Adjusting to a different normal

We posted a question on our Facebook page asking you how you were adjusting, what you were facing in terms of your own challenges, as we move into whatever comes next for us on this planet. Starting with what we all know: this is hard. We’re hurting. We’re confused. But there is a silver lining: We’re all doing those things together. This week on the show, we’re going to share some of those challenges faced by so many of you who responded and, more importantly, a collection of the incredible responses you offered one another in support.

Links & Notes


Episode Transcript

Brought to you by The ADHD Podcast Community on Patreon

Pete Wright:
Hello everybody, and welcome to Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast, [inaudible 00:00:11] kissed, the podcast.

Nikki Kinzer:
Wow.

Pete Wright:
The ADHD podcast on RashPixel FM. I’m Pete Wright, and I’m here with Nikki Kinzer.

Nikki Kinzer:
Hello, everyone. Hello, Pete Wright.

Pete Wright:
Happy, fine recording day to you Nikki.

Nikki Kinzer:
It is. It is. And its just us today, which we haven’t had in a while.

Pete Wright:
I know, I know. And, it’s not like we don’t have a lot of people to talk to. It’s like putting our foot in the door, just to get a conversation between you and me.

Nikki Kinzer:
I know.

Pete Wright:
It’s like the old days.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah. It’s good. It’s good.

Pete Wright:
It is. It’s good. We’ve had a string of some amazing guests on the show and taught us some fantastic things. If you’re not caught up, make sure you go back and download some of those recent episodes because the coronavirus series. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve had a lot of things that stick in my head in some fun new ways. Fun new ways?

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah, they are fun.

Pete Wright:
Well, they’re fine.

Nikki Kinzer:
They’re fine.

Pete Wright:
They’re just fine, Nikki. And so-

Nikki Kinzer:
That’s a nice positive F word.

Pete Wright:
It is. It’s the best F word I can say right now. We’re doing fine.

Nikki Kinzer:
We’re doing fine.

Pete Wright:
Today we thought we would take a little break and talk about how we are adjusting, and I say the royal we, the collective we, the community we to this different normal. And we’ve had a lot of signals thrown at us over the last several months and we’re dealing with the effects of stay at home orders and the growing pandemic and how are we doing collectively. We asked the question on Facebook and we’re very excited to hear some answers and talk about some of the solutions that you all are sharing and that Nikki has to share and-

Nikki Kinzer:
And you Pete?

Pete Wright:
Yeah, I got things, I don’t know if they’re worthless, but I’ll throw them out there.

Nikki Kinzer:
You have an article to talk about?

Pete Wright:
I do. I’ve got a couple of things. I do have two things that are important to me to share today. So I will put myself down for two. Before we do that, head over to takecontroladhd.com and get to know us a little bit better. You can listen to the show right there on the website or subscribe to the mailing list and we’ll send you an email each time a new episode is released. You can connect with us on Twitter or Facebook @takecontroladhd and we’d love to invite you to join us over at Patreon.com/TheADHDPodcast. That’s our member community. It’s where the community starts. For a few dollars a month, you get access to live recordings of the show. You could hear all of Pete’s errors as they happen before he cuts them out in the final show.

Pete Wright:
You get ad free versions of the show each week in your very own personal RSS feed, and you get to know that you are supporting this growing community. In fact, it’s the community that supports fantastic services like complete transcriptions on our website. Transcriptions that allow those who not able to listen to the show to come back and actually read the show after we post it. And so that is an incredible gift, not only to the ADHD community that you’re giving yourselves by helping to transcribe resources that we share, but also to the community that is in any way hearing impaired and still wants to take part in the podcast. So we’re incredibly proud of our community for ponying up at that level and continuing to support the growing resources, the show. We’ve got more stuff coming. We’re very excited-

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes we do.

Pete Wright:
We’re in testing. We’re in testing right now.

Nikki Kinzer:
Testing.

Pete Wright:
Very excited to share what’s coming up. How’s everyone handling the quarantine?

Nikki Kinzer:
I think it’s to be expected, but I’ve got to tell you, wow! This question on Facebook that we posted definitely triggered a lot of response. And what I loved about the community is that it was honest and there were solutions from other people that were reading the post, which I just think is really great. I think it’s great that people were honest and wanted to share what they were going through. But then to be able to say, “Hey, I go through that too, and here’s something that I found.” That works for me. And I think that that’s really cool.

Nikki Kinzer:
So what I want to do today is I want to go through some of these things that I found on Facebook and what some of those solutions are from the people that posted, but also have you and I talk a little bit about some of the thoughts that we have. Obviously, we don’t have anything that’s just going to say, “Hey, do this and you won’t be worried about catching a virus.” That’s not going to happen. We’re all going through this with you, and there’s things here that I wish I had a solution for, but we just don’t. And so maybe just being together in it will make us feel a little bit better. And just talking about it too, right? I think makes a difference. So, what I did this morning before we got on is I did a little bit of organization.

Pete Wright:
You were so busy. So busy.

Nikki Kinzer:
I was so organized. I looked through the different answers or posts and I picked a few of them that I thought really resonated and put them in categories. That’s how I organized.

Pete Wright:
I love it. I love it so much. There’s red type, and black type.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes. There’s red type and all of that stuff.

Pete Wright:
And some things are underlined.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah. Yeah. That’s great. So before I go to the big one, which is actually the first on the list, I’m going to actually go wrap myself back to that one later. But fear of germs, I’m going to start with that one first. So, yeah.

Pete Wright:
That’s right in my daily work. Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer:
Right. Yes. So here’s the challenge, having to shop. I’m freaking out internally when anyone is close to me or is handsy with something I need to touch. And then the other challenge is remembering to wash my hands more and not touch my face. Not touching my face is really hard for me. So here are some solutions from other people that posted. My friends suggested carrying an umbrella or cane to physically occupy extra space and therefore get more space from others. I thought that was a great idea.

Pete Wright:
I like that one a lot. Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah. Really kind of a nice visual too.

Pete Wright:
The benefit of parasols, right? It’s a throwback. It doesn’t have to be raining. Just crank open that umbrella and use it as your own personal shield. I bet.

Nikki Kinzer:
You bet. You bet. Another idea, I keep bleach wipes in a Ziploc so I can clean public surfaces before and after I need to handle them. Fits in my wallet and my pocket keeps things clean for me and for others.

Pete Wright:
And they don’t have to be like prepackage wipes. You can just use some soap and warm water on a washcloth and put that in a Ziploc and you’ll just remember to wash it when you bleach warm water on a thing. You can wipe down groceries, you can do all that stuff so that you can-

Nikki Kinzer:
Which is a good point.

Pete Wright:
Just keep-

Nikki Kinzer:
Because we’re going to run out of Clorox wipes. We have some right now. We’re going to run out of them and then we’re not going to be able to find them again. So I think that’s a really good idea as something that you can do. I’ve also noticed that the grocery store that I go to anyway, they don’t give you a cart until it’s been sanitized. So they actually have a person there that says, “Would you like a cart?” And then he gives you a cart, and that was the one that’s been sanitized. So they are monitoring that a little bit. But I still wore gloves and I still wore a mask.

Pete Wright:
We actually went through a sewing project this weekend. We found the pattern for homemade masks and made masks for everybody in the family, and they’re the kind where you make the mask and then they separate. Actually, here’s one that we made out of old t-shirts, and you put… We actually made it and look, I can wear my cut on my face.

Nikki Kinzer:
How cute.

Pete Wright:
And then in between here you put cloth or paper towel or something as an extra filter and you can wear under that.

Nikki Kinzer:
So something I noticed when I wore the mask yesterday when I went to the store, because I wear glasses. It’s really challenging to not fog up the glasses. Any tips on that?

Pete Wright:
For me?

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah. Because you have glasses.

Pete Wright:
Nikki. You know this, this is my plague. I’m a new glasses [inaudible 00:08:25]

Nikki Kinzer:
You always have fog in your glasses.

Pete Wright:
They are fogging all the time. My eyeballs are sweating.

Nikki Kinzer:
I forgot that I had.

Pete Wright:
I have sweaty eyeballs.

Nikki Kinzer:
That’s just weird.

Pete Wright:
I know. I know, It’s my plague. I’ve overshared, now it’s out there.

Nikki Kinzer:
It’s out there.

Pete Wright:
I’m the guy with the sweaty eyeballs. They’re constantly foggy. It’s a disaster.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah. I was having a really difficult time yesterday with the mask because I couldn’t breathe very well, and then it defeats the purpose if you don’t have it around your nose.

Pete Wright:
And now you can’t see either.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah. And so anyway, I’m still working out that whole problem.

Pete Wright:
Okay. Well, I have potentially a solution. Are you ready for this?

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes.

Pete Wright:
Do you have any old wire hangers hanging around?

Nikki Kinzer:
No. No wire hangers, Pete.

Pete Wright:
I know. This is the problem. Who knew that interest would be paid on that debt now. But if you take a wire hanger, so the reason those N95 masks are so nice is because they have a piece of metal in them that actually is shaped to your nose and it keeps the mask down over your nose specifically for that reason. If you take a wire hanger and you cut off about three inches of it and then you use some pliers and you bend it around the shape of your nose, you can insert it into that mask and it will hold it into position around your nose rather than opening those little vents that go right up under your glasses. So-

Nikki Kinzer:
Interesting.

Pete Wright:
If you can find just at a piece of, I don’t know, rusty old-

Nikki Kinzer:
Wire.

Pete Wright:
Piece of sheet metal or some hypodermic needles from the drain, I don’t know. Whatever you could do that you can bend. It’s a real sanitary process anyway. So, there you go.

Nikki Kinzer:
All right, thanks for that, Pete.

Pete Wright:
Hope that helps somebody out there. Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer:
There you go.

Pete Wright:
Right.

Nikki Kinzer:
Okay. And then somebody else also mentioned that they have a sanitation station at the front door, which makes this really easy. They have little reminders signs too. Sanitizer in the car, so I can’t forget it. Ziploc with wipes in my wallet so I can’t forget that either. The sanitizer in the car I think is really smart because I realized… Okay, so I went to the grocery store and as I was going into the grocery store, I put my gloves on and then I’m grocery shopping and I’m putting everything in and I’m putting things in my car and then I’m driving off and I still have the gloves on and I’m thinking, “Well, now any germs that are on my gloves are now on my steering wheel.” And so I get worried about that. And so I ended up taking the gloves off and I mean I drenched. I mean I had like sanitizer on my pants because I drenched the steering wheel with sanitizer. So I don’t know if that was the right thing to do. But I did it.

Pete Wright:
Well, I’ll throw a recommendation in here. The Sawbones podcast has been doing some great work. It’s a husband and wife, Sydnee and Justin McElroy. And Sydnee is a physician and she works in a hospital. She’s obviously front lines on this whole thing. And so they talk… It’s usually a medical history show, but they did an episode a few weeks ago about sort of her routine around coronavirus because of course she leaves the house every morning, and she goes to the hospital that’s full of coronavirus and they’re in the South. And I think they’re in West Virginia and they’ve been dealing with no stay at home orders and like delays and all kinds of things. And so she walks through what she does. So she actually set up essentially a clean room in her garage. So, she’ll leave in the morning, and she leaves the house clean, she gets in her car which is now considered an unsafe environment. Right?

Nikki Kinzer:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Pete Wright:
And she’s masked, but she does her best to clean it. She goes to work, she has separate set of clothes to go into the hospital. When she comes out, she goes home. She gets out of the car, she strips down completely, goes into the house and nobody can talk to or touch her until she’s had a complete shower.

Nikki Kinzer:
Shower. Yeah.

Pete Wright:
And all of her clothes go into a hamper that is out in the garage and there. And so you want to talk about the extremes, look at what physicians are doing in their homes to actually create that barrier. And then you can get some good ideas, and you’re probably going to be overthinking it if you think like a physician because you’re not going into a hospital and dealing with those. Like in that case, you know you’re bringing home coronavirus when you do what she does for a living. But it’s fascinating to hear the steps to which she goes through to actually-

Nikki Kinzer:
To do that. Yeah.

Pete Wright:
Yeah, make that barriers.

Nikki Kinzer:
That’s crazy.

Pete Wright:
We talked about with Dodge Ray. We talked a little bit about what happens to me and it triggers those OCD behaviors, right?

Nikki Kinzer:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Pete Wright:
And so I can go down a complete rabbit hole if I don’t have some sort of accountability to keep me on top of it. But I do find myself thinking a lot about how to create the barrier. When will you come to my house and it’s just going to be covered with [inaudible 00:00:13:42] because that’s not beyond me.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah. Yeah. We’re here for you Pete. We’re here for you.

Pete Wright:
Right. Right, because I’ll start bringing up the rolls of plastic.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah, yeah. Okay. So there’s that with the fear of germs, which is all very…

Pete Wright:
Very real.

Nikki Kinzer:
Very real. Really makes a lot of sense to both of us.

Pete Wright:
It is not irrational anymore.

Nikki Kinzer:
It isn’t.

Pete Wright:
And that’s the problem I have with this. Usually I carry that around as a badge of anxiety and now, it’s not irrational phobia anymore. Right?

Nikki Kinzer:
No. No.

Pete Wright:
It is a legit thing. And I have a hard time calculating that in the old [inaudible 00:14:12].

Nikki Kinzer:
What that looks like. Yeah. Yeah. I understand that. So a couple of comments about isolation, cabin fever. Oh, my God. The cabin fever. I wish the weather would at least cooperate a little more. So I can get outside and garden or walk or whatever. Here in Western Michigan, it’s been mostly cold and rainy. The few nice days we’ve had, I’ve been stuck inside working from the home office. Right now, it’s 44 degrees Fahrenheit and raining off and on. Well, welcome to Oregon. That’s about what’s going on here too. And I totally understand. Oh, and to the point where I haven’t done this yet, but I’m considering it. Just putting on the rain gear and going for the walk anyway just to get the fresh air.

Pete Wright:
Well, the air is really important. We actually are pretty bullish about our dog. The dog has been the greatest thing for our outdoor activity, because it needs to go out and it needs to be walked and our backyard is fenced, but not big enough to really give him a [inaudible 00:15:19]. So we put on the rain stuff and we just embrace it. Just get outside, don’t let it get you. And you can always tell, you can make that transition. I mean for crying out loud, Nikki, you’re an Oregonian, you get it. You know the foreigners, when they walk outside and if they feel the rain on their neck and they always walk with their shoulders up like this.

Nikki Kinzer:
Right.

Pete Wright:
You’re an Oregonian. You don’t deal with that.

Nikki Kinzer:
No. No.

Pete Wright:
You’re loud and proud. Your head is up. You’re fine. It’s just-

Nikki Kinzer:
65 degrees, we’re in shorts.

Pete Wright:
That’s right. And pouring rain, it’s fine. It’s just fine.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah.

Pete Wright:
So I feel like that’s just a really important thing. Don’t let the weather get you down. Get outside if you can. If it’s freezing cold and you just obviously make smart decisions. But my goodness, make use of outside.

Nikki Kinzer:
Absolutely. This is a comment that certainly resonated with me, postponing the wedding. I have a nephew who was supposed to be getting married May 30th, and had the wedding planned for gosh, I think they got engaged a year and a half ago. So it’s pretty devastating that they are going to have to postpone that. Preparing for remote birthday parties, remembering to call in and check on people I care about. All really real things and there’s this grieving too, to all of the graduates, college and high school.

Pete Wright:
High school.

Nikki Kinzer:
That are supposed to graduate and they’re not going to get that experience in the typical way that we’re used to getting the experience. So, it’s hard.

Pete Wright:
Well, yeah. And as we record this, there’s still so much unknown, right? I mean, I’ll tell you, I’m optimistic and this is where it comes in, that what I know is that the people who are charged with making these events, and I’m talking specifically about like a high school graduation or college graduation. I know that the people who are in charge of these events are working hard to figure out how to create something, to celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates and to do something to honor them. And I know that it’s important that they’re telling us it’s important. They’re sharing their thoughts and plans.

Pete Wright:
They don’t know what they’re doing. They don’t know what a graduation service is going to look like. They have no idea how that’s going to play out. But I know it’ll be something and if anything comes of this, it is the fact that everybody is working together to try and do something different and share an experience together that is completely, wholly unique by this class, this generation in this time. And so that it’s a non traditional graduation. Frankly, that may be a gift in and of itself, right?

Nikki Kinzer:
That’s right. That’s right.

Pete Wright:
That we’re in it together. We’re working hard to survive this thing and to get over it and to take care of our loved ones who are suffering and hurting. To take care of those who are impacted, and we’re going to get to the other side of it because we always do. And that-

Nikki Kinzer:
I love that.

Pete Wright:
Would be a shared memory.

Nikki Kinzer:
Well, and I know that when I think about the family wedding here, I also think like, “Okay, it’s devastating as it is. It doesn’t stop them from getting married. They can still get married.” And that’s the important part of these events is that you’re getting married, right? Like we’re adding this new person into our family and so we can celebrate later when it’s safe. But I think it also puts things in perspective of maybe how much value we put on some of these events. I’m not downplaying weddings. Believe me, I had a beautiful one and I totally get it. But you’re right, this is a very different time, and there may certainly be a silver lining.

Pete Wright:
Right? We’ll call it a silver lining.

Nikki Kinzer:
Of course.

Pete Wright:
I think that’s really important. And the wedding, you can get legally married I think virtually in a lot of states, right?

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah.

Pete Wright:
I think that that’s a thing you can do and you can have a beautiful ceremony later. There are ways to make this work. And so we’re starting to hear, we just don’t know enough right now. And so it’s okay, we’re still grieving and that’s okay. And also at some point we have to stop and realize that there is a way to celebrate and to find a way to love one another and to share these events no matter what form they take.

Nikki Kinzer:
Well, and I think it’s also right looking… I am glad that it’s not the first news story, but I’m noticing that there are more stories about humanity and how people are helping each other and seeing the helpers, right. I mean it is so important that we also reach out and help and be part of that as well. So that’s the good in it for sure. Online school.

Pete Wright:
Yeah. Talk about it. That’s a generational shift.

Nikki Kinzer:
Well, it is. And I’ll tell you, I have my own anxieties because we’re going to be doing it here in about a week. I guess they start next week, which I know a lot of people have already started. So we’re kind of behind the curve here a little bit.

Pete Wright:
We’re in it now. Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah. So here’s a couple of challenges that we’re finding horrible. This person is doing a horrible job. She says, “I have two grad courses and am a week behind in submitting work, two weeks wasted on Facebook and Scrabble, unable to focus. Started distance teaching this week, trying to catch up. I hate schedule, but without one I can’t focus.” And I know that she is going through a lot of what I have noticed with my online college students that I’m coaching now with. At first, it was very scary for them, but then now that they’re getting into a groove, they actually like it. So give it a chance. But one of the suggestions I would have for her specifically is to your professor about where you’re behind and see if you can get some extensions. The professors are just as messed up in this as everybody else. They don’t know what they’re doing either and they’re doing the best that they can. And so I would just talk to your professors and let them know what’s going on, and I hope that they’re understanding.

Nikki Kinzer:
The other thing that I would say about focus was with students specifically. This is so true with people who are working, but it’s also very true with students. Find somebody that you can study with and have some schedule or routine with that person and have that be your body double. Put that into your routine. Like every evening from six to nine, you’re going to be studying with Bob, and you guys are going to meet up on Zoom or FaceTime or whatever. And that’s when you’re going to get your homework done. It really helps. It really helps to have somebody that you are working with who you’re accountable to. You’ll get your work done and it helps with the focus. It allows you to feel like you can screw up. Screw up or not screw up, but just do whatever you want to do because you know you’re going to have time aside. Right?

Pete Wright:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Nikki Kinzer:
So, don’t feel guilty about not doing it because you are going to meet this person at… You’re meeting Bob.

Pete Wright:
Yeah. Right, right. It’s a commitment and we talked a lot about finding rhythm, creating a schedule, making rhythm, creating all sorts of alerts and things. But if you’re really struggling with getting the work done, part of that rhythm, part of that schedule has to include an accountability person, right?

Nikki Kinzer:
It really does. Yeah.

Pete Wright:
It has to include somebody to which you are accountable directly, and I think I cannot echo that enough. And that is something, the alarms aren’t the only thing. Join a study hall, jump into the accountability group in our community. Figure out away to invite another human being to be present during your session. It’ll keep you quieter, it’ll keep you more focused. It’ll keep you… It will. Even if you only get 30% of what you really want to get done, done. If that 30% is more than you would have done without support, without having an accountability person-

Nikki Kinzer:
And that’s it.

Pete Wright:
That’s a win. Right?

Nikki Kinzer:
That is totally it. Because I know like on Friday I put a study hall together in our discord group and I said, "look, I-

Pete Wright:
You needed the work.

Nikki Kinzer:
I need this.“ I needed to have two hours where I was held accountable in this group and say, ”Okay, I’m opening up this group for everybody, come join me. I’ve got two hours of work. I have to get it done." Otherwise, if I don’t get it done, I will be watching the new season of Ozark, Which I did over the weekend. But I did get my work done Friday afternoon so that I could without guilt watch 12 shows. That’s 12 hours of TV.

Pete Wright:
Congratulations.

Nikki Kinzer:
Ozark. Yeah. Really good season for Ozark [inaudible 00:24:13].

Pete Wright:
You won Ozark.

Nikki Kinzer:
So, yeah. But anyway, I do think it, it really does help because I can tell you, Pete, if I hadn’t done that, I know I wouldn’t have done that work. I would have just said I’ll do it later.

Pete Wright:
Guaranteed. I absolutely agree with that.

Nikki Kinzer:
Guaranteed. So, It’s crazy how well that works. So this is something that was sort of like online school. This person is having a hard time keeping their kitchen clean. They use it for cooking demos and she’s feeling pressure that she can’t hide from it. And my response to her actually on Facebook was, “Hey, just be honest and let them see the reality of the situation. They’ll probably appreciate it.” I would.

Pete Wright:
Yeah. Yeah. Right. Yeah. This is what it looks like to cook. Right?

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah, yeah. This-

Pete Wright:
This is what it looks like in a real kitchen. It’s okay. I think if anything has happened over the last two months, I think we’ve seen this shift in what our expectations are, and allowed us to put some quotes around professional, right?

Nikki Kinzer:
Right, right.

Pete Wright:
That is that it doesn’t mean perfect. And so, I’m in meetings with people that normally would have been in conference rooms, video conferences where I’d be in these conference rooms and big screens and everybody looks fine, and now it’s okay that a cat walks across the keyboard in front of the camera. It’s accepted and normal and everybody can be frustrated by busy kitties, but it is just the way the world is right now, and it’s okay.

Nikki Kinzer:
Exactly.

Pete Wright:
A dirty kitchen is real. As long as the resources that you need to actually do your cooking demos are available to you.

Nikki Kinzer:
Are there, then hey.

Pete Wright:
If there’s some extra dishes around, I wouldn’t sweat that too much.

Nikki Kinzer:
I wouldn’t [inaudible 00:25:54] about it. No. So the next category that I want to talk about is the routines, productivity and motivation. These kind of topics were definitely talked a lot about on this post and it leads into an article that you want to talk about, which I think is really important at this time too. Yeah, right?

Pete Wright:
Yeah. You want to talk about that thing first?

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah. I’ll talk about what people are challenged with and then we can go and talk about your article. So when I’m in charge of my own schedule, I get nothing accomplished. The first week is great and then I take sleeping. I cannot get my brain to stop, is a challenge. Getting out of bed is a challenge probably because you’re not getting enough sleep. Right?

Pete Wright:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Nikki Kinzer:
Challenges. Feeling I should be doing things other than what I’m doing, Also letting routine tasks slide now that I’m working from home. So lacking the normal structure that allows me to remember to do things like paying bills. I feel stuck, can work and that gets easier, but self care has fallen. No motivation to do anything above minimum. I know what I should do with self care and consistent schedule, but I’m not motivated. So what if it doesn’t get done? Keeping up with the schedule and routine. So here are a couple of solutions that people talked about. One is they have a whiteboard schedule for every day. Is there external motivator? So basically my weekly summary review to myself is my accountability for accomplishment.

Nikki Kinzer:
My morning coffees, Zoom meetings with friends gets me up at a consistent time and dressed and talking and at my desk. It ends at the same time every day so it can’t run late and we all have to get to it. Love that. That’s the accountability piece that we were just talking about. Another solution is I have to keep reminding myself that it’s just got to be done in bite sized pieces, to find silly escape moments or exercise to reset when I’m spinning my wheels. Something I want to just add to that really quickly is that I feel that as well, especially after either reading or watching the news. I always feel like, “Okay, I need to escape this and watch something funny.” And so usually I will. Now, Ozark is not funny. There’s not anything funny about Ozark but-

Pete Wright:
You get tuned into Ozark as a comedy.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah, that’s not true.

Pete Wright:
It’s something different. Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer:
That was very suspenseful. But I mean, what I’m saying is that there’ll be moments where I’ll be like, “Let’s just watch a funny movie, let’s watch a comedy,” because I just have to get my mind out of the news. So I totally agree with that. So lots of them. What I’m seeing also from clients and I didn’t hear so much or read so much in the Facebook post, but what I’m hearing a lot from clients is there’s just this pressure of, “I’m at home, I should be doing more things. I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing.” And then feeling bad about that. And I think that that goes into some of what this article talks about. You want to talk about that Pete?

Pete Wright:
Yeah. So this article is from the Chronicle of Higher Education and it was written with a perspective toward teachers and educators in general. In this case, higher ed and written by an academic to her academic colleagues. But there are some things in here that really touched me. And this is a person who has been involved in helping to handle crises around the world. And so, it comes with that baggage, but I wanted to read a little passage of it and then talk about some of its major points and we’ll of course share this link in the show notes. And I think the title of the article is actually not great. The editor who wrote this title is lame. Why You Should Ignore All That Coronavirus Inspired Productivity Pressure.

Pete Wright:
It’s not a good title and it’s not really what the article is about. So ignore that. But here she writes, “Among my academic colleagues and friends, I have observed a common response to the continuing COVID–19 crisis. They are fighting valiantly for a sense of normalcy, hustling to move courses online, maintaining strict writing schedules, creating Montessori schools at their kitchen tables. They hope to buckle down for a short stint until things get back to normal. I wish anyone who pursues that path the very best of luck and health. Yeah. As someone who has experienced with crises around the world, what I see behind the scramble for productivity is a perilous assumption. The answer to the question everyone is asking, when will this be over? Is simple and obvious, yet terribly hard to accept. The answer is never.” And then she goes on to talk about how these global crises and catastrophes change the world, right? They change our culture, they change how we relate to one another and that every one of these crises has a legacy and that legacy will be burnt tattooed on us. Right?

Nikki Kinzer:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Pete Wright:
It will change how we interact with one another and our families and our friends and our work forever. To imagine that schools after this massive leveling up of teacher skills and abilities and teaching online, we’ll go back to 100% like just plain old school the way we’ve always had it after this, is I think a fantasy, right? It’ll go back to something where we’ll be in schools, but there will be more online education for everyone because teachers will adjust to it, students will adjust to it. We’re being forced to in a microwave oven right now and that crucible forces longterm change, and I think that’s what we need to get ready for.

Pete Wright:
But the rest of this article I think is sort of a meditation and she calls it a peace offering, which goes through these stages of change. The first one is security, right? You try to make room for protecting yourself and for protecting your own needs and your family’s needs and that is a completely normal thing to do. It also triggers the paradox of control and that was an additional footnote on this conversation, which is why everybody is buying so much toilet paper. Right? That is a trigger of the paradox of control, right? This control paradox, it says, “I’m out of control everywhere, but you know what I can control? I can buy a lot of toilet paper.” That is a problem-

Nikki Kinzer:
And somehow that’s going to make you feel better. Yeah.

Pete Wright:
Yeah. Because that will be one problem that is incredibly easy for me to solve now. And when I say now, I mean when this whole thing started, right?

Nikki Kinzer:
Right.

Pete Wright:
That was, this is going to be a thing I’m going to check off the list. I’m going to have so much toilet paper, I’m not going to have to worry about buying toilet paper just in case. And that created a challenge for everybody else to find toilet paper. Had we been aware of the fact that we were falling into this paradox of control, realizing that there isn’t actually a change in our toilet paper supply. This virus is not going to be fixed by having more toilet paper. Had we been able to think rationally about that, we would have been able to stop ourselves and say, “Okay, I’m going to buy what I need and I’m going to figure out how to do the rest. It’ll be fine, it will be fine” So that’s the paradox of control.

Pete Wright:
And I think that’s one of the things that we just have to be aware of and trying to… As we meditate, as we practice our mindfulness exercises, right? We have to be aware when we’re falling into that paradox. What am I trying to control now irrationally that may not be in my best interest or maybe a waste of my emotional signal right now as I’m trying to actually get stuff done. Stage two, she writes is that mental shift and it’s the most important thing that comes out of this exercise is being aware of when you turn the corner. When you realize you know what? There is a lot that isn’t going to change back. I don’t know what the final world is going to look like as in our next epic, but I know that there’s a lot that isn’t going to change back and I’m going to have to get on board with it. And there are a lot of us out there who aren’t onboard with a lot of things right now, but at some point you’re going to secure yourself and your team.

Pete Wright:
She says you’re going to feel more stable. Your mind and body will adjust and you will crave challenges that are more demanding. Given time, your brain can and will reset to new crisis conditions and your ability to do higher level work will resume and that such an important message here that we’re going to, whether we’re doing it from our homes or from remote offices or from wherever, we’re going to find a way to transcend crisis mode. That is a beautiful thing to aspire to. To Remember that there is a there, there. And so as hard as it is now, we’re going to find the other side of it, right?

Nikki Kinzer:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Pete Wright:
Well, call it a new normal, call it whatever you want. Call it Wednesday for all I care. At some point, you’re going to have to wake up and you’re going to figure out a new routine. And it might be that you only go to online yoga classes from now on. Right? If that’s one of the big changes, maybe that’s the big change. But I think one of the most beautiful things out of all of this is the acceptance of finding social connection online. People are getting more and more accustomed to reaching out to old friends and family on Zoom, and seeing each other’s faces through this crisis. And that may be the greatest gift of all of this, right?

Nikki Kinzer:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Pete Wright:
If there is a gift in this, it’s that we are actually more connected emotionally even when we are not physically connected than we’ve ever been before. And those are going to be, I think some hard habits to shake in a really good way. So this is a fantastic little meditation on shift. I have shared it with a number of people and there are some people who’ve responded deeply negatively to it. And so I’m curious to hear what others feel like. So I will share the show notes and see what you think.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah, absolutely.

Pete Wright:
That’s what I got.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes, absolutely. Well good stuff Pete. Thank you for sharing that.

Pete Wright:
Well, thank you.

Nikki Kinzer:
And again, thank you to everyone who responded to the Facebook post, I really appreciate it. It really gives us insight of what other people are going through. And again, we’re not alone in all of this. We’re all dealing with it in different ways and a lot of uncertainty for sure. But like you said, we’re going to get through it.

Pete Wright:
Thank you everybody for downloading and listening to this show. We appreciate your time and your attention. On behalf of Nikki Kinzer and Pete Wright, we’ll catch you next time right here on Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast.