so my girlfriend has Adhd since she has been a child and right now she‘s having a lot of stress because of school and she can‘t really recover from it. So when she‘s taking a break she starts to even get more stressed. What can she do to decrease the stress?
Unstopable stress with adhd - CHADD's Adult ADH...
CHADD's Adult ADHD Support
The only thing I could say would be for her to sit down and make a bullet point of things she wants to accomplish, and take another journal and do a thought dump, it is MUCH easier to see clearly and be less overwhelmed when you have everything out of your head and measurable. Then I suggest she takes time for relaxation, if time is a stressor she could set an alarm and only use 30mins or so to read, take a hot bath, light some candles, meditate, whatever thing she likes to do to give herself a break. She could also try breaking up the day with just 5 minute break activities. I think it would be less stressful if she knew there was a hard limit
Hi! I completely agree with goldskittle’s ideas and writing down accomplishments and doing thought dumps. I would add to this a simple running list of to do‘s in a journal. Put the date at the top of the page, do a brain dump of all to do‘s. Use one color of pen/pencil to write down do items and another color to check off and cross off completed items. For even more benefit prioritize the most important items by simply putting a number next to them. They don’t have to be in order on the page. When I don’t operate from a list like this all of the to do‘s are piling up in my head and I find myself sitting around doing very little. When I sit down and create a list and work from it I no longer have 1 million things floating around in my head, I have direction, I get stuff done, and getting stuff done decreases the stress. I wish your girlfriend the very best of luck. Gift her a few journals and colored pens or pencils from Amazon for the holidays!
So sweet that you are on here asking for her. Agree with all of the above. Not sure how severely she is stressing, but one additional point from someone who used to struggle with really bad test-taking anxiety would be to consider seeing a psychiatrist if the anxiety really becomes difficult to manage. An SSRI helped me significantly when I transitioned back into school after a few years off. Gave me the ability to breath, de-stress, and figure out the systems that worked for me to manage the new schedule, studying, exams, and ways to manage the stress in between. Eventually I went off it and just utilized those strategies.
Exercise helps greatly when stressed.
It's so wonderful that you are asking about this for her. I would add, help her make sure she is staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and eating at least one well-rounded nourishing meal per day.
Also, are there tasks that you can help her with to relieve her stress? I'm a graduate student in a Ph.D. program and I cannot tell you how much I know my stress level would decrease if I had someone to do my laundry, clean the bathroom, go to the grocery store, etc.
If you live together, can you increase your load of the household work, cook more of the meals? If you don't live together, are there errands you can do for her, or other ways to help her in her home?
And don't be hesitant to ask her directly what she needs. Sometimes we don't always know what we need unless we think about it, and a lot of times we don't think about it until someone asks.
First ask your girlfriend if it's ok with her, for you offer observations and assistance. If her ADHD is a topic that she is comfortable speaking with you about, great, but check in with her first.
Second, she needs to mitigate stress hormones, so go out and walk, breathe some fresh air.
I wouldn't add an activity that might become a hindrance to your success such as a wild bar crawl.
I would let her lead the conversation, you can only offer to help. It is not easy to see a person you care about, go thru difficult stressful times. It's great that you are seeking help, the most important action you can take is to let her know that you want to be there for her.
Let her know that you worry about her and believe in her, make her a cup of tea or coffee and give her a hug, order some dinner to be delivered, and take a moment and massage her shoulders.
You can't do her work or take her tests, just be there. "Random acts of kindness" also help.