How To Relax During And After The Working Day For Restless ADHD Adults Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group Notes 4


Here are notes from the March 2013 meeting of my Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group.

Here are some notes from previous Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group meetings.

The Topic was: How To Relax During And After The Working Day To Recharge The Often Over Reving ADHD Brain And Body

Facilitator: Pete Quily.

Thanks to Christopher Stanbury for taking the notes.

Topic: How To Relax During And After The Working Day To Recharge The Often Over Reving ADHD Brain And Body.

1. How besides booze, drugs, food, TV, computers, the internet, & sleep do you relax?
What activities do you do that relaxes you? (daily basis)

2. How do you feel after you’ve done it?

3. How often do you do it?

4. Do you record you did it?

5. Benefits of relaxation

  • Relieve stress
  • More productive after
  • Clarity
  • Relieve tension
  • More able to think
  • Manage energy
  • Pull out of hyperfocus
  • Adds structure to the day
  • Lowers Cortisol
  • Fewer mistakes
  • Creativity

Schedule time to relax

6. Costs of not scheduling time to relax – make it happen

  • With no schedule life becomes unstructured
  • A schedule provides an anchor.
  • Less likely to do unhealthy things
  • Less likely to waste time
  • More likely to reduce unhealthy activities
  • Schedule time to stop
  • Book end of relax time
  • Relaxing is not wasting time
  • “Sonic grenade”
  • You need willingness to chance
  • Up for days at a time could be bi-polar
  • More likely to get out of a good routine and into a bad routine
  • Higher level of other pain and stress issues
  • More irritable
  • More mistakes
  • Burn out
  • Less productive
  • Denial of stress
  • Denial of the need to relax
  • Lack of awareness
  • Lack of priorities
  • Take NON electronic breaks

7. Why do ADDers have more problems relaxing?

  • No need for shame or guilt for ADD.
  • Denial (or minimization) of their ADD symptoms
  • Racing brain
  • Forgetful
  • Distractible
  • Destructive behaviour
  • Lack of self-awareness
  • Hyperactivity (of body or mind) www.healthfocusguide.org (re relaxation)
  • Rumination (negative hyperfocus)
  • Boredom
  • Chaos – chaotic environment
  • Need for variety (important)
  • Denial of reality
  • Difficulty planning
  • Difficulty staying on task
  • Disorganisation
  • Parents with ADHD
  • Confusion – where do I start?

If you have ADD you are very likely to have other conditions such as anxiety, depression, or bi-polar disorder.

8. Examples of relaxing activities (short term)

  • Reading
  • Breathing
  • Hot bath – especially before sleep
  • Yoga breathing
  • Do one thing on To Do list
  • Sauna
  • Cardio (any exercise) only allowed to wear iPod while on treadmill
  • Animals
  • Gardening
  • Make a list of things that you want to do.
  • Make a list of things that you don’t want to do.
  • Creative writing
  • Art outlet
  • Outdoor activity
  • Have a cup of hot water
  • Aroma therapy
  • Play a musical instrument

Try some of these out for a finite amount of time.


9. How to plan and remind yourself to relax

  • Have a goal (time, place, result)
  • Use alarms to start and stop
  • Reward for achieving something (motivation)
  • Specific time
  • Have a friend to remind & encourage you
  • Internet reminders
  • Create a habit
  • Become part of routine
  • Develop self-awareness
  • Check list
  • Use Joes Goals
  • Have leisure goals Google “wheel of life”
  • Keep track of what you are really doing
  • Time log
  • Places GPS location alarm
  • Schedule

10. What gets in the way of relaxing?

How will you deal with the obstacle?

What will you do to relax?

When will you do it?

How will you remember to do it?

What healthy things do you to relax, and recharge your fast processing ADHD brain during the working day and after it’s over?


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4 thoughts on “How To Relax During And After The Working Day For Restless ADHD Adults Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group Notes

  • Attentional Drift

    Hi Pete… My number 1 method for decompressing after work (or when overstimulated) is to mindfully listen to music on nice headphones. No multitasking allowed. I find an empty bedroom in my house and just lie down and really listen. Sometimes I like to visualize the musicians playing live in front of me. Even if I feel exhausted, usually 15 to 20 minutes of music listening resets my brain and energy levels, and I’m good to go again. Just wanted to add it to your list!

  • Pete Quily

    Good idea, music boosts dopamine, helps us focus. plus doing it the way you do it allows hyperfocus and turns off the endlessly overstimulated adhd brain, allows us to slow down, decompress and relax & refresh

  • dawn

    Hi Pete, I came across this page, (not even sure how I got here) while searching for some info on ADHD, I am a 45 year old female, diagnosed only 2 years ago ( medicated for 1.5 years) . The diagnosis explained so much about my life. Prior to 2008, I was an extremely successful business woman, now, I am still trying to adjust to an income of less than 1/4 of what it was for the previous 20 years of my life. My procrastination is taking its toll and I become more aware of the fact that this was hidden by my ability to write a check to fix any negative results of my procrastination. My financial situation is a mess, everything from not filing taxes, paying tickets to paying every day bills. I have managed to keep up with work, only due to my phenomenal instinct and unique networking skill, these are positive characteristics of ADHD.

    My reason for posting started out as a request to subscribe to your blogs, newsletters, site or whatever your “page” is… I just wrote a bit aboult myself, and it felt like a release! Your “page ” is awesome! How can I ensure to get it emailed to me each day (or whenever it is updated/and or new things are added). Thank YOU ! Dawn

  • Pete Quily

    Thank you Dawn,

    I appreciate it. Yes sometimes it takes ADHD has a strong impact on a person right away, but sometimes it takes a while to take a toll on peoples lives. Many adders have problem with finances, regardless of income just by the nature of the condition. You might want to check out this book ADD and Your Money: A Guide to Personal Finance for Adults With Attention Deficit Disorder or try out a book keeper or accountant to help manage your finances or an ADHD coach to help you learn how to manage yourself around finances.

    You can subscribe to my blog posts by RSS or you can get my blog posts by mail, just fill in you email where it says Get Posts by Email on the right hand column. You can also subscribe to my ezine where it says Sign up for my Ezine ADD Perspectives on the top right hand column. You may also want to look at my 150 page plus ADHD website, or check out my facebook page (top right of this page)