This could be anything from a refreshing drink while you cook, to recipe/tools already out, etc.
*Hobbies, while good, even a hobby can be an intrigue. In my experience, if I take one thing away, I’ll find something else (naturally) on which to replace it and hyperfocus. With that said, technology IS the WORST to tear myself away from… So I have to order that time… I have to tell the Tech WHEN and HOW LONG… otherwise, my DMN is ON and IN CONTROL and when that happens… that drive… is a force to be reckoned with. My arguments to myself for why I can’t stop… those arguments when NOT in DMN overdrive… sound UNREASONABLE to my Not-in-DMN-overdrive self. It’s still me. I own it. And I have to learn to master it.
So… that’s where I’m at. This is my plan. I’m struggling, but as I struggle, I’m paying attention and learning what works, what doesn’t work. Why am I so intrigued with these articles? What am I really after? What’s really important right now? Question question question. And, as a Christian, I’m always taking this back to God. He’s good with helping me be aware, with wisdom, with peace. I hope this helps. All the best to you.