We all breathe a sigh of relief when summer arrives.
Visions of sunny, warm, and more relaxed days dance in our heads. We think about all the things that we would like to do: travel, read books, plant a garden, host a cookout, hike, bird watching, and hanging out with friends around a campfire.
However, as summer sets in, we can become dismayed that our grand summer visions are not coming to fruition.
Question: How do we find time to make these desired activities happen?
Answer: Identify what is important to you and create a plan for it to happen.
Whether you are working fulltime or have the freedom to take time off during the summer, we all deserve to achieve a healthy balance between “have-tos” and “want-tos.”
This is a topic that comes up often when I am working with my clients. If you have ADHD or other executive function challenges, it sometimes seems like you are constantly running to keep up with all the demands daily life throws your way.
Executive function challenges with organization, planning, prioritization, sustained attention and task initiation make doing the “have-tos” more difficult, and at times it might even feel painful to have to engage in the chore/task.
To the ADHD brain, daily chores and tasks feel boring or are perceived as going to take too long, which in turns shuts the brain down. Sometimes, we don’t even know where to start when faced with certain tasks.
One thing we do know is that putting some enjoyment into our day is important for all people. For the ADHD brain, fun motivates an individual through more boring tasks.
So how do you start to find some balance and bring some fun into your summer?
- Identify what is important to you. Look to your values, strengths and passions for answers. Find the activities that give you energy when you engage in them. If you value connecting with people and enhancing your relationships, then finding time to spend with friends might be important to you.
- Identify beliefs that might be holding you back from your enjoyable activities. What “should,” are you putting on yourself? What are you letting society dictate? I often hear, “As a mother, I should be doing…,” “As a wife/husband I should be doing…,” “If I don’t get through my to-do list, I am not successful or worthy.”
- Sit down with your calendar and identify a day where you can do something that you identified as important. We know that the act of writing down the intention of doing an activity increases the likelihood that you will actually do it. Is the activity going to take all day or will you spend part of your day on your “have-tos” and the other part on your “want-tos?” Even 20 minutes of something enjoyable on a busy “have to” day, is better than nothing. Use your creativity to build a schedule that works best for you.
- Create a picture in your mind of what it will feel like to create this sense of balance. Capture these thoughts on the planner. Really allow yourself to experience it with several of your senses: what you will look like, sound like, feel like.
- Find someone who can help keep you accountable to follow through with your plan. We all need people on our success team. Whether you invite that person to embark on an adventure with you, or just tell them your plan, you will be increasing your chances of success. That person will either be looking forward to going with you or hearing about what you did.
All work and no play is a hard way to live. Remember, you are important and deserve to do activities that fuel you. Even if you only find 20 minutes on certain days, take it and enjoy! If you struggle to find this balance on your own, please contact me.