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Feeling Positively Paralyzed & Absolutely Stuck with ADHD

Many ADHDers relate to the feeling of being STUCK or PARALYZED: unable to get out of bed and start the day, stop scrolling and get off the toilet, or break out of a hyperfixation.

Paralyzed

We might feel paralyzed by…

  • Guilt or shame from past social interactions

  • Starting a task and the negative feelings around it

  • Making a choice

  • Waiting for something (Appointment, a friend to arrive, etc.)

  • Doom scrolling

  • Transitioning from one task to another


ADHD paralysis is most typically caused by an overload of emotion, information, or both.


We try to take in and remember all the details... We begin to get overwhelmed... Then frustrated with ourselves for getting emotional... And then we're stuck in a spiral!


ADHD brains have a difficult time with transitions. It takes A LOT of energy to break and refocus our attention from task A to B. Then we spend even more effort trying to stay focused on B, while A keeps popping up, and C lingers in the future, stressing us out!

We might find that we need time to just sit and rest between transitions like...

We might find that we need time to just sit and rest between transitions like...

  • Taking breaks / Getting back to work

  • Switching projects

  • Getting home from a fun event


Yes, even if it was a fun activity, we may need to sit down and decompress for a while.


Sometimes we get paralyzed in time sucks that waste time we'd rather spend on more productive or intentional tasks.


A few examples of time sucks:

  • Scrolling your phone

  • Playing video games

  • Looking for snacks

  • Cleaning to avoid other work

  • Online shopping

  • Gossiping


ADHD Paralysis can feel incredibly frustrating when we're stuck for 5 minutes, 15 minutes, an hour, knowing what we have to do but feeling unable to execute it. We might get upset with ourselves when we come out of it and wish we spent the time differently, especially if we were stuck doom scrolling.

ADHD Paralysis can feel incredibly frustrating when we're stuck for 5 minutes, 15 minutes, an hour, knowing what we have to do but feeling unable to execute it. We might get upset with ourselves when we come out of it and wish we spent the time differently, especially if we were stuck doom scrolling.

If you're looking to break free from ADHD paralysis, consider the following...


  • IF YOU'RE PARALYZED IN AN OVERWHELM SPIRAL S.T.O.P.

    • STOP

    • Take a few deep breaths

    • Observe yourself and the situation

    • Practice a method that works for you


  • CREATE A SPACER Find a ritual or habit that helps you in transitions. Here's what I do...

  1. STOP & take deep breaths

  2. Visualize myself doing the next task

  3. Launch myself up and into the task on one final exhale


  • OTHER SPACER ACTIVITIES

    • Use the restroom

    • Grab a snack

    • Take a walk around the room

    • Quick stretch routine

    • Track your progress

    • Do a full body scan/Be mindful of the moment around you


  • MAKE YOUR PHONE LESS ATTRACTIVE

    • Move notorious doom scrolling apps to a folder that‘s harder to get to

    • Turn on black & white screen color mode

    • Disable unnecessary notifications (Especially games & social media)

    • When stuck doom scrolling, scroll too fast to break the paralysis loop


  • PRACTICE DAILY AWARENESS When we are more aware of the little moments of every day, we naturally spend them more wisely.

  1. Notice how pleasant a moment is

  2. Linger on the feeling

  3. Then say "This made my day!"



Learn more ways to manage your ADHD brain with expert advice and proven strategies to navigate your personal and professional life in my # 1 Best Selling book/workbook: Activate Your ADHD Potential


You've got this,


Coach Brooke

Brooke with her Book



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