There is a very bad side to stress.
We all need some, but we have a hard time controlling it.
And if you have ADHD, there’s an additional aspect to this problem …
Well, stress, as stated, is needed for life to be good. We need it because it drives us to do the things that make life work. We need to stress about things to make us focus on them.
But stress can exacerbate ADHD symptoms. And ADHD symptoms can make us fall behind.
And falling behind can cause more stress.
Yes, well, maybe, but it certainly is cyclical.
And cyclical means it is hard to break out of.
It has taken me years to figure out that once I get caught up, taking on more unnecessary tasks is no way to celebrate.
Enjoying the moment
Celebrating breaking the cycle of stress making things worse is best done by standing back and enjoying that bit of freedom.
No one ever succeeded at celebrating getting out of stressed stress by saying, “Hey, I’ve got some free time. I could build all the sets for the local drama club this week.”
Bad idea …
My suggestion is this, take a few moments to revel in your success, and then just before you are about to declare your means of celebration, take out your note book or your phone with its handy to-do list or just look at the calendar on the fridge and check to see what you’ve forgotten.
I guarantee you’ll find a few things.
And then, once the celebration has been postponed, dig in and get back to work.
I’m not trying to douse the flame of your happiness, but the truth is that you and I aren’t good at celebrating.
If we concentrate on what we’ve accomplished for too long we’ll start questioning its validity anyway.
Could I have done that better? Should I be proud of it? Was it just the best I could manage in the short time I actually left myself to do it in? Is my work really okay or are people just happy to let me pass this stuff off as good?
And you thought too much work was stressful?
So I am now the guy who says, “That’s done, moving on.” I’m the guy who finishes building a shed and immediately turns to do the dishes or the laundry. I’m the guy who has finally realized that all those little things will weigh as heavily on my mind as the big ones if I don’t take care of them.
And I’m the guy who has learned not to stress the stress.
Or at least … I’m the guy who recognizes that and proactively tries not to let it get to him.