Transitions

Waking up. Going to sleep. Eating. Email. Meetings. Games. Family time. Illness.

That list goes on, and on, and on. What do those things have in common? They all involve requiring the brain to transition from one state to another. And the ADHD brain in particular — thanks to the unique powers of attention that come with it — may have a harder time making transitions from one activity to the next. This week on the show, we’re talking all about transitions and how to set yourself up for success by framing your transitions in a new light. Plus, Pete’s back after a longer-than-expected break thanks to his transition around COVID.

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 on True Story FM. I’m Pete Wright and I’m here with Nikki Kinzer.

Nikki Kinzer:
Hello everyone. Hello Pete Wright.

Pete Wright:
Hi Nikki.

Nikki Kinzer:
So good to be here with you.

Pete Wright:
Right? Happy July, I mean August.

Nikki Kinzer:
August, late August. Yeah. We’ve been, I would say me taking a break, you not so much. So we will be talking about that, about what Pete’s been-

Pete Wright:
Yeah, I’ve been meaning to tell you, I need a hiatus.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah. You sure do. We’ll talk about what’s been going on with Pete.

Pete Wright:
Yeah, whatever you want to know. I’m an open book, Nikki Kinzer, open book.

Nikki Kinzer:
All right.

Pete Wright:
All right. Before we dig in, we’re going to talk about transitions today, mostly transitions. Transitions, lots of kinds of transitions, but particularly ADHD and transitions and how does ADHD affect your transitions, your ability to transition? We’re in a time of transition. So let’s talk all about it.

Pete Wright:
Before we do that, we’re going to head over to takecontroladhd.com. You can get to know us and this show a little better. You can, of course, listen to the show right there on the website or subscribe to the mailing list, and you’ll get an email each time a new episode is released.

Pete Wright:
You can connect with us on social, Twitter or Facebook, it’s takecontroladhd, and if this show has ever touched you or helped you make change in your life for the better, if you’ve ever found that you understand your relationship with ADHD in a new way, we invite you to consider supporting the show directly through Patreon. Patreon is listener supported podcasting. With a few dollars a month, you can help guarantee that we continue to grow the show, add new features, and invest more heavily in our community. Visit patreon.com/theadhdpodcast to learn more.

Pete Wright:
And, if I may say, anecdotally here, just a note of thanks to our patrons. I logged in this morning to post the message about the live stream this morning for our members who get to join us live, and I haven’t been in Patreon in a month and a half. I was so moved to see how many people did not cancel their patronage for us over the course of the last month and a half. It is just a message of great trust, and I found it incredibly moving that you guys stuck around. It means, absolutely-

Nikki Kinzer:
A lot.

Pete Wright:
The world. Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer:
Absolutely.

Pete Wright:
And certainly helps us keep moving forward. So, thank you to everybody. Patreon.com/theadhdpodcast.

Pete Wright:
Okay. First, let’s talk about a little business, Nikki Kinzer, group coaching.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes. We have some business take care of, because it has been about a month and a half since we’ve been on the air.

Nikki Kinzer:
So, I’m starting a new coaching group in the Fall. It’s going to be a women’s coaching group. It’s going to start in September, and I want to just talk a little bit about it today here on the show and then also direct you to the website, if you are interested and would like more information about it. It is going to be 10 weeks, and we are going to be covering the book, A Radical Guide for Women with ADHD. And this is written by Sari Solden and Dr. Michelle Frank, who we’ve had on the show before and have actually talked about this book before.

Pete Wright:
Yes we have and they are amazing. Let’s just say that.

Nikki Kinzer:
They are.

Pete Wright:
Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer:
They are amazing. I had the opportunity to do this coaching group in the summer with an alumni group of women and it has been really… There’s no words, it’s just been so delightful, it’s been deep conversations, it’s been eye-opening, a lot of support, it’s just been a really great book to cover. And each week, what we do is we basically cover one chapter in the book.

Nikki Kinzer:
So we’re talking about it, we’re doing the exercises, we’re learning from each other, sharing experiences. It’s a really great time to connect with other women who really get you, understand you, accept you. We do dive pretty deep. So, we are really looking at how to embrace your ADHD, how to untangle your challenges and what radical acceptance really means for you. So it’s a thinker, I guess, is what you would want to say. You have to do the work. You got to read the chapters and be willing to dig deeper a little bit more than just the surface.

Nikki Kinzer:
The fee is 600 dollars. It is split into two payments. It begins the week of September 14th. So the deadline to enroll is coming up soon. It is going to be Monday, September 7th. So again, if you want more information about this group, have questions, please visit the website at takecontroladhd.com.

Pete Wright:
Excellent.

Nikki Kinzer:
That’s one announcement.

Pete Wright:
I love it.

Nikki Kinzer:
Okay. Second announcement, study hall. I don’t know if I’ve talked about study hall on the podcast.

Pete Wright:
I think we’ve mentioned it. I think we’ve talked about that there’s-

Nikki Kinzer:
Have we mentioned it?

Pete Wright:
Yeah. We’ve definitely. This is just the second round that you’ve done it?

Nikki Kinzer:
Third, actually.

Pete Wright:
This is the third round. I know we’ve talked about it.

Nikki Kinzer:
This is the third round. Yes.

Pete Wright:
Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer:
So, this is separate because I think it does get confusing. For Patreon, in the deluxe level, you have this channel that’s accountability, right? So anybody can set up an accountability body double session with anybody that’s in the deluxe Patreon group.

Nikki Kinzer:
What this is, is this is a little bit separate, this is a study hall that I do and I host every Thursday afternoon from 1:00 to 5:00 PM Pacific, and from 4:00 to 8:00 PM Eastern. It’s via Zoom. I’m hosting it, which means I’m in charge of the Pomodoro, timing. So basically what we do is we work for 25 minutes, we take a five minute break. I ask that the people actually put into the chat room, if they like, what they’re working on so they can have a little bit of accountability. It’s via Zoom, so it’s all online. But we’re all working together, which is a magical thing.

Pete Wright:
And the cameras generally are on.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes.

Pete Wright:
That’s helpful. Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer:
It’s weird because at first you might think that, “Well, I don’t really want people staring at me working on the computer.” But you kind of forget that they’re there and I kind of push them to the side a little bit so you don’t really notice it. But at the same time, when you see some movement, you’re like, “Oh, yes [inaudible 00:06:49].” So, it just helps you kind of stay on task, which is what the point of the Pomodoro and study halls are.

Nikki Kinzer:
So, this study hall is free for supreme members of Patreon. So I want to be clear that if you are at the supreme level, this study hall is free. If you are not part of Patreon, you have the opportunity to join the study hall for $10. So it’s a $10 fee to join us that afternoon, to get a lot done, believe me, it’s very effective. But, if you actually sign up for a batch of study halls, because I do 10 sessions at one time, does that make sense? It’s not 10.

Pete Wright:
Well, yeah. It’s kind of a subscription of 10 study halls.

Nikki Kinzer:
Right, because I’m like, “We don’t do 10 study halls all at once? That would be weird.”

Pete Wright:
So you do 10 week batches. Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah. But you get an early bird special. So if you want to purchase all 10, it’s only $80 instead of what would be 100 if you were to do, pay as you go. So anyway, I’m probably confusing everybody by trying to even explain this. So, it’s much more clear on the website. If you go to takecontroladhd.com and you go to the study hall webpage, it’s going to make more sense.

Pete Wright:
Yeah, it’s up under ADHD coaching, you’ll find it there. The other thing I want to make clear too, is that, if you’re already a member of Patreon, say you’re a deluxe member, you go into the accountability group and start your own Zoom. But, the thing that you are not able to always guarantee, even though there are a lot of people who are hanging around there, generally, there’s somebody you can find to do a study hall, but you can’t always guarantee that there is someone there to be your accountability buddy. So this is a way to guarantee it. There is no question, Nikki will be there to run the study hall.

Nikki Kinzer:
Put it in your schedule.

Pete Wright:
Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer:
It’s your time.

Pete Wright:
Yep.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah.

Pete Wright:
All right.

Nikki Kinzer:
Absolutely.

Pete Wright:
There you go.

Nikki Kinzer:
All right. So, I would like to hear from you Pete, before we get into dealing with transitions. You are actually dealing with a big transition, which is the inspiration of why I chose this topic in the first place.

Pete Wright:
Oh, how sweet.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes, you are coming from what was supposed to be a break from the podcast and maybe a little bit of vacation interweaved in July, but it didn’t happen that way. So why don’t you tell our audience a little bit about what happened and what’s going on with you right now?

Pete Wright:
Sure. So, we usually take the month of July off from the podcast and right around the 6th of July, as I am gearing up for vacation planning and starting to think about things I came down with a pesky dry cough, and it just got worse that pesky dry cough. And about, I don’t know, eight or 10 days later, I was in bed. So I was visited by the COVID fairy. It’s one of those things that’s a little bit hard to frame because I think there’s a lot of a misunderstanding, there’s a lot of magical thinking about COVID and about what… That there are people who get it and go to the hospital and there are people who, “Don’t get it that bad.” And I think I’m one of those.

Pete Wright:
I mean, all I know is my experience, but according to my doctor, I was pretty much hammered by it. And the fact that I’m going on day, let’s see what is… Today is the 17th, and my symptoms started on the 6th of July and I’m still working. I’m able to get in a rough workday, but I fall apart at around 5:00 o’clock and this is all very new. I mean, coming back to work is all very new. I mean, I think, reliably, I spent 40 plus days dealing with and it’s a huge like canyon of experience because it’s like a slow burn getting worse for me, and then it got very, very bad in terms of it being excruciatingly painful. I dealt with some significant inflammation that, for about eight days straight, I felt like I was on fire from the inside out. And that was just like every joint, I couldn’t pick things up. I’d lost touch of nerves, I started shaking, I had, it’s like a palsy, in my right hand, it would just constantly vibrate violently. And then, at one point, I lost all nerve control in my left leg. It’s just bizarre, the set of symptoms, on top of the fact that you go from just feeling kind of okay to suddenly feeling like you weigh 3000 pounds and you just can’t move. I’ve never felt the kind of bone weariness that I’ve experienced over the last month and a half.

Pete Wright:
And so, that’s the that’s the experience that I think is, is hard to communicate, that this was not pleasant, it was not the flu, but we checked my blood oxygen every hour and I had my medicine, my mask here every hour to get the medication that I was on straight into my lungs. The level for blood oxygen, if it drops below a certain level, you call the ER and say, “I want to go to the hospital. I’m on my way with respiratory distress.” But for me, it hit that level, but it never dropped below. And so, I was absolutely blessed that I got to be in care at home. I was blessed and incredibly privileged with a doctor who was a real advocate for me, and also looks at me as the most serious of her COVID cases.

Pete Wright:
So, she was on the phone with my wife daily, and then I’m still on the phone with her every 48 hours because the symptoms are not gone. And so, we’re still trying to kind of feel our way through it. But her take is that I’m part of the tapestry of people who are living with post-COVID symptoms, who are writing this sort of textbook as we go. So, trying to be as helpful as I can, but it was just a lot of misunderstanding and it’s the worst I’ve ever felt and still lucky that I didn’t have to go to the hospital.

Nikki Kinzer:
Absolutely. What a terrible experience.

Pete Wright:
If anybody has any questions or experience, I’m kind of open book with it, but it is what it is. The doctor experience was like, “We’re worried about you getting sicker if you have to go to the hospital.” Like, “We really don’t want you to go to the hospital if we can [crosstalk 00:00:14:14].” So it was interesting.

Nikki Kinzer:
Well, I’m so glad that you didn’t have to. And I’m so glad that I’m here with you today and grateful, and it’s such a joy and pleasure to see your face and to hear your voice. There was a point in time, I think it was probably middle of July, where our podcast photo popped up and I was like, “Oh, I miss him!” I’m like, “This is awful!” And then to know that you were going through what you were going through, and I was able to communicate with your wife to make sure you were doing okay, that was helpful because it’s hard when you don’t know at all. And obviously you’re not in a position to update, “Oh, guess what? Here’s what’s going on.” So I’m so grateful you’re here.

Pete Wright:
She was in a rough space too, because we would be kind of toward the end of things and I might be kind of sitting up in bed for the first time in a while, and somebody would write in, or she’d be talking to you, she’s like, “Oh, Pete, he’s kind of improving.” And all of a sudden my body starts convulsing like I can’t talk. So, I just never knew, what is next with this stupid thing? I want to punch it in the neck. It’s just really frustrating.

Pete Wright:
But I will say I never lost sense of smell or taste. And that was, it turns out, an incredible gift because as a result, I never really lost my appetite. So, I didn’t unfortunately lose much weight. I was counting kind of like, about day four I was like, “At least I’ll be svelte when I come out of this.” And that did not happen. Very frustrating.

Nikki Kinzer:
No. You have so many people who love you and care about you. It was such a surreal experience, seriously, to have sent out the podcast announcement a couple of weeks ago to say we’re going to have to postpone because we were going to be here a couple of weeks ago. And just the love, I mean, “Oh, I hope Pete feels better. I’m so sorry he’s going through this.” I sent out the newsletter and people would respond back to me from the newsletter. “Make sure he knows that we care about and sending our prayers.”

Pete Wright:
So kind.

Nikki Kinzer:
Guests from our show, Pete, several guests that are a part of my newsletter replied back and said, “Please let them know we’re thinking about him.” So, lots of love your way. So, yeah.

Pete Wright:
Well, and I need to shout out to, who’s not in the discord, but his name is floating around, Andy Nelson and Ray de [Lancie 00:16:49]. I mean, these are people who jumped in and helped me to kind of keep the backend. There’s no time like just on the cusp of getting getting COVID to decide to rebrand your company and start hiring people. It is not a great time. And so, it’s been really great to just know that there are people out there who were thinking about me, and I really appreciate it. And now, the business of ADHD.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes. So dealing with transitions, this is exactly why I wanted to bring this up. I know we’ve talked about this before, but I think it’s one of those conversations that we just need to keep having, because they’re hard. Some of the bigger transitions that we’ve already talked about is Pete coming back to work after being so ill, I’m coming back from a vacation. I have-

Pete Wright:
So, that’s hard too.

Nikki Kinzer:
Well, not as hard as yours. Although, I will have to say, I wasn’t going to bring this up, but I was working in my attic during vacation after I did like the beach thing, and I fell down, I didn’t go through the roof but I missed a step and I fell forward and hit my head really hard on the wood.

Pete Wright:
What?

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes, I did it. I did it. I should never work in the attic again. And I had a headache for like three days. Yeah, [crosstalk 00:18:17].

Pete Wright:
Did you have like a concussion or anything?

Nikki Kinzer:
I don’t think I had a concussion, but I might’ve had kind of a mild one because I did have a headache for three days. And the first day, I was very out of it because it just felt weird. But anyway, I wasn’t going to bring that up and then I brought it up, so there you go. I am a clumsy person when it comes to my attic.

Pete Wright:
Oh my god.

Nikki Kinzer:
So what are you going to do? But yes, I did come back from vacation. This is my first day back. I’m also finding that students are having a hard time transitioning from summer to going back to school, which is also kind of a weird thing because most of the schools, I think at this point, at least in Oregon, I know for sure, are going back online. Some people are doing a hybrid type of thing. So, that’s an interesting transition.

Nikki Kinzer:
Three clients that I have in the last six months have moved. And one of them was a surprise. One was renting a condo and the owner said, “Hey, guess what? We’re selling it.” So it was a complete surprise. So, that’s a huge transition that that person’s going through. I had one client who quit a very toxic job and is now starting a new job again.

Pete Wright:
Yay!

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes, it’s great. It’s great news, but you’re starting over and you’ve got some transitions that you have to go through with this new job. Smaller transitions are going to look like those daily ones where we’re moving from one task to another. I hear from my clients, that that’s always very difficult, especially when you’re in hyper focus mode on something and then now you have to move into something that you don’t want to do. Not easy.

Nikki Kinzer:
But, also, in today’s environment when we’re working from home, so many people are working from home, you and I are used to this so we already have kind of this like separation, I think, of being able to do that, but people that don’t have that separation or aren’t used to it, they’re having a hard time leaving the workplace to now, “I’m being home.” Because it’s the same place, it’s the same environment. So we definitely are dealing with transitions all the time.

Pete Wright:
The small ones, I got to throw in waking up and going to sleep. Those are quintessential transitions that I struggle with because of the way my brain works. I don’t know if this sounds weird, I never really have talked about it to anybody else, but meals, transitioning in and out of meals, it’s hard sometimes if left to my own devices, actually sit down and eat. It’s also hard to stop the eating mode, not that I just sit there and eat for six hours, but that I’m sitting at the table or I’m sitting on the couch and I’m eating something, and then I just kind of don’t want to stop that, whatever I was doing while I was eating. And that’s kind of plaguing, especially the work at home mode, it’s hard to go back to work when you’re just 10 feet away and you’re sitting in the kitchen or whatever. It’s really hard to force myself back into something else.

Nikki Kinzer:
it’s interesting you say that because I think it’s hard at lunchtime. Sometimes I think it’s better for me, I cannot believe I’m saying this, but sometimes it’s better for me to actually kind of eat while I’m working and almost get off early and just work a full… Whatever time I’m working. Because, if I take that lunch, and if I take a whole hour and I eat and I’m full-

Pete Wright:
Then you want to nap.

Nikki Kinzer:
I want to go to sleep.

Pete Wright:
Hello siesta!

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah, it’s so hard to get that transition back in. So sometimes I do think it’s kind of better sometimes to just kind of go through it. But I don’t know, that’s probably not healthy, so who knows?

Pete Wright:
I do think it’s really good to acknowledge both these big transitions that are hard and obvious and the little ones that are not. And I think it’s important to say that out loud, that the little ones might be insidiously sort of poisoning your day. If you aren’t aware that, “Oh my god, it’s because I’m not getting myself out of bed. It’s because my brain won’t stop working when I get in bed at night. It’s because lunch took three hours.”

Nikki Kinzer:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, absolutely. All right. So transitions rely on executive functions and this is why it can be so difficult for ADHDers to deal with the transitions. Because if you start looking and breaking down what the executive functions are that we use, when we go through transitions, one of them is planning. It’s very difficult to break projects down, we don’t know what to do, when to do it, or how to do it. So, issues with time management. This is where that time blindness, and kind of what we call ADHD time, comes involved. We get hyper-focused, it’s very easy to get involved in something you really like to do, the time goes by faster and trying to pull out of that hyper-focus can be very difficult. Organizing your day can be hard when we don’t know how long things are going to take us or all of those different things. Organization, working memory, self regulation is a big one that we need to think about too, that lack of impulse control even though you know you shouldn’t check [inaudible 00:23:37] email. You’ve already set a time to check the email, but the email, that little thing is popping up at you and it’s red. And you just want to look and see who it is. So all of these things, with the executive functions not running at top speed can affect how you’re dealing with transitions and why they can be so difficult.

Nikki Kinzer:
So, as a coach, one of the things that I would ask my clients to do when they’re going through these types of transitions, whether they’re small or large, is identify what is difficult for you. What are the times during the day that you find are the hardest for you to transition? Because you may find that morning is harder for you, maybe evening or afternoon is harder for you to transition. What kinds of things are hard for you to transition from? Is it a certain project? Is it a certain task? Are there people that’s harder? If you’re at home and your with your kids, that may be a hard transition to go from mom and dad mode to, “Okay, now I need to go get some work done.” We need to be aware of the transitions that are difficult for us, because not every single transition is hard. So we also have to get away from that black and white thinking. Not all of it is hard.

Pete Wright:
One of the hardest things I think about doing this is uncovering where those transition challenges are. It’s figuring out in your day, what is the hard part? And so I would just throw in here, consider a time diary. Consider documenting your time and just marking down. When you start doing anything. Later, you could go back and make the calculation, but start lunch 12:31 PM. And then if you start work at 3:03 PM, you’ll see that gap. You’ll see that that’s a gap that you probably could tweak and maybe transition is a challenge for you there. So, consider a time diary and just a plain plain sheet of paper. Time diary on the top of it, and then just start writing time and what you’re doing and see if that helps you diagnose some of your transition troubles.

Nikki Kinzer:
I’m sure it would be very enlightening to kind of figure out what you find out. If you’re going into it with no judgment and just really looking at it and seeing, “How am I spending my time? Where’s this going?” I think it would tell a lot.

Nikki Kinzer:
And awareness is the first step towards change. We’ve talked about that over and over and over again. Get as specific as you can about these transitions and where you find the difficulty. I think that part of the issue that I see with so many clients is that they know what to do, they know what’s wrong, they know what they should probably try, but for whatever reason, they kind of forget to take a step back and look at what I already know about this situation.

Nikki Kinzer:
And so, I want you to do that. When you start to identify where these transitions are hard, where they’re the most challenging for you, then take a step back and figure out, “What do I know about this? What did Pete and Nikki say about transitions? I know that they are hard, but how can I make them go a little bit more smoother? How can I manage this a little bit better?” So it’s really utilizing the skills that you know and have heard of and trying those and practicing those.

Pete Wright:
I think about this all the time and I’m sure I’ve used this on the show. The cobbler’s kids have no shoes. Well, I haven’t thought about that in a long time. What it means is that the cobbler’s making shoes for other people and doesn’t have time to look inward or care for the ones who are closest to him. Well, that is a sort of axiom that has been around a long time. And I found that this morning, the earliest reference to it was John Haywood in the year 1538. People have been complaining about this exact situation, like forgetting what you know or having a very easy time talking about ADHD and transitions when assessing other people’s lives, but having an incredibly difficult time doing it for themselves.

Pete Wright:
I have an article that I had saved in my bookmarks long ago from Psychology Today called The Cobbler’s Children At Work. And it’s a consultant who says, “You would be flabbergasted by the number of times I go into an organization for whom I am consulting, a marketing firm that does no marketing for their own business, a software firm with outdated software.” People have a hard time looking inward and using their own tools on themselves. And that’s okay, you are absolutely not alone. It’s one of the things we’re best at, is perfecting sticking our noses in other people’s business when we don’t look at our own. And so, you have a lot of skills you’re probably not bringing to bear.

Nikki Kinzer:
Absolutely. Yeah. So being able to take a step back and seeing, “What are those and what do I want to practice? What would be something that I can do?” And some of it is, I think, planning a little bit too, especially when we’re talking about bigger transitions, when we’re talking about from vacation to going back to work, and we’ve talked about this too, making sure you have a day in between. It’s really difficult to come back if you actually went somewhere, I pretty much stayed home. But if you go somewhere and you come back Sunday night and you to be at work on Monday morning, that is really hard to do. So if you can plan to come back on Saturday and have that Sunday where you can just be at home and relax and get back into thinking, “Okay, back to life.” It can be very helpful.

Nikki Kinzer:
Same thing with you, Pete, being ill. You have to really listen to your body and know how much you can take and how much you can’t. So how many hours a day are you putting in to your work and gradually kind of making that happen. You see it with maternity and paternity leave where people won’t go back to work necessarily full time, they gradually go back into work, into the full time schedule.

Nikki Kinzer:
So, there’s things that you can definitely do to kind of plan for that. I think on a daily basis, is trying to give yourself some buffer time. We’ve talked about that too. Not scheduling meeting after meeting after meeting, but if there’s a way to do a 10, 15 minute a break there, so it gives you enough time to get to the next meeting, to go to the bathroom, to take a breath, so that you’re able to just breathe and slow down a little bit, can certainly make a big difference.

Nikki Kinzer:
There’s other things too that you can certainly do that I will talk to my clients about, is intentionally plan just for your day even. We talked about a lot of daily planning, knowing when your transitions are going to happen, knowing when they’re hard, and scheduling a break time during that time. Setting alarms, I know it sounds like it’s such a, “It never works.” It’s such a old kind of thing to say, but they can work. Alarms, reminders can work. I think it’s just really important that you intentionally set them up so you pay attention to them. The ones that you’re not paying attention to, they’re not working, I agree.

Pete Wright:
And I think there’s a framework to approaching alarms. There are two kinds of alarms for me at least. One of them is like, “It’s time, this thing is due.” And the other is, “Hey, Pete, remember you’re tethered to time and space.” It’s just an alert that says, “Hey, consider that you may need to reflect on how you’re currently using your time. That this sound is an indicator that the world still exists.” And I need both of them. I need both of them to keep me kind of running throughout the day. I’ve got a ton of alarms and I find even the ones that I’m ignoring, they may serve a purpose. Right. And that purpose just may be a reminder of my existence in time and space.

Nikki Kinzer:
Right. Absolutely. And reminder of, “What are you doing right now? Is it what you’re supposed to be doing?” I mean, it can just be that simple. A couple other things to try and I say try because I really want people to go into it as sort of a practice mode. This isn’t something that we know for sure is going to work for you or not, so you’ve got to just try it and practice it and see if it helps you, does it benefit you? Getting up and moving. If you’re sitting at your desk all day, get up and move, go outside, take some deep breaths, do something fun for a little bit, set that timer so that you can get back to your task or whatever it is you’re working on.

Nikki Kinzer:
Meditation can be a great re-centering tool. When you need to go into an important meeting, you need to just clear your mind because you’re going into a different kind of meeting, or you’re going from work to, “Now, I am a parent.” Whatever. The roles change right every day. Exercise, and it doesn’t have to be a full workout. I’m not talking about getting into your workout clothes and working out for an hour, I’m talking about just getting your heart going, maybe doing a few jumping jacks, walking around your house, doing some squats, whatever, just to get your energy up, can help with transitions.

Nikki Kinzer:
So, one of the things that I would really want people to try this week, or whenever they’re dealing with these transitions, is listen to what we’ve said, some of the ideas and some of the suggestions that you already know, because we know you already know some, and try them, practice them and see which ones resonate. What works, what helps, because the point of this is not to make them easier, because transitions are not easy, but we do want them to be manageable and not feel like you’re always overwhelmed or you kind of imagine this person just in the water, just treading water. We want to have some more control and these kinds of things can definitely make a difference.

Pete Wright:
One of the exercises that I’ve been practicing is called box breathing. You ever heard of box breathing?

Nikki Kinzer:
I’m not sure. Tell us what it is.

Pete Wright:
Well, it is an exercise that is apparently has been taught to Navy Seals. And it’s a breathing exercise where you breathe in for a certain number of seconds, so you breathe in for four seconds, you hold it for four seconds, you exhale for four seconds, you hold it for four seconds, and then you repeat. And obviously I had lung issues and so lung pain and lung capacity were both pretty severely constrained. And so, part of what my doctor has been had me doing on this stupid machine, is box breathing. One of the outcomes is that has become a practice that has, I think, dramatically reduced stress for me. And it has made regaining control of the out of control thought spirals, easier. And when transitions are hard, I think those thoughts spirals go to work and I wonder if box breathing isn’t a tool for helping you kind of practice getting re-centered, do eight or 10 box breaths and see if that helps you, again, re-tether to time and space.

Nikki Kinzer:
Right. Oh, I love that. That’s great.

Pete Wright:
And apparently it’s one of those things that has been taught for years and years, and I’ve just never had a word for it. I kind, the breathing app on the Apple Watch, I have it interrupt me and say, “Hey, breathe.” And it’s kind of that, it’s not quite that, but it’s kind of that. So I get the feeling that I might be late to what is called box breathing, but-

Nikki Kinzer:
I don’t think so. You can never be late-

Pete Wright:
… give it a shot. You can never be late.

Nikki Kinzer:
… to anything.

Pete Wright:
Okay, fair enough.

Nikki Kinzer:
So I have to say thank you to Melissa, who is our podcast assistant, that helps us with the podcast. And she found something on the archives, Pete, that I haven’t listened to in a long time. I don’t even remember it, really. So, but it’s episode 183, Lessons Learned From Big Transitions in the Home: Nikki Discusses Her Son’s Difficulty Transitioning to Middle School. Now, this is what’s crazy, is he’s going to be now a senior in high school. So now he’s going to be transitioning from high school to college, so I probably will have a whole nother episode to-

Pete Wright:
[crosstalk 00:37:16].

Nikki Kinzer:
… talk about next year. But yeah, that’s from the archives. So thanks Melissa for bringing that up! To check that out.

Pete Wright:
That is definitely the dark side of having somebody mind the archives, is she finds all of our ghosts.

Nikki Kinzer:
I know! I know, it’s crazy.

Pete Wright:
Well, thank you everybody for downloading and listening to this show. We deeply appreciate it. And thank you everybody who has sent words of encouragement. Personally, it means the world, so glad to be back. We appreciate your time and your attention. We’ll see you next week right here on Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast.