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July is for Ignition & Sparks

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At Home with ADHD

By: Lannette Guerra   |   July 6, 2022

Per the usual bat of an eye, half the year has flown by already and here we are in July, starting the month with fireworks. 

Fireworks and sparks are beautiful to look at; they remind us of independence and the beauty that comes with it. Yet independence is a fight that every human and country has engaged in, some more than once. Independence is also vital for those with neurodivergent brains. Why is independence important for those that have ADHD? How does independence influence our motivation? What life skills can a person with ADHD master to strive and maintain their sense of balance? In this month's article, I will attempt to answer some of those questions using my own healing journey. 

Independence is essential for those with a neurodivergent brain because of their out-of-the-box thinking mentality. It requires flexibility and freedom to keep feeding their creative brains. Thus, this also influences their motivation. Rigid work schedules and having to punch a timecards are often met with defiance. Many undiagnosed people don’t realize that part of the reason they seek alternative accommodations is precisely to meet their unique brain demands. On the other hand, ADHDers need and appreciate structure, but it all depends on what type of work gives them that structure. 

If the work at hand takes away freedom and is too rigid and controlled, the neurodivergent will eventually find ways to break apart from it. If not, their inner pilot light will someday flicker off and result in burnout–during this time many also deal with depression and anxiety. Finding ways to keep that pilot light alive is the mission for us all, not only the neurodivergent but neurotypical too. 

I discovered through therapy and trauma class that one of my most significant underlying issues is when someone’s freedom is jeopardized. It took my incident in 2021 to finally have that light bulb go off. Sadly, my firework display/can of worms led to PTSD and burnout. On the anniversary of a year of introspection, I had to finally practice what I was preaching and take some time off from work in June. My medical leave allowed me to regather and rest after all the new revelations and knowledge that this year has provided me. Still, the independence and life clarity achieved from that experience has been enlightening and priceless. 

Here is what I learned…

Burnout is a necessary evil to slow down temporarily. I know I can’t be the only person who experienced an existential crisis and a year of clarity. It happens to all of us, especially after working for a decade and amid those overwhelming child-rearing years. It’s a time where you finally face your demons, your egos, and your traumas and go to war with it all so that you can ultimately heal and come out the other side stronger and wiser. This is what people refer to as “doing the work.” 

It’s a period of growth, and though your body may ache and feel like you have run a marathon, you will cross that finish line a new, tougher, wiser you.

I’ve declared this July the month of ignition and sparks. Time to reignite the spark that was turned off during our life's traumatic events; time to ignite a torch to continue to light our path during any moment where we may have our freedom taken away or may have been accidentally separated from ourselves or those we love.  

Here is a list of tips and reminders to help you relight your pilot light, maintain life balance and thrive. 

  1. Repetition makes habits; good habits keep you balanced.
  2. Find your “why” in everything, to inspire you to start the task.
  3. No one becomes good at something without support. Enlist accountability partners.
  4. Don’t hide out too long; you need to engage with people and serve others to meet your life purpose.
  5. Make everything into a game, time yourself and challenge your last record set.
  6. Delay leisure activities till you’ve completed your daily goals.

Repetition will provide aptitude. Completing goals will give us confidence as we perform mundane everyday activities. Like Dory in Finding Nemo repeating “42 Wallaby Way” all the way to Sydney, we must constantly repeat our schedules, goals, and missions that keep us balanced and independent. Repeat the strategies and keep them front and center to avoid deviating and getting lost in a sea of murky waters. 

And also, don’t forget that to reignite the pilot light and finally sparkle, we all need to rest, be present, use grounding techniques and engage in new activities. This will keep us in a state of PERMA, and create new neuroplasticity within your brain, which in turn helps separate the resilient from the wary. 

Lannette Guerra has a decade of experience working for large and small high-end residential firms, throughout Northern California. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture, a Bachelor of Arts, and is a LEED accredited professional. Before moving to California, she spent 4 years as an Exhibit Designer in Kansas City, MO. 
She resides and virtually works for her current employer, from her home in San Rafael, CA.  When she is not hyperfocused on work she enjoys hikes in the Marin headlands and couch cuddles with her family and furry friend. She is currently staying away from engaging in any new hobbies except for being a mentor & advocate of mental and physical well-being.
She is also a strong believer that the only way to build yourself to personal fulfillment and reach your true potential is to quiet the mind, eliminate distraction, and listen to what your heart has been telling you all along. Only then will you be able to see your authentic self reflected within your home, your soul, and in the workplace.

More from this issue:

A Trip to the Zoo Read >>

Book Picks: Summer Books for Moms Read >> 

CircleMoms Supports Moms’ Journeys Read >> 

Community Heroes: Marin Foster Care Association Read >> 

French by Association: Life-long Benefits of Language Learning Read >> 

Help Your Graduate Get On Solid Financial Ground Read >> 

July is for Ignition & Sparks Read >> 

Mind Vacation Read >> 
Mom Hacks: Keep Cool Read >> 

To Them, You are Beautiful Read >>