Adult ADHD and Relaxing, Part 2
I know you have all been wating with bated breath for this follow-up post to last week's discussion about relaxing and Adult ADHD. Let's have a quick refresher of the definition of "relax" we are using:
- make or become less tense or anxious;
- rest or engage in an enjoyable activity so as to become less tired or anxious;
- cause (a limb or muscle) to become less rigid; and,
- straighten or partially uncurl (hair) using a chemical product
We agreed (at least in my head) not to tackle the fourth, so let's go ahead and dive into numbers two and three!
Rest or engage in an enjoyable activity so as to become less tired or anxious
I do not recommend napping - sorry to those of you who nap. For me at least - and this is the only opinion I have to go on - napping leads to increased depression. If I catch myself napping a lot, I know I'm in the throws of depression and I can never tell if the napping caused it or is a by product. Long story long, I don't think "resting" is the way to go.
Let's go the other way. Let's engage in enjoyable activities. I'm going to have to ask you to refer back to last week's post about mindfulness when engaging in any activity. So, you love to play basketball. I always did until I got to college, played and found out even basketball (seriously, my first love) couldn't hold my feelings of boredom at bay. Anywho, I digress.
To do an activity and allow your mind to drift in a million different ways is to do yourself a disservice. To be able to truly relax, find yourself in the present and allow yourself to live there for a period. To play basketball mindfully, feel yourself sweat and feel the tiny bumps on ball against your finger pads. Just play basketball and let everything else fade away. That is what relaxation looks like. You don't need a beach and a mai Thai.
Cause (a limb or muscle) to become less rigid
Many of us hold our stress in our muscles and using a progressive muscle relaxation technique can de-stress like nobody's business. There is a really great description of the method, along with many others, at healthyplace. I remember doing this for the first time in fourth or fifth grade. It was rainy outside, so we had gym in a small room with the lights off - yeah, thinking of it now, that sounds really weird. My gym teacher, who was one of my mom's best friends growing up, did a guided progressive muscle relaxation where we started at our head and went to our feet. It consisted of first finding any tense spots and just realizing they were there. Then, we went top-down by contracting muscles, holding the contraction for a number of seconds, and then letting the muscle relax. Notice how you feel before and after.
Let me know if any of you find the techniques helpful or actually do them. Thanks!
Prager, E. (2014, February 10). Adult ADHD and Relaxing, Part 2, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, September 30 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/livingwithadultadhd/2014/02/adult-adhd-and-relaxing-part-2
Author: Elizabeth Prager
Good tips, thanks. More though, thanks for the sense of humor! Laughter is another great way to relax.