What is Progressive Muscle Relaxation?

What is Progressive Muscle Relaxation?
PMR is Progressive Muscle Relaxation. 

It’s a technique that teaches you how to relax your muscles in 2 steps! 

The basics are: You pick your muscle group. Let’s say neck and shoulders. You tense up all the muscles of *just* the neck and shoulders and hold for 3-5 seconds. Then release and relax the tension. If you have the time, repeat for all the areas of the body. Arms, stomach, butt, legs, feet.

Some benefits can be reduction in physical problems such as stomach aches and headaches. 

PMR is helpful because oftentimes we get so tense that we don’t even know its happening. Doing this often will help clue us in on when our muscles are starting to tense up again. 

This exercise should never be painful! If any area is causing you actual pain, please stop and don’t continue with that area.

It might take some practice for your body to truly relax the area so repeating the muscles could be beneficial! My shoulders, for example, hold most of my tension! 

How do you feel about trying this out? Let me know!
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Sleep Hygiene Tips

Sleep Hygiene Tips
Sleep hygiene is tough because we all have different needs! But there are a few things you can do to maximize your sleep and it might take a bit to regulate into this new rhythm so don’t get too discouraged.

1. Limit electronics before bed. At least 30 mins but try to aim for an hour. This includes tv, your phone, laptop, kindle or iPad! I know, I know. This one is hard even for me! Time to go back to old school paper books and magazines.

2. Keep your bedtime clean and tidy. It can be hard to sleep if its being stimulated by your surroundings. The bedroom should be a sanctuary and where your body associates it with sleep. 

3. Wake up and go to bed at the same time each day, including weekends! If this is hard because you wake up SUPER early during the week try to keep it within an hour. 

4. Try breathing techniques after getting in bed to relax. You can also try some PMR, progressive muscle relaxation, which is when you focus on individual muscle groups to clench then relax. I’ll go more in depth of this next week! 

How do you know when you have gotten good sleep? You should wake up easily and feel refreshed! 
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Working with your menstrual cycle and ADHD

Working with your menstrual cycle and ADHD
Did you know your ADHD symptoms can intensify during the week leading up to menstruation? This is due to an increase of progesterone paired with the decrease of dopamine. 

On the flip side, you could see your focus be on point during the second week of your cycle when estrogen rises. 

Have you noticed any patterns with your symptoms and your cycle?
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5 Signs you may have Inattentive ADHD

5 Signs you may have Inattentive ADHD
People who struggle with inattentive ADHD (formerly ADD) struggle with every day tasks such as-

You may:
- have difficulty completing tasks
- be easily distracted
- struggle with forgetfulness
- have trouble listening and/or following directions
- be disorganized 

Some strategies to help:
- break tasks into smaller chunks to help sustain focus. Each task should be manageable 
- try to find an accountability person, say coworker, who can discreetly bring you up to speed if you might have missed something
- put systems in place, such as lists, to help prepare you for leaving the house, etc. Using a family calendar can also be helpful
- ask if its okay to record a meeting so you can listen to it later to see if you miss anything, take notes, and repeat things back to people
- designate specific places for things. Each item should have a place to live in your house

Do you already do any of these? Which was most helpful to you?
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Menopause and ADHD

Menopause and ADHD
Menopause also has a unique relationship with ADHD! 

First, research is being done on the link of how the cognitive changes during menopause can mimic ADHD but the research is simply not there on the effects of these changes to women who already have ADHD. But here is what we know!

Higher estrogen levels are associated with enhanced executive function. 

The declining estrogen levels during all the stages of menopause can cause the symptoms of:
- impaired attention and concentration
- impaired working memory
- impaired executive functioning
- impaired verbal fluency 

Many women have reported a worsening of their symptoms during menopause. While the research is still being done, just know that you are not going crazy if you feel you have gotten worse over time! Its not from a lack of effort but just a lack of hormones! 

I have definitely noticed this in myself! I work on making sure to take my supplements and do the things that I know lead me to be successful. 

Have you noticed your symptoms changing?
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