I was shocked as tears welled up as I hugged my daughter goodbye at the curbside of her dorm, as she launched into 2nd semester of her freshman year.
My daughter reassured me she was going to be ok. But, I already knew that.
“THIS is why I’m crying,” I sobbed, as she squeezed me tighter.
“You’ve grown up so much in the past few months, and I’m proud of the young woman you’re becoming and it makes me miss you in a whole new way,” I said
“Uh-huh” she replied with a goofy face, reverting back to the girl I knew.
“Keep making good choices, please,” I reminded her as my mind swirled with some of the stories she’d shared that painted a much-too-vivid picture of the actual reality of her stressful, anxious life at college.
This goodbye was different from the one in August, when we dropped her off at college for a brand-new chapter of her life and ours. That was a monumental goodbye—a milestone moment signifying the end of an era—full of hopes, dreams, and the anticipation of the unknown.
The second semester departure contained the anticipation of the “known”—a recognition of her new reality and the good and bad that came with it.
Are you a people pleaser? Has being busy and stressed out become a badge of honor you wear every day? Do you struggle with saying “no” to someone or something? Are there particular people in your life where “yes” comes flying out of your mouth before you even stop to think about what you actually want?
Most of us have been there too because generally speaking saying yes is easy. Saying no, well, that takes a little more courage!
In reality, saying yes all the time to please others is actually incredibly fake, builds resentment, and is a complete disservice to those you are saying yes to, when really you want to say no.
For some saying no comes easier than others. Studies have shown, women suffer from this more-so than men. Many of my ADHD clients describe themselves as “people pleasers.” Fear of saying no is real. The best way to avoid these fears is simply to say yes.
When you can’t say no, do you:
Fear being rejected or thought poorly of by others
Worry that the other person won’t like you anymore or badmouth you
Hold a belief that you are being selfish if you say no
Fear conflict with others
Want to be “nice” and seen as someone who contributes selflessly to others (even if you resent saying yes and contributing!)
Attach your self-worth to how many things you do for others
Allow other people’s priorities to become your own priorities (for reasons above)
Let others start to get used to you saying yes all the time, making finding your no even more challenging.
We have mostly been trained from a very young age that saying no is wrong or not okay. How many times did your parents get angry at you if you said no to doing something? Did you get sent to your room or grounded? Many of us have been stripped of our permission to say no from very early on.
So it’s no wonder that many of us have lost the art of saying no. But it’s not all bad news, because saying no is just like a muscle that hasn’t been used in a while. You can still train it back into shape!
Here are some tips that will help get your “no”-muscle back into shape so that you can focus on what matters to you and start prioritizing what you want for your life. Read More
As I send my two oldest daughters off to college my fear of them sitting alone at lunch or hiding by the gym lockers have moved to fear of them locking themselves up in their dorm rooms isolated and lonely.
I think my own social anxiety is triggering these fears. In my heart, I know my girls will push through the “uncomfortable” that always accompanies new experiences. I’m also a realist and know anxiety is a heavy load to carry.
For some students, be it 6th graders, high schoolers or college students, another year of school is another year of anxiety filled moments. Academic stress, athletic competition, social pressures and personal insecurity makes the start of school overwhelming and intimidating.
So much focus is put on academics and we forget the highest anxiety moments are the social ones. Since when is lunch the highest stress point of a student’s day? Sadly, it is the reality for more students than you’d think.
For students who live with ADHD, anxiety and depression, the “back-to-school” period is especially troubling. For many the fear of the unknown – like a new teacher, new school, or new schedule – can cause or exacerbate feelings of social anxiety. For students with ADHD these fears are magnified as their over-active minds play out one potential social catastrophe after another.
You suspect that, “I may have a bit of that ADHD.”
Perhaps you took my ADHD quiz.
Or you read an article. Someone showed you a checklist.
Maybe a family member has been diagnosed.
Now you’re worried. Wondering, “Do I have this mindset? Or could it be something else?”
Adult ADHD is real. It is estimated that 85% of adults living with ADHD are undiagnosed.
The general public is often surprised to learn that adults can have ADHD. While most people are aware children have ADHD, they don’t realize it also affects adults too. However, ADHD doesn’t disappear on your 18th birthday!
ADHD changes into adulthood. Hyperactivity lessens with age, and adults develop coping strategies; both consciously and unconsciously to help them succeed in the world. It means that ADHD is less visible to the casual observer.
Some adults have known since childhood that they have ADHD. However, what they are now experiencing are different challenges. Learning skills on how to do well in school, are now replaced with the need to learn how to do well in a work environment, manage a household and take care of finances etc.
You may wonder what’s the point of getting a diagnosis? You’ve made it this far in life, why bother?
You think the only reason to get a diagnosis is if you want to use medication as a treatment and you’re not interested in medication.
Fact, if you are an adult with ADHD, getting a diagnosis is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.
Feeling crazed and exhausted every day? I know the feeling. The fix sounds simple…make self-care a non-negotiable priority.
It’s likely if you’re not recharging your battery every single day, you’re walking around haggard, crabby, and resentful.
The first step in self-care is to be gentle and kind to yourself. Practice self-compassion.
Next, give yourself permission to get support around your self-care. Yes, you can ask for help. It’s a positive healthy part of life.
Now, make a commitment with your spouse, a friend, your sister, anyone who loves you a lot and scares you just a little to hold you accountable. Ok? You got your person? Good.
Lastly, be realistic. I know you have superhuman powers. After all you’re a woman. It goes without saying. Choose just one of the following hacks to start. Not all of them. Once you’ve made one of these part of your life, add on another. Read More