Taking Back Control of Your CrazyBusy Life

Do the words Crazy Busy sum up your life? Are you increasingly wrestling with the issue of what to do about what’s happening and how to cope in a distracted, disconnected world?  Then l invite you to listen to my mini podcast on “Taking Back Control of Your Crazy Busy Life” and learn how to focus on what matters most to you.

I’m also including more practical strategies below from my book: CrazyBusy. These tips can help you  take back control of your time, learn how to use electronic devices responsibly, and reestablish the human connection that is all too often missing.

Coping in a Distracted, Disconnected World: Taking Back Control of Your Crazy Busy Life

1.   Education. First, take an honest assessment of how the use of electronics and technology has taken control of your life.

  • Are you texting friends or colleagues while sitting next to them instead of having a face-to-face conversation?
  • Are you spending too much time interacting on Facebook instead of hanging out with friends?

Involve your family in the discussion. Point out how you grapple with the over use of technology and ask them to assess their use of electronics as well. To get the best outcome, it is essential that all family members be involved in managing screen time.

2.  Set a goal of how much total time should be spent each day on electronics.  Then break the total goal into time categories: how much time where, doing what, with whom.

3. Plan daily periods of abstinence.  These “brain breaks” provide intervals of time in which no electronic device may be turned on.  Yes, this will be difficult for you at first.  So try beginning with 10 minutes twice a day.  Then increase that time by 10 minutes a week until you reach 1 hour a day or whatever goal you all want to achieve.

To go one step further, plan a “de-tox” day over the weekend.

Reserve a Saturday or Sunday, during which you and/or your family has absolutely no electronic usage whatsoever, except lights and appliances.  No TV, no phone, no Internet, no video games, no iPad.

Get the family or your friends involved in planning the “de-tox” day. You can play a board game, go for a hike, visit a relative or family friend.  Other suggestions are to volunteer at a community event or any other ideas the family comes up with. The point is to plan something that doesn’t involve any electronics.  Then have fun reconnecting.

4.  Make it a goal to restore the healthy habits that over use of electronics often disrupts:  First of all, get more physical exercise, especially outdoors.  Try eating family dinner together. Figure out how to enough sleep.  Finally, have some uninterrupted face-to-face conversations; pray or meditate.

5.  Replenish daily your dose of the other Vitamin C, Vitamin Connect.  Overuse of electronics depletes one’s store of the human connection. Spend time having a face-to-face conversation with people, uninterrupted by anything. Likewise, try banning electronics when you’re out with friends or during dinner.  Having face-to-face conversations with others is an important step.

6.  Monitor progress together.  Set time aside each day or weekly to see how everyone is doing.  What difficulties are they having? What difficulties are you having?  How does everyone feel about this?

Conclusion

Setting goals to limit the use of electronics and helping each other achieve those goals can be a family and/or friend project. Of course, it won’t be easy, but don’t give up. Your success in addressing the overuse of electronics one strategy at a time will lead to your success, and a lot more joy for the entire family.

Adapted from CrazyBusy Overstretched, Overbooked and About to Snap!   Ballentine, NY, 2006

CrazyBusy App

 

Let Dr. Hallowell help you manage your CrazyBusy life. Download for FREE his CrazyBusy Tips APP for iPhone.

How To Face Your Fears

When I first started speaking in public, I was terrified to speak in front of people. I had a phobia of public speaking. However, I had messages I wanted to share with the general public. I wanted to share what I knew about ADHD and other psychological topics.  So what was I to do? In my podcast on  How To Face Your Fears,” I describe how I overcame my fear of public speaking and offer ways you can overcome your phobia or fear.

As such, I invite you to listen and learn “How to Face Your Fears.”

LISTEN NOW! 

What’s the Difference Between Fear and Phobia?

Fear is an emotional response to perceived or real danger. It can be a wonderful ally as long as it goes off when it should. For example, when it keeps you from putting yourself in a dangerous situation.

When fear is of a specific thing, we call it a phobia.  A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder that describes an excessive and irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation. Such as, fear of flying, fear of heights and fear of public speaking.

Phobias involve intense fear surrounding an object or situation that realistically poses little or no real danger. They are different from common fears in that the associated anxiety is so strong it interferes with daily life and the ability to function normally.  People suffering from phobias may go to extreme lengths to avoid encountering or experiencing the feared object or situation. If you have a fear or phobia that is paralyzing and life-defeating,  in addition to consulting with your family doctor, be sure to consult with experts in other fields

How the Hallowell Center Can Help

Treatment helps most people with phobias. Options include therapy, medication or both.  When should you seek therapy? Generally when the phobia causes intense fear, anxiety or panic and it stops you from your normal routine or causes significant distress. Taking the time to get diagnosed and set up a treatment plan is an investment in your health and well-being.

Find out how one of our qualified mental health professionals can help you by calling The Hallowell Center:

Boston MetroWest at 978-287-0810

New York City at 212-799-7777

San Francisco at 415-967-0061

Seattle at 206-420-7345

 

An Ode to Autumn

Swirling around, swept into the air like dry leaves before a great storm, we’re tossed about by forces we invented but no longer control. The wind rules, picking us up and taking us where it blows. Busy. Fast. Wired. Going who knows where. Welcome to our crazybusy world.

Today I encourage you to take a few moments to pause and reflect on the beauty that surrounds us – the colors, the crispness in the air, the sunshine and more. Listen to my Distraction mini podcast “An Ode to Autumn” and learn why Autumn is my favorite season of the year. What is yours?

Are you saying to yourself,  “I’m too busy to pause and take in the colors of autumn?”

If yes, then click here to learn how to take back control of your time in this Crazybusy world.

For those of you who like great poetry, I recommended this poem by John Keats in my podcast:

To Autumn  

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twinéd flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
T
hou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barréd clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
T
hen in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment – What You Should Know

Getting an ADHD Diagnosis: 

Make sure you consult with a well-trained specialist. The doctors who have the most training in ADHD are child psychiatrists. If you are an adult, be aware that all child psychiatrists also are trained in adult psychiatry. Ask the person you see if he or she has extensive experience in working with patients in your age group. It is imperative that you consult with a professional who has extensive experience. Therefore, if you can’t find such a person, start by calling the department of psychiatry at the medical school nearest to you.

The diagnosis rests upon a careful history taken from the identified patient as well as at least one other person. This could be a parent, spouse, sibling, or close friend, as well as, if possible, teacher comments.

First of all, you should develop a comfortably connected relationship with the person diagnosing and treating you so that you can turn to him or her with trust whenever the need arises.

The history may be supplemented by neuropsychological testing. This is paper-and-pencil testing that includes puzzles and games. It’s actually often fun to take these tests. They are not diagnostic of ADHD, but they add valuable information.

Treatment begins with education.

The patient and concerned others need to learn what ADHD is, and what it is not. A diagnosis of the mind, like ADHD, must be fully understood if it is to be mastered and made good use of. At its best, ADHD can become an asset, rather than a liability, in a person’s life. But, for this to happen, the person has to develop a deep appreciation for how ADHD works within him or her.

To understand ADHD, a person could begin with one of my books, like Delivered From Distraction, or with some other book on the topic. Just be sure you read a book by a highly qualified expert who writes clearly and well.

Treatment proceeds with a restructuring of one’s life.

Usually, disorganization is a leading problem in the life of the person who has ADHD. Often an organizational coach can help enormously in developing new habits of organization and time management.

Treatment should also include physical exercise

You should exercise at least 4 times per week. Dr. John Ratey’s work and his book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, notes that physical exercise is one of the best treatments we have for ADHD.  Learn more about Treating ADHD.

Proper nutrition plays an important role in the treatment of ADHD in all ages.

The key simply is to eat well, avoid junk food and sugar, and eat whole foods. Above all, don’t self-medicate with carbs, as many people with ADHD are tempted to do.

Learn More

If you missed Dr. Hallowell’s Distraction Q&A on ADHD, getting a late in life diagnosis and more, LISTEN NOW!

If you think you might have ADHD, CLICK HERE to learn what the Hallowell Centers can do for you.

For those people who crave more information about ADHD, we have put together a suggested reading list HERE.  

Try Judging Less, Understanding More

Dr. Hallowell shares some thoughts on reserving judgment in our “Gotcha!” world in this week’s Distraction mini episode. It’s time to cut each other some slack, says Ned, as he likens our current social climate to a meat tenderizer. We are all flawed and we need each other’s understanding, not judgment!

There’s an old French proverb he loves that goes, “Tout comprendre c’est tout pardonner,” which Evelyn Waugh translated and quoted in Brideshead Revisited, “To understand all is to forgive all.”

LISTEN NOW and learn Dr. Hallowell’s thoughts on why we should try and understand before we judge.

Distraction wants to hear from you! What do you think? Are we too quick to judge each other nowadays? Send an email or voice memo with your thoughts to connect@distractionpodcast.com.

Strategies for Minimizing ADHD’s Impact on Relationships

I’m excited to welcome you to Season 4 of Distraction. It’s great to be back and to have my wonderful wife Sue join me for our first episode. Her speciality is working with couples where one or both partners have ADHD.

So if your partner has ADHD, you’ll want to listen to this week’s DISTRACTION Podcast S4 Ep 1. Sue talk about the realities of being married to someone with ADHD. Her insights shed light on how to navigate the frustrations of being the “non-ADHD” half of the couple, and what predicts whether a relationship will succeed.

More on ADHD and Relationships:

Dr. Hallowell shares his 20 Relationship tips HERE.

You can learn more about ADHD and Relationships HERE.

If you’re struggling with ADHD and relationship issues, click here to learn how Couples Therapy at the Hallowell Center can help.
Follow Dr. Hallowell’s ADHD and Marriage Blog with Melissa Orlov.
If you have a question for me, you can email or send a voice memo to: connect@distractionpodcast.com.
Thank you for being a part of my Distraction podcast community!

ADHD? How to Uncover Your Own Learning Style.

Do you have difficulty learning?  Learn how to “Uncover Your Learning Style,” with Dr. Hallowell and Jessica McCabe. In this episode, they  discuss what helped them learn.  Dr. Hallowell  used flashcards to get him through medical school. Jessica learns better when she walks around while she’s reading. Do you know how you learn best?

In this special episode sponsored by Landmark College, Dr. Hallowell and the How to ADHD creator talk about the importance of listening to yourself to discover your unique learning style, and how that knowledge can help you achieve success in high school, college and beyond.  LISTEN NOW!