Monday, August 10, 2015

How To Live Serenely & Peacefully

I use to really struggle with living in a chaotic manner as a result of having A.D.D/A.D.H.D and when I found ways to live in a more serene and peaceful way, those issues subsided. It is possible to live in complete serenity and peace and these ten things to include in your daily routine are listed below. It's all about managing anxiety and finding balance in life: read on...
If you know me, then, you know I have a ton on my plate from balancing a full blown relationship, a full blown career, a passion for creativity that sometimes keeps me up later than I want to be, and of course, a chaotic schedule that now forces me to crawl out of bed at 5 A.M just to make more time in a day to finish projects. Ugh. Gosh, that last part was my life. These ten things I added to my life have transformed me inside and out. I wanted to stop living my life in such chaos and create a more serene and peaceful state of mind and lifestyle. A.D.D once made this almost impossible to achieve, but it's not impossible. Here are the ten ways to overcome A.D.D/A.D.H.D and live more peacefully and serenely. So here they are...
1. Identify the root cause of your inability to remain in tune or focused on tasks and/or projects. For me, I learned anxiety was my root cause which prevented me from truly following through with tasks. It's so easy for people to be like, well, I have A.D.D/A.D.H.D and this is how I have to live my life. No. It's not! With discipline and a deeper understanding of your struggles, it can be managed. 
2. Meditate for 15 minutes (or more) in the morning. People have the WRONG idea about meditation. It basically means being in tune 100% with your surroundings; sitting outside with your legs crossed, being in tune with how you are breathing, and focusing on sounds and smells in your environment. When I began meditating, my anxiety decreased, my depression improved, and the issues I use to have with A.D.D/A.D.H.D I don't struggle with any more. Meditating just about cured those hyper-active reactions.
3. Slow Down: As my schedule got busier, I realized how fast I walk all the time, how impulsively I use to act, how abruptly I tried to get things done. What I do now is, I go outside and take a slow 20 minute walk just to get centered (I do this daily, now). A slow, 15-20 minute walk either in the morning (or whenever you can) is a major stress reducer. Since I've forced myself to move slower, think slower, talk slower; my need to live in a speedy manner went away.  
4. If you notice yourself fidgeting, sit on your hands for five minutes. If you can't do five minutes, try 3 minutes. Close your eyes. Do deep breathing exercises. Count those breaths. See how you feel after 3 minutes of doing just that. I do this daily now. Literally. Even if I'm not having anxiety, I simply sit outside on my hands and test my stress reactors (or, how you respond when things happen). Like, if a bird lands on my head (not literally) but, if a bird were to land on my head, I wouldn't swipe it away. I'd just let it land there and sit until it flies away. This is called your stress reactors-fidgeting is a result of how you react to stress (anxiety induced)! So, I'd consider trying this.
5. Set a schedule for different aspects of life for a specific time, like email. I use to be so impulsive in my email responses (I struggled with this a lot just in the last few months). Now, I have only one time a day for email (unless it's on a weekend) where I give attention to people trying to contact me. Or, I set a time to send outgoing emails only during the day. I plan what I want to say before I write and click that "send" button. Scheduling time in your day for certain things relieves anxiety. If you are a high in demand person, this specific schedule is crucial. 
6. Don't live your life on the run. It's OK to have a busy schedule, but when I noticed myself in a fast, on-the-run state, I'd stop immediately. When I noticed my schedule piling up with commitments, I especially force myself to make time to do good for my health whether it's exercising, eating a meal, or making a veggie smoothie. Like the other day, I almost found myself stuffing my face with a salad in between an appointment and a photo shoot. I immediately stopped and got a table in the grocery store's little cafe'. It takes 45 minutes to eat and relax a bit after you eat. Taking time to sit and relax with something healthy to eat regardless of what's going on will work wonders. Yes, I was a bit late to an appointment, but it wasn't worth my health to skip a meal because of a busy day. Now, I plan to never stuff my face with a salad in my car ever again. Ever.
7. Create a day calendar first thing in the morning for THAT day. Create blocks of time for yourself which might include work, email, and most importantly, schedule specific tasks that need your 100% attention. Like for me, Sundays are days I spend cleaning each room 100%, planning my meals for the week, selecting at least three (or more) outfits for the week, and really preparing for the week ahead. Pre-planning will guarantee an anxiety free week. 
8. Make lists! Every day, I make bullet point lists on things that need to get done. People often ask me how I am able to bring an outfit I've designed to a complete finish-several outfits. I make a list of the steps I need to take to finish these outfits, from cutting the patterns to the actual sewing, to the last touch finishes. I put on headphones and get in a working "zone". The world disappears behind me, and before I know it, I've finished designing a hot dress  (or outfit) with no distractions. Create an environment for yourself that has a minimal feel to it, and a space that's easy to get in a focused zone.
9. Make a place for everything: When organizing my new apartment, my partner and I had to literally make a new place for everything and change a lot because our apartment is slightly smaller than our other place. If you saw my last post on getting organized, you see the power in categorizing. Categorize your stuff so nothing gets lost. Boxes make life easier and make categorizing possible. 
10. Exercise daily: Exercising daily reduces anxiety, but don't just do any exercises. Do exercises that force deep breathing. I can't do Yoga because of blood pressure issues, but, I do do stretching on a daily basis and I breathe into these stretches and I limit how long I hold these stretches. I've got a stretch routine I do every night in the 9 P.M hour before bed and it makes my next day go smoothly.  

I hope those ten ways to overcome A.D.D/A.D.H.D helped you. Your life does not have to be lived with the attention span of a fly. Think slowly and take time to smell the roses. Think about areas in your life that need improving and take small steps to achieve this. It helps first to identify the areas in your life where you notice A.D.D/A.D.H.D preventing you from fully functioning. When I started to get my anxiety under control and asked myself how I can live more peacefully, I made those ten tips above my daily life, and life improved almost 100%. Yes, sometimes I do still struggle a bit, but I recognize when it's happening, and I take action to eliminate those issues immediately. Now, I can clean a room 100% before moving on to the next one. I can accomplish a chore 100%, and I can finish an outfit 100%. Let me know in the comments below how you manage your A.D.D/A.D.H.D or if you have any advice for others on how to live more serenely and peacefully.   

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