Taking Care of YOU is Taking Care of Your ADHD

We’re back from The 2020 Virtual International Conference on ADHD and this year, we’re not just back as attendees, but as presenters. The big message of the conference was about taking care of your bod, so we’ve got some takeaways that you can use to get inspired to get moving and not feeling overwhelmed in the process.

The research is in, and has been for some time: moving your body moves the chemicals in your brain and serves as a key anchor in your overall ADHD intervention. This, plus a healthy relationship with sleep and diet, form the foundation to treatment and can impact the way your body reacts to stimulation, medication, and so much more. Conference keynote speaker Dr. John Ratey’s book Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain offers some exceptional detail for those interested.


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, Pete Wright.

Pete Wright:
Hello, Nikki Kinzer.

Nikki Kinzer:
Hi.

Pete Wright:
Feels good to say it that way, doesn’t it?

Nikki Kinzer:
Well, now that I know where it came from. We were just talking about what we’re watching on TV, and I just started watching Parks and Rec, and I was telling Pete how much I loved Rob Lowe in this show because he’s just hilarious and he’s funny and he’s so joyful. And I had no idea that the whole reason that Pete started calling me Nikki Kinzer was because of that show.

Pete Wright:
Yeah, years ago.

Nikki Kinzer:
A whole new appreciation.

Pete Wright:
Yeah, no. I just internalized at Rob Lowe pretty hard.

Nikki Kinzer:
I love it.

Pete Wright:
So good.

Nikki Kinzer:
All right.

Pete Wright:
We are back. We’re back. I say that in heavy air quotes. We’re back from the International Conference on ADHD.

Nikki Kinzer:
We’re back from that online conference.

Pete Wright:
Also, we didn’t have to go anywhere. And, it was a special year. A special year because we presented, and we got a lot of great messages out of it. Nikki is going to run through her top insights today and it is… Oh boy. Started from the keynote. It was your bod all the way down.

Nikki Kinzer:
It really was.

Pete Wright:
Wellness and bod all the way down.

Nikki Kinzer:
If you didn’t leave the conference knowing how important it was to exercise and sleep and take care of yourself then you were not listening.

Pete Wright:
Yeah. Right. You missed it. That’s right. You didn’t go. You went to the wrong conference.

Nikki Kinzer:
You didn’t go.

Pete Wright:
Right. You were just watching YouTube.

Nikki Kinzer:
That’s right.

Pete Wright:
So, that’s possible that that was happening anyway. All right. Well, we’re going to talk all about that with all of these fantastic lessons learned, but before you do that head over to takecontroladhd.com. You can 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 a new email each time a new episode is released each week. So many eaches. connect with us on Twitter or Facebook at takecontrolADHD And if this show has ever touched you or helped you make a change in your life for the better, or if you just want to keep helping to send us to places like the International Conference on ADHD, this is where that all starts.
Head over to patreon.com/theADHDpodcast and join up for a few bucks a month you can support us at the show, support our continued efforts and investment into this podcast and to our community. And you can get access to some wonderful resources like the ADHD community on Facebook or Discord members only community full of incredible people who are all living with ADHD and supporting one another. It is really a fantastic way to both support what we do here and support yourself by putting yourself in touch with great people. So head over to patreon.com/theADHDpodcast to learn more.
Okay, Nikki. So can we start by just talking a little bit about your experience going through the conference online versus your experience going through it in the past? Just briefly, how’d it hit you?

Nikki Kinzer:
That’s great. Yes. So there were pros and there were cons. So the pro of having it online is I didn’t have to travel. I didn’t have to go anywhere, so it was a lot less expensive.

Pete Wright:
Huge pro. Massive pro.

Nikki Kinzer:
But kind of a con too. Because I really look forward to this every year. And I like having a little bit of me time to travel by myself and go to this fabulous concert, or concert? It could be a concert if you wanted it to be.

Pete Wright:
It could be a concert.

Nikki Kinzer:
But this conference. And so it’s pro and con, but I mean, convenience-wise, certainly there’s more pros. I can’t speak. More pros.

Pete Wright:
So many props.

Nikki Kinzer:
Than there are cons with the convenience level. The biggest thing I missed was the connection. There is something really special about being able to see people and talk to people in person. There’s so many times that you can connect in between sessions, during sessions. On your way to the bathroom, somebody will stop and ask you a question or will just want to chat. Like you’ll be in line to go to the bathroom and you’ll chat about the keynote or whatever.
So there is something really cool about that and special about that, that you just can’t do online. You just can’t replace that, right? There’s just something about human connection being in front of someone.

Pete Wright:
Synchronicity.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah. The energy of the conference live, you can’t repeat online either. I would say that there was a really good effort in the chat rooms because you would go and you would see a session or watch a session and there would be a lot of chatting in the chat rooms. But the pro for me with that, it was that it was really distracting. So I would actually notice myself looking at the chat room and I would actually have to put my notes over the chat room. So I couldn’t see it just to focus on the presentation.
So, first of all, I give a lot of praise to Ari Tuckman and all of the rest of the people who coordinated this because I think for having it be online, they did an exceptional job of really making the platform easy.
There were some questions at the beginning, but there always are.

Pete Wright:
Yeah, people got through that pretty quick.

Nikki Kinzer:
People got through it pretty quick and figured it out. So it was very easy to get on and listen and figure out the live sessions. And so you had a chance to have Q&A with the speakers, which was really great. And the best thing about it being online that you don’t get in person is we have two weeks to listen to these recordings. So when you’re in person, you have to choose which session to go to. In this situation, I can go back and listen to all of them if I want to.

Pete Wright:
Yeah. Right. That’s huge.

Nikki Kinzer:
So I think that’s pretty cool. So yeah, there’s pros and cons to both ways.

Pete Wright:
I think, for me, because travel, obviously, makes me super anxious. I’m just not somebody who’s going to do that, who’s going to travel. It was obviously something that was a huge pro not having to deal with travel. Travel makes me anxious anyway. Right? I just don’t like it, or I should say I like it as long as there’s a long enough time at the destination to decompress. If I’m going to go someplace, it better be for like two weeks because I’m going to need to come down.

Nikki Kinzer:
Ah, gotcha.

Pete Wright:
So the whole act of not having to do that was great. I was surprised actually at just how intimate it felt both as an attendee and a presenter. I really liked the idea. I did not think I was going to like this at all, but the idea of presenting our presentation as a video upfront, and then letting people drill us with questions afterward live on video, I thought actually worked pretty darn well.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes. I agree.

Pete Wright:
I think that was a really great model. And I find my opinion completely changed. I found that experience was really comforting to be able to do that in that way. And I can see that as a giant win. I feel like that was fantastic.
Overall, I would call it like six of one, half dozen of the other. I didn’t find one model better than another. I think there are trade-offs and I don’t know that I would want to do this exclusively for all presentations and all conference experiences going forward. I sure hope that we can get back to work next year, but I didn’t miss much. I feel like the trade-offs were generally positive and I don’t feel like I came away saying, “Man, that really sucked. That was just vacant of soul.” I don’t think that. I went in thinking, “This is going to be missing some of the heart of the experience.” And I didn’t feel that. It was a good conference. They did great.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes. Yeah, they did. They really did a great job, and I would like you to go to a live one at some point because I think you will notice the difference when I’m talking about energy. Just the… Yeah

Pete Wright:
Oh, yeah. Well, and keep in mind. I’m an experienced conference goer. I’ve been to a lot of conferences in my career. And so I know where the exuberance is and where the energy is. I really do. And, I’m sure that there is value. I know that there is value to that, to that whole experience. But I felt like really good after this. That was really the point.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes. I did too. I felt it was very good and very happy to be there. And I have to say, I was so honored for us to present. This is probably by far one of the biggest accomplishments I think of my career of our podcast is to be able to present at this ADHD annual conference, International Conference, this was such a big deal. Well, back in 2012, when I went to my very first conference, I was scared to go as an attendee because I’m thinking, “Why am I here? I’m going to be around all of these…” Because I had this idea I was going to be around all these researchers and doctors and scientists and then here’s me. I quickly realized that’s not the case.

Pete Wright:
They’re humans.

Nikki Kinzer:
There are a lot of doctors. Yeah. But they conference is not just for those people. They’re also for adults with ADHD, for parents who have ADHD. I mean, it’s a very broad conference. And so I remember sitting next to a lady who was just a mom, mom with ADHD there to be at the conference and I’m thinking, “Okay. This is okay. I’m going to be okay.” But just having those feelings of nervousness of being a complete fraud going into this huge conference and then coming, in the end of 2020 being able to do this, I was telling my family when we were all done and I know this is going to sound crazy and I don’t want it to sound like… I don’t know. I don’t know how it’s going to sound. I was just really proud.
And I told my kids and my husband, I’m like, “I’m just really proud. I’m proud of what we did. I’m proud of our presentation. I’m proud of the response. I’m really happy that we were able to have a glee of real positivity in the conference.” And it was just such an honor to say we did this. We were there. We were one of the sessions and I don’t know. So thank you to everybody who listens to our podcast and who supports us and who have really encouraged us throughout the years, because it does take a lot of time and energy and vulnerability to say, “Hey, take us. Pick us. We’re good.” And, also take the chance of them saying, “Yeah, you’re good. But, I don’t like your topic,” or whatever. “Not the right topic for us.”
So it was such an honor. So I just want to say thank you to the conference people who made the decisions that you chose us because it was really cool.

Pete Wright:
It was really cool.

Nikki Kinzer:
Cool experience.

Pete Wright:
Yeah. So let’s dig into some of your takeaways. Where would you like to start?

Nikki Kinzer:
Well, first of all, I want to make sure everybody understands that the theme of the conference was around Strong Minds and Healthy Lives. And so I think the mission that they were really trying to go for was that treating ADHD is really looking at all aspects of you as a whole person. It’s not just the ADHD, it’s not just about medication or just certain symptoms of the ADHD. It’s everything as a whole.
And, for today’s show, I want to talk about two very specific keynotes that I think really hit the nail on the head as far as why this is important for us to think about our healthy minds and what we’re trying to do here when we’re navigating ADHD really on a daily basis. And I got to tell you, biggest takeaway from all of the sessions is how important exercise is. Did you get that too?

Pete Wright:
Hammered that right home? Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes.

Pete Wright:
From the very first, from John Ratey’s keynote, which was so funny because his presentation style is not energetic.

Nikki Kinzer:
Not like ours.

Pete Wright:
So, it was a great way to start and funny, ironic and very serious.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah. But great information.

Pete Wright:
So serious.

Nikki Kinzer:
He’s very serious. Yes.

Pete Wright:
Yeah. So he does not mess around.

Nikki Kinzer:
No. And so much of his keynote was around research and studies, many different studies, that he has looked at of why exercise is important. Pete and I are not going to talk about that. If you would like to know more about the research behind all of this, I highly recommend that you get the book Spark by John Ratey. It has all of that information and more.
And so what I want to do for our show is keep it pretty simple. And I’ll tell you what it comes down to. When you exercise, it increases your dopamine and serotonin and those are the chemicals that make you feel good and help you stay focused and make you feel like you’re on top of the world. So that’s the bottom line. We know it’s good for us. We know that after we walk or we get a good workout in, we feel good. And that is part of what they’re stressing as far as ADHD goes.
There were some key points that I thought were really resonating with me. I knew this going in, but I think it was just having somebody tell me that we live a much more sedentary lifestyle than we used to. It was like, “Oh, you’re right. I’ll sit in my office all day long, barely getting up.” I don’t even walk… I walked more when I didn’t work from home which makes sense. But I mean, I would walk to the parking lot. I would walk out of the parking lot. I’d go out to lunch. I would go up the stairs to my second floor office. I mean, and I’m not doing any of those things.

Pete Wright:
No. Right. And it’s made even worse now that we’re at home. Correct?

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes.

Pete Wright:
Now that many of us are still working out of that house.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes.

Pete Wright:
Sure.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes. So that was really an eye-opener. It’s like, I knew that, but I guess I just needed somebody to point it out, but yeah, “You sit down too much, Nikki. That’s what’s happening here.”

Pete Wright:
Yeah. Nikki Kinzer.

Nikki Kinzer:
Nikki Kinzer. The other thing that hit home was our kids are rewarded for not moving. And we are also rewarded in that same way in our workplaces too. “Sit still. Be quiet. Don’t make a lot of ruckus,” and that’s not how it used to be, and it’s too bad.

Pete Wright:
And productivity points. Productivity points go against standing up and moving, right?

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes.

Pete Wright:
“How long can you sit? Finish your project. Get more points. Make more calls.”

Nikki Kinzer:
That’s right. That’s right. Yeah, absolutely. There’s always a lot of emphasis on how exercise helps with cognitive functioning, but it also does a lot for our emotional regulation. And I don’t think that people always think of it that way. Usually they’ll think exercise will make me feel better and I’ll be more focused, but they don’t necessarily think that it also helps me keep my feelings in check. It also is a really good stress reliever and it can negate some of those negative feelings and turn them more into positive. You can start thinking positive when you have that serotonin and dopamine.
So I think it’s important because RSD is a big thing that a lot of people are exploring right now. And when we are talking about, “What are some of the things that we can do?” Exercise is certainly one of them.
The other thing that he was talking about is when you’re feeling like the ADHD is really loud, is how I would say it, even a small amount of exercise is going to help you because it turns the brain on. And this is all about the prefrontal cortex that he’ll talk to you about. But it turns this piece on of your brain and that helps with regulating impulses. So if you are starting to feel, “I’m really distracted. I can’t focus. I can’t think. I’m getting down these rabbit holes,” or whatever the situation is, go take a little bit of a walk and see if that helps get back into to where you need to be.
His favorite exercise, Pete Wright, is?

Pete Wright:
Jumping rope, and it’s terrible.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes.

Pete Wright:
It makes me… It’s the worst, jumping rope. Ratey, John Ratey, what are you doing jumping rope?

Nikki Kinzer:
I think it’s fun.

Pete Wright:
It’s so bad on my knees.

Nikki Kinzer:
Well, it might be bad on your knees, but…

Pete Wright:
I used to be quite the jump roper.

Nikki Kinzer:
I’m sure you were.

Pete Wright:
Did I tell you this? I could Double Dutch with the best of them. With the two and the people, and the… I could jump in and I could…

Nikki Kinzer:
Do a little dance. Yeah.

Pete Wright:
Yeah, oh yeah. I could do that.

Nikki Kinzer:
That’s funny. Well, yeah, so he had reasons for that, and I’m not going to go into all of the science behind it. But, yes, jump rope was his favorite exercise.

Pete Wright:
It did. It broke my heart. Hearing that broke my… Ugh. Can’t do that.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yeah. So here are some guidelines for health benefits. Adults should do at least 150 minutes, that’s two hours and 30 minutes, a week of moderate intensity or 75 minutes, which is one hour and 15 minutes, a week of high intensity aerobic activity. He says the aerobic activities should be at least 10 minutes and preferably spread out throughout the week.
That I can do. I could do 10 minutes of aerobic activity and spread it out through the week. I can’t do an hour at the gym. Well I could, but I don’t want to.

Pete Wright:
You could, but you don’t want to. And you really can’t right now. It’s hard. I mean you can, but it’s hard.

Nikki Kinzer:
Well, I wouldn’t go to the gym. Yeah. I wouldn’t go to the gym right now, but yeah, after, let’s say, there’s no COVID.

Pete Wright:
Well, there are all kinds of great home remedies for high intensity aerobic workouts right now. And you absolutely can. And I just, I really love this and I’ll tell you I’ve been… When I started putting my little exercise breaks into Doist, repeating every two hours, that I started actually doing these things again. Very small doses, set the timer, set the watch, do it for five minutes, and then get back to work. Do it for five minutes, take a walk around to cool off, get some water and then go back to work. And then you’re adding those hours. At the end of the week, you can actually see like, “Here’s how many exercise breaks I took. Here’s at five minutes per or 10 minutes per, here’s how many I managed to succeed.” Also buy a dog.

Nikki Kinzer:
Oh, for sure.

Pete Wright:
That’ll do it. That’ll do it. That’ll get you outside.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes, absolutely. Get that dog outside. The other thing I would want to say is this is the goal. This is not where you start. So if you have been sitting around like I have, I’m not going in with the intention this week that I’m going to get two hours and 30 minutes of exercise in when I’ve basically have done zero for like the last 10 years. That’s not exactly true, but it feels like that.

Pete Wright:
It feels like it.

Nikki Kinzer:
So, I am coaching myself and trying to think, “Okay, where can I start?” And knowing that that’s where I’m going, it’s not where I have to start. So that’s what I would say to all those people out there that are in the same situation that I’m in where I really don’t enjoy exercising. I’m great once I’m doing it, I feel great after I’ve done it, but it’s getting started and doing it. So I’m just really working it in very slowly. And right now for this week, I’m just going for 10 minutes a day. 10 minutes a day. I can do 10 minutes.

Pete Wright:
And then at the end of the week you’re done.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes. So that’s what I’m doing.

Pete Wright:
Yeah, that’s perfect.

Nikki Kinzer:
That’s where I’m starting. Oh, the other thing he said that I thought was really great, and this is for all the college students out there, is before you take a test and you can do this, well, you could do this even when you were on campus, but because so much of school is online before you take a test or before you have to read something, go do your exercise and then come back and do those.

Pete Wright:
Before you test, yeah.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes. Yeah. And he was like, “The results of that are amazing. People tend to do better. They’re more focused, they’re more confident, their memory is working better.” So definitely take that into mind if you are a student.

Pete Wright:
Excellent. All right.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes. Okay. So we know that exercise is one of the very important parts of navigating through ADHD, but there are others, Pete.

Pete Wright:
Oh, do tell me.

Nikki Kinzer:
There are others.

Pete Wright:
What are those others, Nikki Kinzer?

Nikki Kinzer:
So, the next keynote that really hit home was titled How Lifestyle Determines Our Future. And this was by Kathleen Nadeau who has also been in the ADHD world for a long time and has a lot of expertise. And some of the things that she was talking about is that medication is really typically the first thing that doctors recommend, “Oh, you have ADHD, let’s put you on some medication.” Some doctors will talk about other pieces for treatment, but not all of them. Sometimes they’ll just say, “Here’s your Adderall. Try it. Let me know how it goes. And we’ll do a six month checkup.” So one of the things that she was saying is medication, it certainly helps and we know that. We know it helps, but it doesn’t treat the ADHD alone by itself. It’s only one piece of the puzzle. And in addition to medication, therapy, coaching, mindfulness, all of these things help, but they don’t necessarily stand alone. So we need a combination of different things to be able to really treat the ADHD. The lifespan of someone with ADHD is 12.7 years less than someone without ADHD. That’s a lot.

Pete Wright:
Yeah. That’s significant. It’s significant when you think about someone who’s 80 versus somebody who’s 77.

Nikki Kinzer:
Absolutely.

Pete Wright:
Or, yeah, 67.

Nikki Kinzer:
Well, no. 67. I was going to say, “That’s only a couple of years”

Pete Wright:
Yeah, no, I can do…

Nikki Kinzer:
Can you do math?

Pete Wright:
That’s an ADHD induced mathematics right there. Yeah. No 67.

Nikki Kinzer:
That is, right?

Pete Wright:
It’s significant, yeah.

Nikki Kinzer:
When you put it in that way, it is. It’s weird. It’s not right. So that would be the severe consequence. That’s a hard word to say. Severe consequence of when ADHD is not managed, right? And this is-

Pete Wright:
That was an important takeaway of all of this is that in fact, like we, I think with ADHD, you’re looking for the thing. You’re looking for the one thing that’s going to allow you to get back to living and what all of these experts, I think, keep coming back to is your brain just works this way. There’s no one thing. And even when you find one thing that works for now, it’s not going to work forever. You have to be open and adaptable to this multi-variate approach to keeping your brain and your life on track. And that’s what we’ve been talking about all along.

Nikki Kinzer:
Absolutely. Well, and that brings up a good point because I think that what you just said is that it’s also a piece of the acceptance, right? It’s accepting that this is how my brain works. These are the things that I need to do to function in a way that I want to function. But not comparing yourself to other people, it’s not about what neurotypicals do or what other ADHDers do. It’s all about what you need and finding these things that work for you. But, yes, the lifespan is definitely a severe consequence of when it’s not managed.
Some of the other takeaways from her presentation was that treatment should not only focus on attention, we know that ADHD is much bigger than that. Agreed. We have to look at our poor health habits and poor life management habits. Very dangerous cycle of when you have self self-destructive habits, they only add to the ADHD challenges. They’re not helping, which obviously makes sense, but it’s a reality check.

Pete Wright:
Yeah, truly. But this diet thing can’t be understated. That’s one of the things that… And I cut sugar a week ago. I just cut it and it’s remarkable the change that it makes. It’s remarkable. And I know this every time I do it, every time it happens. I make jokes about how much cereal I eat. I stopped eating cereal because of the sugar and because there’s other things to eat. I didn’t want to admit it, but there are other things to eat.

Nikki Kinzer:
There are other things to eat.

Pete Wright:
And it’s remarkable.

Nikki Kinzer:
And I actually don’t bring up a lot of nutrition in this particular show, but I think you are right. I mean, it is just as important what we put into our bodies of how we exercise them as well. So we have to look at our diet. And when we’re looking at executive function skills, we know that those are the things that are impaired with ADHD. So we have to be thinking about what are some brain healthy daily habits and where do you need help? And where do you need structure and systems and some kind of scaffolding to help you with those daily habits to be able… Because again, like you said, ADHD, it’s there. It’s not going to go away with the medication. It’s not going to go away with just one thing. So we have to build those things to help us.
Next point that I thought was really important and I really want to talk to our audience about this is connection. Feeling misunderstood and criticized is the most damaging ADHD fallout. We all know that with RSD and with just the… You can not feel supportive in your own home for whatever reason. And I know a lot of people out there don’t, so having support from other ADHD people, from people that support ADHD, so other ADHD coaches and platforms, that are giving a place for people to connect, it helps you tremendously. It will definitely lower your stress level. It will definitely make you feel more comfortable. You can help other people as well.
And I want people to consider our Patreon community. I think it’s a great group of people. We would love to build it and keep it growing and keep doing more things for you, things that you need. And it’s here for you. We listen to you of what you need and then we try our best to try to do that. But it is just one avenue of getting ADHD community. There’s lots of others, too. Lots of coaching groups, lots of… ADDA has wonderful support groups. So definitely check those out as well.
Now this presentation also really emphasized the importance of sleep. I think it’s very difficult to find motivation to exercise when you’re sleep deprived. That’s just me.

Pete Wright:
It is. It is, and this was the thing that was so surprising to me, both in presentations and in just the comments on our own presentation were people who have a really hard time accepting the importance of sleep in their lives when they are so challenged while they’re awake. And that it feels like wasting time. And if anything comes out of this presentation, it’s that, “You know what? You’re killing yourself. You’re killing yourself if you’re not taking advantage of sleep. It is the most freeing, liberating and healing thing you can do. And in combination with exercise, it leads to a balanced living of your best life.”

Nikki Kinzer:
Absolutely. Absolutely. And this is something I want us to do, a show specifically just on sleep and talk about the importance and things that you can do to help get a better night’s sleep. So be on the lookout for that.
Let’s see a couple other things. Oh, I thought this was fascinating because I’ve never thought about doing this. She recommends doing a stress analysis of your life. So list all major stressors and look at which ones can be addressed through lifestyle changes, which can be reduced through problem solving, and what can you introduce into your life to deal with stressors that can’t be eliminated? I just think this is such an empowering exercise because it’s so easy to just stop at, “This is my stress,” but not really look at, “Okay, what’s the lifestyle choice? How can I reduce this? What can I do? What can’t I change? How do I make this more doable,” whatever. It’s just a really good way to analyze where you’re at and actually maybe make some changes. So I thought that was really good.
Building a friendly lifestyle. Couple of things that she said was daily routines are really important to support our brain healthy habits. Pete and I, we talk about these routines all the time. Systems, strategies on time, all of those things are important. Removing distractions and temptations is really important. So many people the distraction is their phone. All you have to do is remove it. And I’m not saying take it away, but remove it from the room that you’re working in or turn the notifications off on your computer. So the only thing you’re focused on is what you need to be focused on. So a lot of those distractions, you can remove.

Pete Wright:
One of the things I picked up was the signal in your brand, and this is a reminder because I’m sure we’ve talked about this on the show before, I just don’t remember when. One of the signals to your brain is that just seeing your phone on the desk next to you, triggers the same destructive impulse as responding to a notification on it. So for those who think, “Well, it’s okay. I turned my phone off,” or, “I turned my notifications off.” If you are struggling with this, turning it off may not be enough. And like Nikki said, remove it from the room, remove it from sight because your brain may thank you for it if you’re struggling with a difficult project, if you’re struggling with focus and attention. You want to beware of what your brain is doing that you may not know is actually doing it.

Nikki Kinzer:
Absolutely. Yeah. That’s a good point.
Another area that she was talking about is educating those close to you about ADHD. There’s a whole show that we could do around that. So look for that later. And then the other thing she was talking about with a friendly lifestyle is engaging in collaborative problem solving with those you interact with every day. And I think the key here is collaborative. So we really are taking away the parent child kind of relationship. It’s all about husband and wife, wife, and wife, whatever partnership you’re in to say, “Okay, these are the issues we’re having around our home and this is where we need to start brainstorming some different ideas.” It then becomes a very different conversation than one person blaming another person for not doing something. So very important to do.
Okay. Next, or actually, this is the last piece of her keynote that I want to talk about. And then I want to talk a little bit about something that we talked about. So meeting the challenges of ADHD. So this was the whole summary that she had, and it was really about taking charge, “Don’t just rely on medication, really take charge of what you need and the resources that you have available, and be thinking about how to navigate, take responsibility, acknowledge your challenges and work to problem solve. Take heart. Your goal is to become one of the many who live successful lives with ADHD.” And she was, I thought, great when she was saying, “There’s a lot of people out there, many, many people who live successful lives with ADHD and you can be one of them laugh and forgive yourself. This is not about perfection. Your goal is to focus well on what matters most to you and manage the rest.”
And I thought that was really a great point too.

Pete Wright:
That’s lovely.

Nikki Kinzer:
All right, Pete, I’m going to have you talk about the joy jar because seriously, I think my voice is going to crack.

Pete Wright:
Oh, I can talk about the joy jar. Yeah, no, it was funny. The joy jar was something that came out of our presentation. We were talking about the joy jar, where you would take a Mason jar and you can decorate it, have fun with it, and then you put little sheets of paper right next to it and you add these. You write things that are joyful when something is joyful that you have experienced, something crosses into your home that is joyful, something you saw or heard, a quote that is meaningful to you, that you write it on a little strip of colorful paper and put it in the jar. And every time you look at the jar, as it grows with this confetti like colorful paper inside, it just reminds you, “Hey, these are all things that I am joyful about.”
If you’re feeling low and you really need a little boost, you can reach in there and pick something random out of the joy jar and it gives you joy. And so there you go.
Now, what, what did you want to talk about with relation to this?

Nikki Kinzer:
Oh, I just wanted people to know about it because we got such a great response. I mean, I think that when you look at the chat room, I mean, people are like, “This is a great idea. I can do this as a gift.”

Pete Wright:
That was the one that really stuck out to me where it was the woman who said, “I’m going to give this to my clients. I’m going to…” And the conversation that was sparked out of that is do you pre-seed it with joyful things or do you just present it decorated with a, or present all the supplies for it, and give it to somebody. And I thought that was really wonderful. Like you can do half and half. Like, “Here are things that are just joyful or things that are joyful in my relationship with you, gift receiver and here is blank paper so you can start adding your own.” I thought that was really lovely.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes. Absolutely. I did too. And that’s why I wanted to bring it up is that I know it had such a great response and I certainly wanted to share that with our listeners.
Now, so Pete, this is funny. So in our workshop or in our presentation, Pete uses the word jubilance.

Pete Wright:
I sure do. I use the heck out of it.

Nikki Kinzer:
Yes. And when I first read his writing, because he wrote that part, I was like, “Jubilant, jubilance. Who uses that word?” I never even really heard of it before. And so with our classic banter going back and forth, we start talking about jubilance. And of course the chat room is loving it because they’re like, “I’m jubilant.” And they’re using it all over the place. So I’ve got to tell you this morning, Pete Wright, I watch The Today Show in the morning.

Pete Wright:
Sure you do.

Nikki Kinzer:
And guess what? They used the word jubilance.

Pete Wright:
There you go.

Nikki Kinzer:
And I started laughing.

Pete Wright:
There you go. Jubilance.

Nikki Kinzer:
I was like, “Oh, there it is. People do use that word.”

Pete Wright:
Do you know what? We’re going to rebrand. 2020 is the year of jubilance.

Nikki Kinzer:
That’s right. I like that.

Pete Wright:
Pure joy. Jubilance. Jubilation.

Nikki Kinzer:
So just real quick ending, we have more to talk about. There were lots of great sessions, things that I want to share, topic ideas, people I want to get on the show.

Pete Wright:
Guests, oh my goodness.

Nikki Kinzer:
Holy cow. That was amazing to listen and think, “Oh, we need that person. We need that person.” So there will be more to come. But these were definitely, I think, the important stories that we were learning. And really, like we said, at the beginning hit home. Like, “We get it. All right, we’re going to do this.”
So, that’s it. That’s all I got.

Pete Wright:
Perfect. Thanks, Nikki. That was so fun.

Nikki Kinzer:
It was fun.

Pete Wright:
So glad we got the opportunity to do that and meet all sorts of wonderful people. If you are new to this podcast because you found us through the conference, welcome. We love that you’re here.

Nikki Kinzer:
Welcome.

Pete Wright:
Yeah. Hang out, enjoy it and join the community. Share what you think. We’d like to hear from you. We appreciate you, all of you, downloading and listening to this show. Thank you for your time and your attention.
Of course, don’t forget if you have something to contribute about the conversation, the place to do that is in the Show Talk channel over on our Discord server. You can join us right there by becoming a supporter at the deluxe level, patreon.com/theADHDpodcast.
On behalf of Nikki Kinzer, I’m Pete Wright. And we’ll see you right back here next week on Taking Control The ADHD Podcast.