Letting my brain off its leash

A few weeks ago, I watched a video from the YouTube channel ‘How to ADHD’ about how many people with ADHD have trouble relaxing.

One of Jessica’s comments was that even leisure activities require focus and concentration so when we are tired and need downtime we may not be drawn to a leisure activity because of the energy costs.

Her suggestion was that since we pour so much energy into self-regulation – masking, deciding where to focus, trying to stay focused, keeping quiet etc – our relaxation might come from ‘letting our brains off-leash.’ And just doing whatever our brains want to at that moment.

The comment made sense to me but it really only resonated this morning when I thought, as I often do, “Today, I just want to do everything in the order that makes sense to me.“

While it is tricky for me not to overthink my schedule and commitments, and hard not to ask ‘Is this the right time for that? Would it make sense to do it in a different order?’ sometimes I can manage it.

And when I can, it feels great.

I truly feel relaxed when I don’t have to fight my own thinking patterns – when I put it like that it feels so obvious! – I get lots of thinks done and I get to rest a lot.

I can’t do it every day because my brain can’t be trusted not to prioritize my laundry over a deadline but on days like today when it literally doesn’t matter when I do anything as long as I do it?

It’s so very good.

Learning to find more fun in the middle of things

It’s always hard to tell if my approach to things come from ADHD or just my personality.

On the one hand, it doesn’t really matter one way or another, I have to approach things the way I approach them at least until I find a different way that I like better.

But, on the other hand, if my approach frustrates me, it would be useful to know whether it is ADHD or just some habit I picked up along the way or some habit I developed as an adaptation to living with ADHD.

Take for example my approach to getting yard work done today.

I know that my reluctance to get started is due to ADHD so I have developed some workarounds for that – setting clearly defined small tasks that I can quickly check off my list. My brain still resists but I have a fair bit of evidence that this does actually work so most of the time I can coax myself to do the thing.

And I know that my reluctance to stop once I get started is an ADHD thing, a kind of task hyper focus that just wants me to get it the end so I can *really* be done not “just” done for today.

But how about my challenges with ongoing or longer term projects like house or yard maintenance?

Today, for example, I am outside cleaning the yard – raking, getting rid of lawn debris, picking up litter than has blown into my yard.

I can see that my fence and my deck need to be painted and that I should clean up a few things and that the shed needs to be excavated (it’s a way bigger job than just cleaning) and the windows need their trim painted and…you get the idea.

Luckily, my medication lets me know that this isn’t a ‘do a weekend of house repair and you’ll be all set’ kind of thing. (Yes, at one point, my brain would try to convince me of that.)

But I am still left with the feeling that I should try to do all of that stuff as soon as possible and THEN I can relax in the yard.

Simultaneously, I’m also thinking that the weather here is so unpredictable that it would be better to spend the nice days relaxing – that other work will get down when it gets done.


I know that unless I make a clear plan about when and how to do something my brain will continuously tell me that it is too much work to get done right now, that I had better leave it until the not now.

So, that can really leave me in a tangle.

It’s hard to get started so I have to make the tasks “worth it” for the energy it takes to get going but I have to plan well enough so I don’t wear myself out trying to do everything at once.

I have to ensure that I don’t leave things too long but I also don’t want to miss out on the best days of summer while I trudge though the house and yard work.

So I am trying to find something in between.

I’m trying to figure out how to plan out my tasks over weekdays and weekends – allowing for weather – while including fun and relaxation in those very same days.

I’m trying NOT to get stuck in ‘Do your work before it slips your mind and have your fun after.’

And I’m trying to avoid ‘You’ll be able to REALLY relax if you get everything done.’

I’m trying to learn how to have more fun in the middle of projects without just ignoring the project altogether.

Let’s see how this goes. 😉

I make myself laugh

I looked over from where I was barbecuing some hot dogs and saw Khalee sitting in one of her favourite spots in the garden.

My first thought was ‘Strange flowers grow in’ round these parts.’

Clearly I need to get out more.

A photo of a dog sitting on the grass under a tree
Image description: a photo of Khalee, my light haired dog sitting in the lush green grass under some trees. She has her legs folded under her and she is looking around contentedly. Patches of late afternoon sun are coming through the trees here and there.

Summer Rain (and some are not)

Despite how much rain we have had over the last few months, I was still delighted to see and hear the rain this morning.

A warm rainy day in the summer has a whole different feel than a dreary drizzly day in spring.

I’ll still be annoyed if it rains for days on end but today, after a few wonderfully warm days – including yesterday’s bright, sunshiny one – I can welcome the sound and smell of raindrops falling from the trees in my yard.

And, as a bonus, I can’t mow the lawn in the rain so that’s one task off my list for today 😉