The ADHD brain can be a wonderful thing indeed. It is creative, passionate, visionary, energetic, and so much more. There are so many gifts that ADHD gives us.
Emotionally, we get excited easily, we love deeply, we can empathize with others, we care passionately about our causes, and we can inspire and enthuse others.
The emotional highs of ADHD can be great!
But the lows are different. If our highs are so much higher, then our lows are much lower. Research has found that people with ADHD experience higher levels of stress. We feel hurt deeply. We can hyperfocus on something that is causing us worry or emotional pain, and find it harder to let go, which prolongs the pain.
And once you’re stuck in negative thinking, it is so easy for that to spiral downwards, adding more and more reasons to worry and stress.
(I *may* be speaking from experience here!)
The whole of 2020, never mind what is happening in our individual lives, provide plenty of fodder for this negative spiraling of the emotions.
And particularly now, as the world waits to see what will happen in the US Election, and the tension in America can be felt viscerally across the world.
It is so easy to get caught up in the stress of it all. Yes, it is good to stay informed and be prepared for what is coming. But ultimately, there is nothing that we can do now (about the election) apart from take care of ourselves and those around us now. Even American citizens have now done their part for now, and can only wait for the result, and hope that we get a result that will promote harmony and humanity.
While there is undoubtedly still so much activism work that needs to be done in so many area of life whatever the result of the election, and many good people out there doing it, a crucial task for us all is self care. You can’t help anyone else if you are operating in permanent flight or fight. Even if you are a committed activist in your field, you have to take care of yourself. ESPECIALLY if you are a committed activist in your field!
So if you are watching the coverage on the news, or, like me, you are trying to take a bit of a break from it now, remember to check in with your body and make sure that you are ok.
Stop and take a moment to breathe deeply a few times, and allow your nervous system to reset. Your body will be holding your emotions, and it needs to be able to release them.
Do whatever your body needs to release that tension. Go for a walk, dance, exercise, practice Yoga, have sex, meditate, walk to the top of a mountain and scream, it all helps to release cortisol, and increase the feel good chemicals in your brain.
Try to take a break and give your mind a rest from the constant news cycle from time to time. It’s not good to constantly subject your nervous system to the stress that the news induces. It is designed to trigger the stress response, so it is important to step away from it and focus on something else for a while.
Stay connected with those you love, even if you can’t be with them in person, talk to them, and share your worries, hopes and thoughts with them.
More than ever in this world, we need connection.
We need to remember that, despite what the politicians and media might try to tell us, there is more that unites us than that truly divides us. The divisions are entirely fictitious. We are all human beings. We all have the same basic needs for love, food, shelter, etc. We all breathe from the same air. We are all made of the same basic stuff that has been around since the dawn of the universe. We are all one.
How will you take care of your wellbeing today?