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You Relax Your Way

Get busy and relax …

I understand what relaxation is. It actually means several things.

People without ADHD probably find the most likely definition of “relax” to be “To relieve from tension or strain.” That seems sensible.

But the physics definition would seem more accommodating to those of us with ADHD.

And that would be?

Right, that would be, “The return or adjustment of a system to equilibrium following displacement or abrupt change.

And that would be how I relax.

But, that’s the same!!?!

Not quite. You see, my “system” is in “equilibrium” when I am bouncing from thing to thing.

I am a hyper boy, and if I’m restrained, and forced to be still (especially if my mind is also caged and forced to focus on one thing), I will not be able to relax until I’m turned loose again. And by relax, I mean get busy doing everything.

But that’s just hyperactive people

True. But people who have ADHD of the “primarily inattentive” type will also want a return to equilibrium if forced to focus on any one single thing for any length of time.

Daydreaming is what others might call it, but it is the natural state of function for people with the inattentive aspect of the disorder.

Double trouble …

Yep, those of us with “combined type” ADHD (sometimes called type 3) are really in an unrelaxed state when we are forced to sit still and focus on something dull.

I am proud to say I’m a member of that group. Go big or go home is my motto.

So the deal is …

Don’t assume that someone who is bouncing around and seems busy is not relaxing. It’s how we do it.

And there is good reason for that.

Busy mind, busy body

The bouncing is what appears to be happening because when doing anything, there are steps to complete. And each step reminds us of other things, many other things.

And some of those things will need to be done right away. And some of them will be better done sooner or later. And with each random thought of something else that needs doing comes a decision of whether to do the new thing now or try to remember it for later.

And even the decisions lead to …

Listing the pros and cons for doing one thing now or continuing to do the first thing will often result in being reminded of other things that need doing.

Having ADHD is an endless string of iterations of starting to do things and then being reminded of other things that need done and trying to decide when to do them.

Catch 22, ADHD style


And the funny thing is, if I don’t let it bother me, and I just go from thing to thing, it’s actually quite relaxing … for the most part.

And now, since writing this post is done, I’ve just thought of several things that need to be done in order to do some other things that I’m pretty sure will remind me to do the thing that I probably should have already done, but was set aside when I remembered that other thing that I thought of when I was doing the big thing the other day … which, now that I think of it, never did get finished. Hmmmm.

You Relax Your Way

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live on the traditional lands of the Chippewas of Nawash in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or 7 generations and my First Nations friend's families go back hundreds of generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I am a freelance writer and I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about living with ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2017). You Relax Your Way. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 25, 2020, from


Last updated: 30 Jul 2017
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