Adults with ADD/ADHD can have lives filled with stress. Life can be filled with guilt over losing things, forgetting events, or missing deadlines. They may have an overwhelming feeling of not being able to cope or be disorganized. Stress consumes us, causing health problems and interfering with our ability to enjoy our life. Finding a few minutes each day can provide a relief from the daily stress and give you the momentum to keep going. Below are ten stress busters that can be completed in less than 5 minutes.
- Breathing exercises. Take a few minutes to slowly breathe in and out. Inhale for 5 seconds and then slowly exhale for 5 seconds. Keep this up for 2 minutes. Once you practice this, you will be able to use this many times through the day, or use this breathing technique along with other stress busters.
- Aromotherapy. The scent of lavender or chamomile is both calming scents. Dab a handkerchief with one of these scents and keep it with you. You can take it out and use the aroma to help you remain calm. (Remember the breathing exercise from #1 for an even more relaxing few minutes.)
- Keep a funny stories notebook. Use a small notebook to write humorous and funny stories. These can be things that have happened to you, things your children have said, or funny stories you have heard. Laughter is a great stress reliever. When you are feeling harried or stressed, take out the notebook and read over some of the stories.
- Do stretching exercises. This works only if you are in a place where you can move around. Make sure you use different exercises to stretch all parts of your body. If you do not have a place to move freely, tense and relax your muscles, beginning with your feet and working your way up to your neck. Concentrate on one section of your body at a time. Tense the muscles for a few seconds, then relax them.
- Take a walk. Being outside in fresh air is a natural de-stressor. Take five minutes to walk outside. If you are in a place with flowers or gardens it is even better.
- Ask someone to be your “venting” partner. This person needs to be able to listen without judgment and without offering solutions. Sometimes we just need someone to be able to listen to our problems.
- Complete a tedious task. This can give your brain a break and allow you to think about something else for a few minutes. You can try hobbies such as knitting or needlepoint to allow yourself a few minutes to think about something besides your problems.
- Concentrate on one item. Choose an item to keep with you, whether it is a seashell from a vacation or a picture you like. Take a few minutes to concentrate on the item and the calming feelings it brings.
- Roll your head around slowly five times. Shrug your shoulders as high as you can and them relax your shoulders. Repeat the entire exercise five times.
- Meditate. Use your breathing from stress buster # 1 and either concentrate on one thing or repeat a phrase over and over. Although this might be difficult at first, with practice it will become easier. Even five minutes of meditation will help you feel refreshed.
Take some time to practice the above methods and choose a few that work best for you. When you begin to incorporate them into your daily routine you will find that you are more able to handle stresses in your life.
Eileen Bailey is a freelance health writer. She is the author of What Went Right: Reframe Your Thinking for a Happier Now, Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD, Idiot’s Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love, and Essential Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. She can be found on Twitter @eileenmbailey and on Facebook at eileenmbailey.