The Secret to Getting Out of Overwhelm

#productivity adhd overwhelmed Mar 18, 2023

Florida - think warmth, sun, tropics, fruity drinks, my parents!

The excitement for a long weekend vacation was looming.


Monday, my teen texted me that she had Friday off.

The day that I was flying to Florida.

She has been dreaming out loud about tropical time.

Winter is wearing her down.


She could go with me.

I booked her flight and made the arrangements.

She did ten tons of schoolwork so she could leave her laptop behind and take the weekend off.

Tuesday, we took my husband’s car in for an oil change.

Apparently, I shouldn’t have gotten out of my car because I tripped over loose concrete and landed on my right knee and hand.


For better or worse, I come from the “spit on it and run on it” generation so I showed up for my client meetings etc.

Hours later, when my client told me my finger was a delightful shade of dark purple, I wrapped up work early and went to the orthopedist.

Yes it’s broken.

And yes I was thankful that in our excitement we had already packed for our trip.


The next few days, I gritted my teeth, cracked down on work, and listened to the ADHD Women’s Palooza while brushing my teeth, cooking parts of dinner (Bob took over with a lot of grilling and chopping this week) etc all with my non-dominant hand.

It was a marathon at sprint pace but stress free tropical sunshine here we come!

I had that end goal in mind.


Fast forward to 9:30 on Thursday night.

Our daughter informs us she has a fever of 100.7.

The rest of the evening was spent canceling plane tickets and rental car.

We were all heartbroken of course.

But life marches on.


On Friday, I had a choice to make.

I could work and catch up on allthethings office oriented.

After all my business coach has given me a big assignment for the month.

I could dive right in and make some progress.


Or I could take the day off.


Now if you’re like me, you don’t stop until you’re exhausted.

Your ADHD can mean everything takes longer and is hella lot harder to get started.

Your to do list is never ending.

And you feel like you owe it to whoever to get those things done so you don’t look (and feel) lazy, stupid, broken, crazy.


But I’m here to tell you that the best thing you can do when you’re overwhelmed is pause.

That’s right.

You’re going to stop.

Put down the mouse, phone, pen and walk away.


Your Brain on Overwhelm


Normally when you’re well rested you can easily consider complicated problems.

But with overwhelm, it’s harder to see a way out.

Your amygdala (lizard brain) is running the show.


Y’all, our ADHD just makes this more complicated.

We don’t pause.

We jump right in.

We blurt things out.

We interrupt.

We’re going to fix the thing right now.

We say yes when we mean no because we want to do allthethings.

Hello people pleasers!

Is it any wonder we’re exhausted?


The single best way to hijack that lizard brain is to pause.


Take a breath.

Take a break.

Take a walk.



In case you’re wondering if I practice what I preach…

I opted to take Friday off.

I curled up in front of the fireplace and listened to the last day of the ADHD Women’s Palooza while doing absolutely nothing.

You might say that still sounds like work.

But for me, learning IS restful.

If I can just focus on it and not squeeze it in the spaces in between a busy work day.

Then Saturday, I took the most fun day trip with my hubby.


And it’s only now on Sunday morning that I’m back at my desk planning this week.

My to do list didn’t miraculously get shorter.

But the world didn’t end.

And the other shoe didn’t drop.

Nobody called me broken, lazy, stupid, crazy.

On the contrary, I feel clear headed and happy even if I didn’t get my tropical getaway.

My knee and finger are healing a lot faster after 2 days off.

And I’m ready to tackle that list on Monday.


How can you pause today?


Last but not least, I’m betting you know someone who struggles with their productivity because ADHD.

Please send them my completely free Productivity Guide for ADHD Business Owners.

Here's that link: Productivity Guide for ADHD Business Owners.

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