You might be thinking How on earth can I worry about diet and exercise when I have a million other more urgent things flying at my head? I have personally struggled for years with not going to the gym, impulsively eating out, and getting overwhelmed in the kitchen. I’ve started to make some progress in these areas over the past few months and that has largely been because of the peer support I receive through ADHD PEI.
An important concept that recently clicked for me was to “reduce the friction”. This means making the behaviour you want to do as easy as humanly possible, and lowering the number of opportunities you have to get distracted or give up. For me this meant going to a gym across the street from my work, keeping my gym bag in the car, getting to know the staff (even before I started going) and working with a trainer to come up with a routine that I can do easily. I still don’t go consistently, but in any given week the probability that I will go is 1000% higher than it was before I “reduced the friction” of the process.
Our toolbox this month has a useful resource that you might find helpful if you struggle with cooking nutritious food. Also, we will be discussing our challenges and how we can thrive with nutrition and exercise at our weekly support group meetings and on our Facebook page this month so come and join us!
President, ADHD PEI
What's Been Happening
February's topic was "Relationships" and during our weekly support group meetings members shared some of their personal experiences of how ADHD affects their relationships and the group strategies for dealing with these issues.
"One thing that stood out to me from last week's meeting was when we stopped to appreciate how nice it is that we don't have to work so hard to hide or modulate our ADHD tendencies at the weekly support group meetings as we do most of the time because everyone there 'gets it'. We are respectful of each other, but when we sometimes interrupt or lose our train of thought or talk over someone else it is noted, corrected and we move on - there is no shaming or judgement. It's also nice to relate personal experiences and have everyone at the table nod in understanding instead of looking at you like you are an alien."
~ Pam (ADHD PEI member)
ADHD PEI is trying to post relevant content on our social media more regularly, so watch our Facebook and Twitter pages for relevant articles, videos and funny memes related to health, exercise and nutrition this month! And of course there is always great discussion and members helping each other with specific issues.
The ADHD PEI executive are working on building the association further in 2020, so watch this newsletter for some exciting announcements as things start to come together.
WEDNESDAY ADULT ADHD SUPPORT GROUP MEETINGS:
Wednesday, March 4th
Wednesday, March 11th
Wednesday, March 18th
PLEASE NOTE: There will be NO meeting on Wednesday, March 25th
All weekly meetings take place at 178 Fitzroy Street, Charlottetown from 7:30pm to 9:00pm. Cancellations due to weather will be posted on our Facebook pages.
ADHD PARENTS' GROUP:
An informal meetup is planned for sometime in May to discuss the formation of a Parents Support Group. The time and date are not yet finalized but if this is something you are interested in and you haven't already contacted us, please send an email to contact@ADHDPEI.ca to be invited to the initial strategy meeting.
ADDing to your Toolbox
Maintaining a healthy diet is a challenge on many levels for those of us with ADHD. Choosing the recipe, making sure you have all the ingredients, following the instructions and paying enough attention to not burn anything, having clean dishes to use (and cleaning up afterward)... and of course actually doing all of this instead of just getting delicious, salty take-out... well that can tax just about every executive function we struggle with.
If you want to improve your diet you can try starting with a meal plan, have a few recipes and buy the ingredients needed to make those. Then preschedule what you will make each day so that you don't have to decide when you are tired and hungry.
The PEI Association for Community Living has an excellent resource called "Let's Get Cooking!" that is ADHD friendly. They have a short list of recipes that use accessible ingredients to make some healthy and delicious dishes (and maybe you can make enough to save leftovers for your lunch the following day).
Each recipe has an ingredients list, written instructions and is further supplemented with an easy-to-follow infographic and a video showing a real person preparing the meal from start to finish.