The ADHD Fix
Coping with an Itchy Summer
By Dr. Henry J. Svec
A couple of weeks ago while fishing a stream, I came in contact with some type of weed or toxic plant that gave me poison ivy like symptoms on my arm. It itches. It’s a pain and gets worse as the heat picks up. Wearing long sleeves and seeking out the assistance of a pharmacist has helped greatly, but it’s still a bother.
Like my poison ivy or poison oak, this time of the year many households are experiencing the “itch.” Children are moody, parents grumpy and the clock is ticking for the return to school and a more normal life and existence. Here’s some ointment to put on the problem to help you get through the rest of the summer itch free.
- Get some space. In June, it sounded and felt great to be around your children all of the time. But that’s not normal, nor helpful. Your children need time to build independence, you need time to have some fun. If you are a single parent, recruit trusted friends or family members to help out while you take some hours or even a couple of days away. If you are co-parenting, it’s time to tag your partner when you need some time away.
- Routine. Get some. Get some right away, and your children and you will start to feel itch reduced.
- Set some goals. It’s amazing how purpose can change the mood. Set the goal to plant a late garden, or late flowers if you can, or some other project you can all work on.
- Get ready for school. Create an hour of day of learning time for your children to begin to get their brain to be able to focus. It’s another mini routine that works.
- Exercise. Limit the time in front of the TV or video game systems. Get moving as a family.
- Experiment with some cooking. Start to focus on meals you can prepare ahead of time, but those that are healthy and fitting with your personal goals. Shop local farms, cook with what is fresh today.
- Build memories. It’s not how much you spend, but what you do with your children that matters. Spending quality time with them, engage in mindful parenting, a skill you can learn by watching my 7 minute free video at www.parentwithcourage.ca.
- Be aware of your emotions and get perspective. Does what you are worried or bothered by really matter right now? To help with stress, set the goal to complete the StressVaccine, an APP I created that you can find at www.healthanytime.ca. It’s free by using the code “livegreener” on the payment page. Use it for yourself and have your teen or college student sign up for the Young Adult version. It is guaranteed to reduce your “itch” factor.
When even the littlest thing starts to bother you, it’s time to label it as an “itch” and do something about it. Don’t let the rest of the summer go by without taking action today.