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It can seem counterintuitive when you already feel overwhelmed and behind, but adults with ADHD need downtime to be productive.
Your brain can only work so hard before it conks out. When you overwork your brain, you become less productive.
Your brain, much like the rest of your body, needs rest to stay healthy and operate at its highest level.
Downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life.
There is a difference between being stimulated and overstimulated. When your brain is overstimulated, it can feel like running on a hamster wheel with no end in sight.
An ADHD brain needs to get enough stimulation even while resting.
Some activities that can be restful with a small level of stimulation include:
When you have so much to do, taking downtime can feel uncomfortable. This is partly because ADHD can make it hard for you to slow down, but it's also because you have developed a habit of "being busy".
Because it's a habit, you need to take time and practice to unlearn "being busy".
Breaking the habit and forming a new one where you allow your brain time to rest and recharge is important. Because it's hard to do, you should start with a short time.
Maybe just 15 minutes. There are some tasks you can do in 15 minutes that provide stimulation while being restful, like brewing a pot of tea or coffee, wiping down your kitchen benches, a short moving meditation, or interacting with a pet.
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