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5 Practical Ways to Organize Your ADHD Life (and Feel Good about Yourself)

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When I first began to realize that I had ADHD, I came across an invaluable list of 50 tips for managing Attention Deficit from Drs. Ed Hallowell and John Ratey.  I still have my original copy of the list printed off from AOL! In today's blog, I am sharing not only their life-changing advice on managing your tasks but also my personal experience with Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity disorder and how I used these suggestions to transform my life. Set up your Environment to Reward Rather than Deflate. "To understand what a deflating environment is, all most adult ADD'ers need do is think back to school. Now that you have the freedom of adulthood, try to set things up so that you will not constantly be reminded of your limitations."

During the last 3 decades since graduating from High School, I have dabbled in many different professions with the best fits being the careers with task versatility and work from home capabilities. Not coincidentally, these are also the cho…

God is Not Fair - Insights and A-ha's (Book Review Reflection)

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"WOW" Moments  The Month of May has been trying but also one of the most spiritually fruitful of my life.  After putting off a routine mammogram for nearly 5 years, I finally went.  The test revealed an enlarged lymph node - I am happy to report it was finally determined to be due to inflammation [You can listen to the MIRACULOUS story evolving that on this special episode of A Seeking Heart with Allison Gingras - it is NOT everyday one receives a favor from a Almost-Saint]. As the Lord, slowly walked me through this valley, Fr. Horan's words were equal parts comforting and inspiring. This was a time of acute awareness to pray always with urgency but without anxiety.  Here are some other "WOW" moments gleamed during that time from the pages of God is Not Fair:
We are not better than anyone else.  Regardless of what blessings God has allowed in your life, what talents you posses, or how you use them.  Additionally, those gifts that God bestows only bless you to …

5 Practical Ways to Pray When You Can't Focus

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I cannot think of anything more difficult for my ADHD brain then the sustained mental focus sometimes required to pray. The good news is prayer comes in many forms and these 5 strategies are sure to help you engage in meaningful prayer - whether you have an attention disorder or not!  Here are some of my tried and true methods for conversing with God even when I am completely out of focus. Walk and TalkTwo Years ago I was struck with this crazy inspiration to get my butt outside to pray the Rosary.  Uncomfortable walking the streets alone, I decided to encircle my home. This was made easy, in my mind anyway, because I live on a fork-in-the-road and have a driveway that connects the two streets.  I am only on grass when I traverse my backyard.  Around and around I go, praying the rosary, talking with God, the Blessed Mother, my Guardian Angel and whoever else in Heaven (or Purgatory) will listen.

The practice has become so much more than I ever anticipated it to be.  The exercise has he…

5 Ways to Reduce Your ADHD Symptoms

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In the early 2000s, when I first began to uncover my own ADHD, I came across an invaluable list of 50 tips for managing Attention Deficit from Drs. Ed Hallowell and John Ratey.  I still have my original copy of the list printed off from the World Wide Web (see below), with all my notes jotted along the margins. In today's blog, I am sharing not only their life-changing advice but also my personal experience with Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity disorder and how I used these suggestions to transform my life. Educate yourself

“Perhaps the single most powerful treatment for ADD is understanding ADD in the first place. Read books. Talk with professionals. Talk with other adults who have ADD. You'll be able to design your own treatment to fit your own version of ADD.” (Hallowell & Ratey)

Nonfiction is my preferred reading. Ironically, the origins for this preference most likely comes from living with ADHD. When I start to read fiction, my mind wanders; sometimes it goes so fa…

Help for Common ADHD Communication Issues

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Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (ADHD) can present many challenges in completing one's education, holding down a job and maintaining personal relationships. I would know because in the course of my life with ADHD I've struggled in each area.  Although I remained undiagnosed until my early thirties, I am happy to share it is not too late to identify those challenges and make the necessary challenges to not only cope but succeed. My strategy has been to tackle one at a time. This required being brutally honest with myself, seeking the counsel of a trusted friend, and conducting lots of research to formulate a plan for change.  Most importantly, it required a humbling of myself and instead of continuing to blame God for my circumstance, to trust He had a plan for my good in allowing ADHD in my life.
Excuse Me Are You Listening? Building meaningful personal relationships can be incredibly difficult when you are so stimulated by your surrounding environment that it i…

Ad/hd & Anxiety How the Catholic Faith Helps me Cope

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Ad/hd as an Asset

My Ad/hd went diagnosed throughout my childhood and young adulthood.  Unfortunately, that resulted in some major self-esteem issues, among other things we'll be discussing in this series in the weeks to come.  The realization that I was blessed (and it is a blessing) with Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder came in my early thirties when I was a young mother and an early childhood educator. My oldest was showing signs of Ad/hd so I began researching to learn more about the signs and symptoms.  I started with the book, Driven to Distraction by Ed Hallowell, in audio version on cassette from the library. Clue number one this wasn't just about my son should have been my reliance on audio books to finish books as staying focused reading has always been one of my biggest challenges.

I will never forget having to pull over and rewind the cassette to re-listen to Dr. Hallowell list the 15 possible symptoms of Ad/hd.  I took out a scrap piece of paper from my purs…

Advantage #3 of Having a Large Family - We Can't Helicopter Parent!

As parents of Large Families, we advocate for our children, we communicate with our children and their teachers and friends but we don't hover over them because we simply can't. There's no time! Have you ever heard of the term Helicopter Parent or Hover parent? I was indeed a Hover parent with our oldest. He would sneeze and I'd be at the ready with a Kleenex and a doctors appointment within seconds. What happened to my hover parenting days was 5 children. Once I had our second, our third and so on there just wasn't the time to hover over each child the way I did with my first. I now see that as a blessing although at first the inability to helicopter parent over each child came with some real guilt.

In the past few years, our oldest (I will call him J for privacy reasons) has been diagnosed with severe anxiety and now a new diagnosis of ADHD. We have learnt to advocate for J by encouraging communication with his teachers. Click here to read more!

Did You Keep Your 2013 New Year's Resolutions?

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Don't just forget last year's New Year's resolutions. Evaluate them and use them as a guide for this year's resolutions. For 2014, you can renew the good resolutions from 2013, revise the okay ones, and ditch the impossible ones (or the ones you've fulfilled). Most of all, ask God for his help in setting and achieving these goals. He wants us to be better people with stronger wills, and he wants us to keep our promises to ourselves. So don't give up. Every new year is a second chance to accomplish good things and become the people God wants us to be.

With that back-drop, let's see how I did on my 2013 New Year's Resolutions. I'll even grade myself. You can do the same for yourself, if you like. I made one resolution for each member of my family, and I definitely achieved greater success with some than with others.

Resolution #1: Help to manage my 12-year-old daughter's ADD. Grade: B

We managed to find a kind and empathetic child psychiatrist, who p…