5 Tips for Letting Go

Here is a section from my October newsletter. (Read full newsletter.)

Val’s 5-Step Process for Letting Go
(DRTLC, as in Dr. TLC)
1. Develop awareness in the present (notice what thoughts are happening, where you’re feeling physical sensations, triggers), and acknowledge what’s going on.
2. Remind yourself that you’re safe and ok (unless you’re actually in a life-threatening situation), and that worry and negative thoughts are NOT helpful right now.
3. Take 2-3 deep breaths with hand on belly to feel it expand on inhalation and relax on exhalation. Inhale what you want more of, exhale what you want to let go of (maybe repeat a mantra, such as C-A-L-M, R-E-L-A-X, or L-E-T… I-T… G-O on each exhale) If you need a break, go for a short walk, get a drink of water, listen to music – give yourself the TLC you need.
4. List options for what you can realistically do now to handle current problem or situation.
5. Choose one, do it, and move on. If the first one doesn’t work, repeat steps 1-5 until you find one that works.

There are so many possible things to work on when it comes to letting go: the past, fears of others’ judgments, self doubt or criticism, hopes or expectations for the future, unhealthy relationships, habits, beliefs, the list goes on.

However, each day and each moment offers us a chance to see new opportunities, make different choices, put the past behind us, and take actions that will serve us in more positive ways.
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“By letting it go, it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond the winning.” – Lao Tzu

“Let go of the past… and the past will let go of you.”

Motivation

Here is a section of what I wrote about ‘Motivation’ in my September newsletter.
Helpful tips for ADHD and non-ADHD alike.

According to ADHD expert Dr. Olivardia, “The ADHD brain is wired toward low motivation for everyday tasks, and has lower levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in motivation.” However, once you know motivation is an obstacle, you can focus on finding creative ways to boost it and maintain it.
Here are some suggestions:
1. Realize that motivation is needless. If we waited to be motivated every time we
needed to do something (ie dishes, homework), we’d never get certain things done.
2. Do it because you can. Try this mantra: “Don’t do it because you have to; do it
because you can.” Practice gratitude for having the ability.
3. Create urgency. Faking urgency can help. (i.e. if you have a mound of dirty dishes,
wait until 15 minutes before your favorite show, and start washing)
4. Create a list of must-dos. After making your list of necessary tasks, only do one or
two tasks, or commit to spending 10 to 15 minutes at a time on a project.
5. Work with a buddy. Even if it’s not in person, find someone for support to check in
with on the phone or email.
6. Reward yourself. We all thrive on rewards, especially people with ADHD.
7. Go for “just good enough.” Determine what’s good enough and be ok with that.
8. Perform projects at your peak times. Are you a morning person? evening person?
9. Picture the end result. Imagine how you’ll feel when it’s finished.

Again, lack of motivation is not about laziness or some character flaw. It’s the nature of AD/HD, and for many, of just being human. Fortunately, by finding a few strategies that work for you, you can get things done. To read full article, click here.

Negativity

Here is a section from my August 2013 newsletter, The AD/HD Connection: A-Zs to Success

Is negative thinking negatively affecting your wellbeing, relationships, success? If so, there’s hope.
When it comes to negative thinking, Dr. Hallowell talks about something he calls SLIDE-ing, that is common with people with ADD, though it can happen with anyone. It’s when one has negative thoughts from being triggered by a person or event. For example, your boss gives you a not-so-great performance review, a colleague gets the promotion you wanted, your spouse forgets your birthday or anniversary, you can’t find your keys when you’re in a hurry, or you forget or miss an appointment. You might feel disappointed, angry or frustrated, which is normal.

However, as Dr. Hallowell says, with some people, “instead of taking the event in stride, you go nuts. You attack yourself and call yourself bad names, like “incompetent,” “stupid,” “ugly,” or even “a loser.” This is self attack, and the first step in a process he calls SLIDE-ing… (Read more about Sliding, how to stop the Slide, and finding your Superpower.)
Working with a coach or therapist who is familiar with cognitive behavioral techniques is the most effective approach in addressing negative thinking. If you’d like to learn more, please contact me.
Here’s more about letting go of negative thoughts.
To read full newsletter, see Past Issues or subscribe on Home page.

Here is a section from my July 2013 newsletter, The AD/HD Connection: A-Zs to Success

Organization

Simple & inexpensive way to organize files. Use colors!

Simple & inexpensive way to organize files. Use colors!


There’s a reason why people have successful businesses as Professional Organizers: many people are not so great at organizing.
And if you have ADD or ADHD and that’s one of your main challenges, hiring a Professional Organizer is highly recommended.
Why? For one, there are costs associated with ‘untreated’ disorganization: stress, anxiety, losing things, taking too long to find things, being late, self-criticism, which can lead to depression, shame or low self-confidence, which can lead to procrastination, or overwhelm, which can lead to disorganization, and so on. The vicious cycle continues… until we decide it’s enough and we consciously choose to do things differently.

Sometimes we need to allow for enough disorganization that it drives us so crazy we finally become motivated enough to do something about it. Have you ever said, “OMG, I can’t stand this mess another minute!” and somehow, you found ways to avoid cleaning it up?
How much longer will you kid yourself into thinking that one day you’ll ‘feel like’ organizing everything, do it, and then everything will be organized?
Newsflash: You will never feel like doing it.
Personally, it seems more realistic to think of organization as a verb, as in an ongoing process.

5 Step Process to Becoming Better Organized
1. Decide on what’s a priority to organize and dedicate a short, doable (for you) amount of time each day (15, 20 or 30 minutes) to just organizing that one thing or area (i.e. a work space, living area of the house, files or bills, or anything that you know would make life easier if it was better organized). Maybe it’s in the morning to print out and review your schedule for that day, or at night for the next day.
2. Know you won’t be in the mood, and just do it anyway. (choose a time of day when your energy or mood is naturally at its best and most creative or productive)
3. Set up your environment for success (turn off electronic distractions, play music you enjoy, use a timer that alerts you at the end of the time, light a scented candle..).
4. Do this for 21 consecutive days (the average time it takes for a new habit to be established) and notice what happens. What does that one small act bring up as far as emotion, resistance, etc.?
5. Find someone you can tell or check in with each day that you did it (friend, coach, etc.).
For many, one of the gifts of having ADD is creativity and ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking. And ADD or not, we all have ideas of what a well-organized person, house, car, office, etc, looks like, or should look like. However, because what works for someone else may not be what works for you, comparing yourself with others is not helpful.

Is there any way you can imagine that someone can have AD/HD AND be organized? If not, that belief may be part of what’s holding you back, and that’s why Cognitive Behavioral Coaching can help. If you want to learn more, call me.

Procrastination, Pincha Mayurasana & Peaches

The following is from my June 2013 free monthly newsletter. Click here for full newsletter.

Procrastination

“Never put off till tomorrow, what you can do the day after tomorrow.”
- Mark Twain
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Are you being as productive as you want? If not, is it due to procrastination? Studies show that 20 percent of people are ‘chronic procrastinators’ – those who make the habit of putting things off a lifestyle practice. That’s higher than rates of depression, phobias or ADD! Learn more.

This issue affects so many people (about 75% of college students), there’s actually a Biennial International Meeting on the Study and Treatment of Procrastination. I’m surprised it’s not it’s own disorder in the DSM (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

Here are some key takeaways from my events:
* Procrastination is mainly about poor self-regulation and excellent self-deception.
* The five main lies that procrastinators tell themselves, according to procrastination expert, Joseph Ferrari, Ph.D., are:
Overestimating the time they have left to perform tasks.
Underestimating the time it takes to complete tasks.
Overestimating how motivated they will feel the next day, the next week, the next month — whenever they are putting things off until.
Mistakenly thinking that succeeding at a task requires that they feel like doing it.
Mistakenly believing that working when not in the mood is suboptimal.
Read here about overcoming procrastination.
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“If it weren’t for the last minute, I wouldn’t get anything done.” – unknown
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Pincha Mayurasana (Feathered Peacock Pose)

“At the approach of the rainy season, peacocks dance. When they start, they lift up their trailing tail feathers and spread them to form fans …
This pose resembles that of a peacock starting his dance.” – BKS Iyengar, Light on Yoga
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My yoga teacher, Lori Salomon, and me, doing the peacock dance, ha. This pose is a fun forearm balance, and what I like to call pinch-a my ass-ana.

It’s my favorite pose, partly because it feels so great, and partly because it took a while to master kicking up into it without the wall (in my many years with Lori!), which is why it feels so rewarding.

Lori says: “Pincha Mayurasana is powerful work for the shoulders! It cultivates awareness and tone through the entire body, and evokes the stability required for a safe headstand. Become comfortable in this pose and develop the mobility and strength required to progress into more complex arm balances and backbends.” Watch a video of Lori getting into the pose.

To get into Scorpion pose, just bend your knees. As much as I feel like my feet are near my head, they’re not even close!
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Peaches

“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” – Dita Von Teese
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Happy peach season! Wow are they delicious in California right now.

The peach tree originated over 3,000 years ago in China, and is now one of the most popular fruit trees in the world.

Peaches are high in fiber, which helps with digestion, and they contribute a substantial amount of potassium, a mineral needed to start and transmit nerve impulses, maintain the fluid equilibrium in cells, and for normal muscle activity. And they are low in carbs and calories.

Make peaches part of a healthy, brain-boosting Mediterranean diet, which Dr. Oz, and other nutrition experts, say is the healthiest diet in the world. Learn more.
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Val’s Peach/Raspberry Pie

Recipe (see full newsletter on Past Issues of Newsletter page)