Doing one thing when you have ADHD

Have you ever heard that before? “Do the one thing”.

Well, today (I am writing this on a Monday) my brain is in TOTAL overdrive. My anxiety is sky high and I don’t feel like I am able to do anything. Every.single.task. seems overwhelming!!

I can trace todays overwhelm to two things:

  1. Going away for the weekend and deciding that I wasn’t going to do any work at all; I didn’t want to be “that” person who can’t even take a weekend off of work!!
  2. Just plain old having too much stuff on my plate and putting a lot of pressure on myself to “do all the things”. Side note: I really dislike doing anything half-ass, it’s honestly not in my vocabulary. When I am doing anything “half-ass” I start to feel overwhelmed and anxious because I am not respecting my values and what I want/need to be doing. Having to do things half-ass is the product of having too much on our plate. (yes, I know this sounds like perfectionism but I’ve talked it out with a few friends and it isn’t; one of my top strengths is appreciation of beauty and excellence. I truly believe in giving everything that I do a fair amount of my energy and time!)

Here’s what I do when I am in a situation of overwhelm:

Decide if I am going to “shut down” or if I have things that are high priority that are important to complete.

  1. Shutting down usually looks like completely turning off my phone; notifications, e-mails, social media, etc. I tend to Netflix binge and essentially shut off my brain. Usually a good nights sleep is all I need to “reset”. I have somewhat trained my friends and family not to expect immediate responses from me. The reason why I do this alone is because I get so stuck in my head and don’t want to talk to anyone. I am so short tempered and grumpy and I don’t like to subject that onto others. Lately I have been toying with the idea of reaching out to someone but I think being with someone in-person is what I would need.
  2. High priority things like sessions with a client or work that really does need to be completed will be able to get me to pause from my overwhelm. I tend to take a step back and take a look at my day. Then I make a deal with myself and rationalize: “Okay, Alyssa… once you are done with your coaching call (the one thing) you can totally shut down”. This almost always works and I am able to keep on keeping on until my call is over. There are times however when I realize that I am just not in a headspace to be able to coach or do the work and I do need to cancel my sessions or call it a day and shut down.

I actually took my own advice from my recent Instagram post and took a step back and told myself “choose one thing that you can do; just pick one thing.”

My takeaway:

I always try and find the lesson or the thing that I can do differently next time! Here are my lessons from the “Monday overwhelm”

  1. Since I am in the process of starting my business it is important to be realistic with myself. I do have a lot of work to do which is completely natural at this stage. From now on I am giving myself the permission to “be that person” and take an hour on Saturdays and an hour on Sundays to do the work that will make it possible to escape the Monday overwhelm.
  2. Setting myself up for Monday before I leave for a weekend vacation. Arriving back home on Sunday at 11pm and starting work at 8am the following morning is not ideal and I did not set myself up for success! Next time I hope to organize myself so that if I do arrive back home at 11pm on the Sunday night, I will be all organized and ready to go on Monday morning!

What do you do to deal with the overwhelm??

Here’s another post about planning “Gain back your control; plan away!

Why it’s important to re-sparkalize when you have ADHD!

Re-sparkalize! You know when you are in your space and you just aren’t digging it anymore… Your productivity is lacking and you just don’t want to do the work. I just went through this today! My office is situated at the back of the house and does not get the beautiful sun throughout the day nor the interesting street traffic. I was cold and under-stimulated in that back office and knew that I needed a change!

I decided that I could sacrifice one hour of my day to do the old switcheroo and move my desk to my bedroom (yes, I know. Not ideal for work to be in the bedroom) in the front of the house.

Check out my new beautiful office view! Could you blame me for wanting to re-sparkalize?!

So… What in the world is re-sparkalizing?! My teacher at the ADD Coach Academy, Barbara Luther, uses this term. Re-sparkalizing is when you make your environment (the things around you) more interesting and exciting so that you can in turn be more excited and motivated to be your most productive self! This also applies to re-sparkalizing tasks or processes. Let’s say that you aren’t getting into that morning routine that used to get you jumping out of bed. Maybe it’s time to take a second look at your routine and figure out what needs to be adapted (re-sparkalized).

Reasons why it may be time to re-sparkalize

  1. Your productivity just isn’t where you want it to be.
  2. You find another room or space calling at you.
  3. You skip over or forget tasks that used to come so easily to you.
  4. You are in a never-ending frustration loop!
    • The situation may need some re-sparkalizing! It’s important to dive in and take a look at what might be getting you frustrated to begin with. That way you can better see where you may need to re-sparkalize.
  5. Creativity!
    • Sometimes when our creativity isn’t where we want it to be, it may be because we are in a cycle of automation (get up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, go to bed, repeat). If this sounds familiar, it may be time to add some sparkle to your life!
  6. You feel like you are juggling too much.
    • If you are feeling this way, take set an hour aside and do the following:
      • Dump (write) all of the things/tasks that you are doing onto a paper
      • Next, take a step back and recognize all that you are doing!
      • Once you have realized all that you are doing, ask yourself these questions:
        1. What can I delegate?
        2. What can I hire someone else to do for me? Example: clean the house, a nanny to pick up kids from school and start dinner, laundry service. Obviously this is something that you need to be able to afford but it’s worth thinking about!
        3. What can I completely remove from my task list that isn’t actually as important as it seems?
        4. Where can I get some help? Yes, these seems like delegating but it’s different because this could be something like asking a friend to do your grocery shopping together to make it more exciting.
        5. What am I doing for other people? Yes, it’s nice to be there for other people but does a boundary maybe need to be implemented? Are you doing too much for others? Can you say “no”?

How to re-sparkalize

  • Re-organize your furniture
  • Beautify your stuff!
    • You don’t necessarily have to spend money to do this!
    • This is an opportunity to get creative!
  • Check out second hand stores for new furniture/decorations. I personally like to use an app called Varagesale to find second hand furniture or anything really!
  • Create a home for your things
  • Start planning!
    • …wait. Plan to re-sparkalize?! Definitely! If you want things to be new and exciting in your life you’re going to have to actively plan! My last blog post can help you out with that!
    • This could mean planning an exciting trip or planning to spend time with friends and family.
  • Journal. Journaling really helps to figure out what you want and need. The reason why this is so important is because if you don’t know what you want or need how can you figure out where you may need to re-sparkalize?
  • Start a new hobby or activity

Looking to throw some sparkle into your life and not sure how to make that happen? Do you feel stuck? It may be worth considering working with an ADHD coach! Follow this link to schedule a free, 30 min, get to know you session with yours truly! No strings, no commitments!

Marie Kondo for ADHD

For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you may already know but one month ago I decided to dive headfirst into my mountain of clothes! The reason why I have waited a month to blog about it is because I wanted to test myself and see if I would actually stick with the method.

My mountain of clothes that took me 4 hours to sort through!

Guess what… I stuck with it! I continue to fold my clothes the Marie Kondo way!

The steps I followed:

  1. Dumped ALL of my clothes on my bed
  2. I picked up one article of clothing at a time and asked myself:
    • Does this article of clothing bring me joy?
      • How does it make me feel? e.g. I picked up a nice shirt but it did not bring me joy at all.Then i caught myself trying to rationalize with myself saying that it was actually a nice shirt and I should keep it because I would like to wear it… Try to catch yourself if you fall into this trap! There is a difference between the shirt “being nice” and something that you are actually going to pick up to wear!
  3. Once I decided how I felt about the article of clothing it went into one of the three piles:
    1. Donate
    2. Trash (these had holes and/or stains on them)
    3. Keep
  4. I decided that the articles of clothing that were going into the “keep” pile weren’t actually going to go into a pile at all. Rather than putting the article of clothing down, I decided I was going to fold it and put it into its designated drawer.
  5. Once the new-ness of the situation started to fade and the decisions I had to make were adding up, I started to get bored and overwhelmed. It is very important to have a plan for when you hit this mark; decide in advance what your motivation will be.
    • I decided to put on “How I met your mother” in the background to keep me entertained while I powered through!
    • I also reminded myself of what the end goal would be and pushed myself through the process.
    • I told one of my friends what I was doing and sent her messages with my progress to keep myself motivated.

” Rather than putting the article of clothing down, I decided I was going to fold it and put it into its designated drawer. “

Side note: You also have the option of doing something like this… This is from one time when I moved!

This is very overwhelming but it worked because it was “in my face”. I started box by box and would gradually take items out of the box and sort the items in their designated piles!
Once the different piles would build up I would place the items in their new designated home!
For the record: my room was like this for weeks because I wouldn’t spend extended amounts of time working on it.
Depending on you and your situation, this may or may not work!


We are BIG on motivation. We are driven by what we like and don’t like so why not set up your closet so that you like it?!

  • When it looks organized and clean it will motivate us to keep it pretty and organized.
  • When we open our drawers, we only see what brings us joy so we want to take the time to get dressed!
  • The act of touching our clothes (to do the detailed folding) actually makes us appreciate them more.
  • Most, if not all of us that have ADHD are very visual. With this in mind, it is important to us to be able to see our clothes. Because out of sight, out of mind! This is why I love this method of storing my clothes oh-so-very-much!!

The results

My brain actually feels less cluttered and I have less decisions to make! I don’t pass clothes that bring back bad memories. Yes, it’s weird but I had some clothes that I wore on an occasion that I affiliate with bad memories (nothing serious). They were nice and I liked how they looked on me so I kept them but I would never actually wear them because they took me back to the time when “the occasion” happened. So no, those articles of clothing did not bring me joy and I decided to sell them!

How nice is it to see all of your pants AT THE SAME TIME!! 😀

I sold some of my clothes and received money for things that were just taking up physical and mental space.

Want to dive in? Questions to ask yourself before you start:

Not all of us are believers in the method; this blog post titled “worst adhd organizing advice ever heard” by a fellow ADHD coach is warning against using this method. With this blog post in mind, it is important to figure out why you are going to take the time and effort to organize your clothes. Here are a few questions to get you thinking:

  • What do I hope to gain out of going through this process?
  • What drawers/baskets/boxes will I use to store my folded clothes?
    • e.g. Which drawer will my shirts go in?
      • Do I need a small box to store my underwear?
  • How much time do I have to spend on organizing my clothes?
    • How long do I think I will spend on organizing my clothes?

Work with a coach

Would you love to do something like this but it never seems to work or it is very overwhelming? This may not be the plan for you! Schedule a 30 minute discovery session to work with me as your ADHD coach and come up with a plan that is specific to you!

Gain back your control; plan away!

It’s been a little over a year now since I decided to dive in headfirst and “get my shit together”.

Let me just start this off by saying it is not easy! I didn’t just flick a magical wand and tada my life is now magically planned! I need to actively plan and update my plan multiple times a day. The beginning of this week did not go according to plan and is what inspired me to write this post.

Here is what happened…

I dropped the ball this week.

Tuesday (two days ago) was an absolute, complete disaster! Yes, I’m exaggerating but that is what it felt like! I was running around consistently behind; I showed up to my last appointment 1 hour late (luckily this was not with a client)! Guess what I realized: I forgot to plan!!

When something “goes wrong” in my life I think it’s a good idea to analyze what happened so that I can learn from my mistake(s) and hopefully correct it so that it does not happen again (one can always dream!).

My analysis:

I can rewind all the way to Sunday to see where I didn’t set myself up super well. I had the opportunity to lie around and do nothing at my boyfriend’s and I took it! I reasoned with myself that I had been working hard and I deserved a day of nothingness and relaxation! (This is true and I still believe that I needed it). I had originally planned to do a bit of work on Sunday (including setting my week up). In hindsight it would have been a good idea to break up my day into “lie around and do nothing” AND “get some planning done”.

Not one, but two online summits came out on Monday morning and just so you know I ADORE these! I’m not sure what you know about these but they are extremely informative and amazing. Here’s the kicker… each day in the summit is only available for 24 hours. This means that you need to be able to devote large chunks of your day to watching them! So naturally, Monday morning rolls around and I was pumped to dig into and learn as much as I could from the summits! The mistake: I got carried away by the summits and spent the time that I was meant to be organizing myself and planning watching the summit videos!

The Bright & Quirky Summit

The Motivated Child summit

I wasn’t sitting at my desk. This is a humongous deal for me. It was sunny out and I wanted to take advantage of it so I moved myself to a room with lots of sun! The result: I did not keep myself on track with my planner etc. My setup was different and I lacked some serious structure.

I got my period yesterday (sorry guys for TMI!). I’m bringing this up because it explains A LOT. I’m not a doctor or anything but from what I understand, when our estrogen levels start to drop (the week before our periods) our ADHD symptoms are magnified! I have also spoken about this with my friends who have ADHD and they all notice the same things.

Here’s an example of how much of a space cadet I can be! It was the morning, I was starting my day and going through the motions of my routine; applying face cream! I have a morning face cream and a “night repair” face cream. I ended up taking a blob of the “night repair” cream by accident. I wiped it off because I really wanted the morning cream…. then what did I do?! I took another friggen blob of the “night repair” cream!!! I decided I wasn’t going to waste any more face cream so I dubbed Wednesday as “night repair” cream day! …I want to note that this is a small example. My days consist of silly mistakes like this! I need to be fair with myself. I am juggling a lot of new and exciting things and I haven’t quite figured it all out yet!!

I’m starting a women’s ADHD podcast with a friend and fellow ADDCA graduate.

In March I’m launching online group coaching so I’m spending quite a bit of my time preparing that.

I am still organizing/co-running an adult ADHD support group.

Building my business with the help of a coach.

I have my amazing clients!

Working on “add-on” worksheets for my existing and future clients.

I make daily posts for my Missleadingly ADHD Instagram account

I write these weekly blog posts to try and spread awareness/educate as much as I can!

Plus, as I am writing this I’m realizing how I would love to start a Pinterest account AND be more active on my LinkedIn. Unfortunately, I’m only one person and can only do so much (this is what planning helps us to realize!).

…umm this is a lot of stuff to do!! No wonder I need some planning!

How I’ll get myself back in control

  • Schedule!
    • Google Calendar
      • Go back to starting my day and sitting down to transfer what is in my Google Calendar to my physical planner
  • Physical planner (because I’m visual)
    • Once I transfer everything from my google calendar into my planner I can now insert things like:
      • shower
      • eat breakfast/lunch/dinner
      • travel time
      • whatever else is in my “to-do’s” or “top 3” for the day

** It’s important to point out that the reason why my day was so berserk on Tuesday is because I didn’t sit down and take note of everything that I had going on.

  • TimeTimer
    • The TimeTimer is my buddy! I would be in La La Land without it! For those of you that know me, you already know how I feel about it. But really, it is my lifesaver! The TimeTimer allows me to stay on track with what I am doing and when that timer goes off I know that it is time to move onto the next thing. The reason why I like it so much compared to a regular phone timer is because I can see the time winding down out of the corner of my eye. It is like a constant reminder. With the phone timers I literally get upset when they go off because I feel as though it came out of nowhere and it is interrupting me (can you guess I usually ignore them?!)
    • p.s. I have had mine for almost a year and I still use it everyday! I haven’t gotten bored of it yet haha.
  • Plan ahead
    • For some people this is oh-so-very borrrrringggg! I used to feel that way at least. Now I have come to realize how much control I have when I plan and it is super exciting!! Imagine actually doing what you want to do with your days?! That’s the gift that planning can give you.
    • I was recently told about the app/website Every Dollar. It is a huge game changer for me and the only financial planner that truly gets me excited to plan my finances!

** Please note that just because you plan it doesn’t mean that everything will fall into place. It takes time and patience to find out what works for you. Also, working with an ADHD coach can drastically improve your success rate because they help you to break everything down and plan according to your unique brain wiring 🙂

Interested? I am an ADHD coach and offer free 30 minute sessions to give you an idea if coaching would be a good fit!

Check out my other posts on planning and building habits to get yourself going:

Why being part of an ADHD support group is so AWESOME!

Wooohooo! As of today, January 25th 2019, it has officially been one year since our first in-person adult ADHD support group meeting. How did it all start? Let me give you a bit of a back story…

Why I wanted to start a support group

In October of 2017 I came across a video “Failing at Normal” by Jessica McCabe. I immediately saw myself in her and got myself diagnosed with ADHD. After my diagnosis I still felt like something was missing; I felt alone. Great, I have an explanation but I still feel like nobody “gets me” (and to be honest, I didn’t “get” myself). I figured out that I needed other people so I searched for an ADHD support group in Montreal. To my disappointment, my search came up empty! I decided to take matters into my own hands and start my own group! Luckily, my therapist pointed me in the direction of her friend, Nathalie Pedicelli, who wanted to do the same!

What value I get from the support group

  1. Friends – I met one of my best friends at support group!

  2. Knowledge – Our particular support group brings in experts so that our members can get the knowledge that they deserve. Our doctors and psychologist/psychiatrists have no or a limited amount of time to inform us on ADHD so it’s important to get informed somehow.

  3. Someone to turn to – When you are having a bad day and you need someone who understands, you now have some options of people you can contact! The worst is when you try to share how you are feeling and the person on the other end says something like “you’ll be okay” or “try harder”. When you turn to someone who has ADHD they get it; you have a judgment-free zone to share how you are feeling!

  4. Tips & tricks  Our support group promotes and welcomes sharing! We love when our members share their input because they have often gone through the same thing and may or may not have found themselves a solution! There’s always another option and it’s nice to hear different ideas from people who get it.

  5. Awareness – One of the members of our support group shared “It makes me more aware of where exactly my ADHD impacts my life (fucking everywhere lol) and gives me a more structured approach to getting better.”

  6. A community (being a part of something) – yes, this sounds cheesy!! But it is so nice to be a part of a community of people that are trying to better and help themselves. On some days, just knowing that I am not alone and there’s someone else going through the same thing as me is all the motivation that I need!

  7. Feeling understood – I’m not sure that there is any greater feeling than being heard and understood! It is so powerful to share a story and most of the room has gone through the same thing as you.

  8. Action – One member shared “Even the action of going to group makes me work on personal issues like getting out of the house, looking presentable (self care), meeting new people and making like-minded friends, learning how to communicate in a safe environment (instead of my usual clam up), slowly working on my anxiety, etc.”

  9. Growth for relationships – We have at least five couples that come to our meetings. It has been said that our support group brings them closer because they are able to understand each other better.

How can you be a part of a support group?

You can look for one in your community or start one on your own! Need some help? Send me a message!

In-person support group doesn’t float your boat?

Nothing beats the energy of being in a room full of fellow ADHD-ers who are nodding along in understanding to your experiences and gasping at your amazing tips and tricks! But hey – we are in the age of technology so why not put it to good use!

Coming in March 2019 I will be launching Coach Alyssa Shaw Online Coaching Groups! This will be a monthly or weekly charge depending on what floats your boat! Classically, you will save by opting in on the monthly subscription.

Interested? Sign up now and decide (pay) later! I will be e-mailing you the details as they come!

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Why rejection sensitivity dysphoria makes relationships so hard

Earlier this week (only a few days late), I posted “How to explain rejection sensitivity dysphoria“. I mentioned in brief how it affects me in my relationships so I wanted to dive a bit deeper into it and clarify where RSD shows up and what to do about it.

Why is RSD such a big deal in my relationships?

Now, I feel it is important to mention that this doesn’t just mean relationships with a significant other. This includes relationships with friends, family and coworkers as well. 

RSD makes me doubt that others are interested in me (when in reality I know that they are).

Anndddd… because of the pain of the rejection or perceived rejection, I shut myself off or equally as bad.. I’ll push them away. This is not healthy for any relationship!!

The process I experience:

ENTER PERCEIVED OR ACTUAL REJECTION (In my mind, it’s always actual rejection).

  • Enter ANGER
  • Enter TEARS.

(this process usually takes about 30 seconds)

I am hurt and disappointed and completely flooded with emotions so I can’t say anything. All I say is “okay”. When I hang up I can’t help but think “why does this always happen to me”? Then those words came out stronger


I catch myself asking: 

  • “Why do I ruin and overthink things for myself?!”
  • “Why is this happening to me again?!”

–> I usually hear these questions with tears streaming down my face and they stop me in my tracks. Why is this happening to me again means that there’s something that I have been consistently doing so I asked myself some more questions (basically coached myself):

  • If this is happening to me again, what am I doing? 

What I’m doing:

  • People pleaser – 
    • I don’t know about you, but I often hear “she’s so nice” when someone describes me. Well, I would say that I am too nice. Yes, there is such a thing! I tend to put others needs before mine because I am scared of their reaction to me saying “no”. I am really working on this!! Being too nice makes me feel like a doormat because I will drop everything for someone and have a million “incompletes” on my table. Also, when I do drop everything for someone else I feel a twinge of annoyance with the person that I am helping because I really should have said “no”. (this isn’t their fault!!).
      • I’m currently in a relationship where I am often asked what I want to do. This is soooo new for me. My automatic response is “whatever, I don’t mind!”. I’m really trying to challenge myself and actually take a second to pause and figure out what I want. Honestly, sometimes it’s that I want to do all of the options and I can’t decide ahha.. but at least I have the opportunity to make the decision! 

  • Analyzing everything (I wish that I am exaggerating); looking for signs that I will be rejected.
    • What others say
    • What others do
    • Facial expressions
    • What others don’t do or don’t say
      ….see what I mean by everything?!

  • Push others away and get them to reject me earlier rather than later. 
    • There are days where I do not feel “on point”. I am sooo stuck in my head and I cannot stand being around myself. Rather than subject others to my mood, I tend to stay in my room and Netflix binge and feel even worse about myself.
      • Rather than tell myself “I’m not feeling “perfect” today and that’s okay”. I shut myself off from the world when I want nothing more than to be with someone else. In my case, this isn’t healthy and I’m going to try to let others see “all of me”; the good, the bad and the ugly!

  • Make excuses for the person’s behaviour to make myself feel better (and end up putting myself down in the process).
    • Example: If someone doesn’t make time for you, you may end up telling yourself something like “they are really busy with work, they have a new significant other, etc.” I end up putting myself down because I tell myself that their work/significant other is more important than me. If you have a need to see them more and feel “rejected” then it’s worth having a conversation to express how you are feeling.

  • Have high expectations and become upset when my expectations are not met.
    • I am a dreamer and I would never change that about myself. Here’s where being a dreamer can be a problem… I like to visualize what a planned event will be like. This sets really high standards for the planned event and when things don’t go as I imagined (they never do), I get really discouraged and my RSD sets in.
      • I now ask myself “what/when is enough?” to make sure that I get what I want and need while being realistic in my dreams + expectations of myself & others! 

What can you do?

  1. Figure out where and how RSD affects you and your relationships (it helps me to keep a journal!)

  2. Tell your partner/friend/family member! Yep, that’s what i said! TELL THEM! Get it off your chest! Being vulnerable is extremely hard but it was well worth the payoff.

What happened when I started to share how RSD was effecting me:

  1. I felt like a weight was lifted off my chest – I threw the shame that I felt about being “overly sensitive” into the air and

  2. We set “ground rules” to limit the RSD popping up (we looked at where the miscommunication happened and implemented a rule)

Why RSD is so confusing

The feelings (crying, anger) that accompany RSD are super intense and come on so suddenly but they don’t last long. The last time I experienced it, I was waiting for someone so I went to my car and cried it all out while coaching myself through it. I realized that I put expectations on the certain someone that we didn’t even discuss and then felt rejected when they didn’t follow through with my expectations. How ridiculous, Alyssa! By the time I ended up meeting them (45 minutes later), I had completely calmed down and I felt perfectly normal as soon as I saw them and honestly, wasn’t ruminating anymore!

Get a trained ADHD coach!

I am completely, 100% biased because I am a coach but, in my experience, the best way to tackle RSD is to work with a coach. A coach is an objective person in your life that is on your team! They want what is best for you and will help you to figure out how RSD is effecting you and what, as a team, can be done to keep RSD at bay! 

Here are some other articles if you want to keep reading! 


How To Explain Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria

Do you experience rejection sensitivity dysphoria but aren’t sure how to explain it? Don’t worry, you are not alone! It’s tough to understand what is going on when you are “in it” so I can sympathize as to how hard it is to explain it!

Here’s how!

Rejection sensitivity dysphoria is when you feel both physical and emotional pain because you experience real or perceived rejection.

Hold up, perceived rejection?! We experience emotional and physical pain when we think that someone is rejecting us. The truth is, they may not even be “rejecting” us! Quite often there is a gap in communication; a lot like playing broken telephone!

So, what exactly qualifies as rejection?

I reached out to my Instagram community and here are the responses people shared with me:
RSD Quote.2
RSD Quote.1
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RSD Quote.6.pngRSD Quote .7.png

As you can tell, rejection comes in different forms. The key, is to figure out where rejection pops up for you!

Let’s break down what rejection sensitivity dysphoria (RSD) is:

  1. Both physical and emotional pain (intense pain).

  2. Flood of emotions because of actual or perceived rejection.

What it looks like

We, as human beings, are extremely adaptable! We don’t want to experience the intense pain that accompanies RSD so we adapt and come up with coping skills. Here is what RSD can look like with or without the coping skills:

  1. Easily embarrassed (in my opinion, this is from the perceived rejection)

  2. Emotional outbursts, such as anger or crying.

  3. Low self-esteem
    When you are living your life based on the reactions of others, how can you expect to have high self-esteem? If you are acting on what you think others want from you, you will never know for sure that you are “right” and will continuously be looking for approval (which will almost certainly be accompanied by “rejection” or disapproval).

  4. Anxious (especially in social situations). This includes withdrawing from social situations entirely.

  5. Problems in relationships

    My personal interpretation of this is that in some cases people with RSD develop the coping skill of becoming a people pleaser. They develop this coping skill to avoid the emotional and physical pain of rejection. Their mentality is “if I am constantly being and doing what the other person wants, how can they reject me?”
    The key: own your decisions!! Working with an ADHD coach really helped me to even decide what my decisions are!
    People pleasers tend not to get their needs met and then have outbursts and feel rejected/hurt because they do not voice their opinions and what they need. I noticed this pattern in myself and am so, so glad that I finally realized how important it is.  (Don’t miss my blog post next Friday “Why Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria makes relationships so hard”.

  6. Feel like a failure because they haven’t lived up to other people’s expectations.
    Whew. This one is ginormous for me. I used to do A LOT of comparing and would feverishly try to live up to perceived (there’s that word again) expectations that I imagined others wanted of me. I did not know what I wanted for myself because I had never truly respected who I was and what I wanted; I was going with the flow of what I was “expected” to do.

  7. Sometimes think about hurting themselves
    I’ve never told anyone this but I’ve been there. That said, I never actually went through with anything. What got me through it was the phrase “If things are SO BAD that I want to die, why not do…” (it was usually something that scared me like completely move myself across the country to a new experience). That phrase really got me through because it was kinda like “if things are already at their worse then what do I have to lose by doing _____”. Plus, the thoughts terrified me and I did whatever I could to get them out of my head.

  8. Perfectionism; set high standards that they often cannot meet 
(information courtesy of WebMD)

Here’s the hitch

Everyone is different! That was a lengthly list of where and when RSD could pop up. Please keep in mind that some of the points may affect some people and others not at all. The idea is to figure out which points affect you so that you can be mindful of them and hopefully manage your emotions and then effectively communicate what you’re experiencing (including what support you need).

An example from my life

I am currently in RSD mode! I’m feeling very “low” and am catching myself saying and acting based on RSD. I have been with my boyfriend for 3 months now and we are about to spend a full week together! (His parents are going away and we are “house sitting” and watching his dog). Ahhhh, isn’t that exciting! Well, it should be! I am fucking terrified. In reality I really am excited; it’ll be so nice to spend a full week together without time constraints on the time that we are together. Here is how RSD is kicking my ass:

  • I am scared that he doesn’t actually want to spend the time with me and I have somehow talked him into having me over for a full week. Wrong!

  • Yesterday I heard myself saying to him “You still okay with spending the full week together?”
    See what I was doing there… I was getting him to reject me so that I could just “get it over with”. When in reality it is the last thing that I would ever want. Stop it, brain!

  • I am also thinking that after spending a FULL WEEK with me he will get super bored or find me annoying and not want to be with me anymore. Well… can’t answer that yet! 😉

It is soooooo exhausting to be constantly talking myself out of this shit storm that my RSD creates for me. It’s like I am in a never-ending battle with myself. Butttt guess what! I have the power because I know what my brain is doing; it’s trying to protect me. But guess what brain! I know what you are doing and am going to continue to be mindful and challenge you

The key to unlocking rejection sensitivity dysphoria is communication!

If you happen to be experiencing all the strong feelings of rejection then take a look inside yourself. Figure out what is going on:

  • How are you feeling without the fear of being rejected?
    • I like to journal or verbally process (talk it out with a friend) to really understand what is going on.

  • Was there miscommunication along the way?
    • Can this miscommunication be fixed?
    • Were you and the other party involved on the same page?

It may not be easy for you to take a step back so ask a friend and talk it out. Please make sure to choose your friends wisely. If you hear them saying you are overreacting or something along the lines of that.. they may not be the best person to help. What you need is a sounding board to get your feelings out, sort through them and see if there was possibly some miscommunication.

When you figure out where rejection is popping up for you then you can:

  1. Figure out what support you need from others.
  2. Learn how to catch yourself when you are telling yourself stories like “they don’t like me”.

All that said, here’s how you can explain how RSD affects you as an individual:

  1. You now know what RSD is and how to explain it as a whole. Try writing down how you would explain it to someone.

  2. You are aware of the ways that RSD pop up in people’s lives.

  3. Figure out how RSD affects you and where it pops up in your life.
  4. Girls, keep in mind that it often shows up during PMS! (As if we don’t already have enough to deal with…).

  5. Decide what support you need from those around you.

  6. Try your best to overcome any fears you may have and explain to your loved ones and those who matter what you are going through!

Remember, I’m always a short e-mail or message away! If you are stuck, don’t go through this alone!

I found out about RSD back in Feb 2018. Here is the post I wrote about it: “She’s not just a pretty face” 

**I found a great article on WebMD of all places… It helped me to explain a few pieces of this article!

Next Friday: Why Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria makes relationships so hard

Partner with an ADHD Coach and Invest In Yourself For 2019

Happy New Year!!

I hope that you all had an amazing past couple of weeks and were able to spend your time off doing whatever makes YOU happy!

Today I want to talk about how investing in ADHD coaching changed my life in 2018. I’ll later point out how you can do the same to make 2019 the year you harness your ADHD!

How I Invested in Myself and ADHD Coaching in 2018

I wanted to start off this blog post by explaining (as fast as possible) why 2018 was so pivotal for me.

  1. I was at a point where I was sick of myself and what I had (or didn’t have) going on in my life. I had the “poor me” attitude.
  2. Then BAM! I was diagnosed with ADHD back in 2017, in my late 20s, and finally felt like I had an explanation for the way my life had been going. It was great that I had an explanation/diagnosis, but what could I do with it?! My psychologist didn’t have any resources for me and my doctor wanted to prescribe medication. I knew there had to be some other way that I could help myself…
  3. I craved other people who could understand exactly what I was going through so I started an in-person adult ADHD support group in the West Island of Montreal with the help of Nathalie Pedicelli (who is a fellow ADHD-er and an ADHD/Organizer Coach).
  4. I needed a way to get my built up feelings out so I started my blog and an Instagram account, Missleadingly ADHD.
  5. I still craved more information, a better understanding of ADHD and what exactly my diagnosis meant for me so I invested in myself and enrolled in the Simply ADHD and Personal Transformation Course at the ADD Coach Academy. I fell in love with what ADDCA was doing and how great I felt and wanted to help others better understand themselves. This led me to continue my training at ADDCA and start the coaching program.
  6. When I was training with The ADD Coach Academy, I had an amazing group of classmates who were also going through their own journeys. These women became my personal coaches that helped me to grow in ways that I can’t even begin to explain. I will always be grateful to them and the roles that they have played and will continue to play in my life. Special shoutout to Mama Bear, Natalie Nolan, who was my personal transformation learning parter (we would text all day, everyday and have 2hour+ phone conversations where, naturally, the time flew by).
  7. I finished my training at the ADD Coach Academy back in October 2018 and am now launching my business as an ADHD Coach.
  8. Lastly, I got my own coach! I practice what I preach and invest in myself. I have my own coach, Maddy, to help me manage my emotions and have a sounding board to ensure that I stick to my goals.

How you can do it too:

Get a coach!! Hells yeah I’m biased, but for good reason… Coaching completely changed my life and was the best investment I have ever made. This is what coaching can do for you:

  1. Personalized, personalized, personalized.
    Why is this so important?! Each and every one of us is unique! If you are trying to find a job in carpentry because you heard that your brother’s, wife’s, cousin also has ADHD and is doing really well as a carpenter, hate to break it to you but it probably won’t work out. Together, we look at who you are and what works for YOU. We investigate how your current efforts may not be tailored to your unique self.
  2. Change your narrative
    Self-talk is something that bogs most, if not all of us down. If we are continuously telling ourselves stories like “we can’t do the thing”, then how will we ever do it? I reiterate to my clients how they are speaking to themselves and we look at ways to change their self-talk so that the conversation they have with themselves will better suit them and their desired path.
  3. Reach your goals
    Whenever I see the line “reach your goals” I can’t help think that it is so cheesy. That said, I’ll explain why it is important to mention. We are often living in the present and don’t stop to think about what our goals even are. OR, our goals are extremely vague. For example:  “move out” or “buy a car”. These goals don’t get reached for a few reasons:

    • “Move out” and “buy a car” are extremely vague. These goals need to be broken down into more manageable steps. I use a software called Coach Accountable with my clients, which sends text reminders to remind them which action steps they want to complete in order to reach their desired goal.
    • The perfectionism monster gets in our way. The perfectionism monster drags us down before we even start our goals. We tend to think “it isn’t going to be perfect, so why even start”.
    • There are other things that get in our way and the list is lengthly because we are all unique! What may be getting in your way may be completely different to what gets in another persons way. That is why coaching is so powerful; we are looking at who YOU are and what gets in YOUR way so that we can jump over that hurdle and cross one finish line at a time!
  4. Put yourself first
    Learn how to be selfish and put yourself first! My clients and I look at what is getting in their way of doing the things that they want to do for themselves but never seem to find the time to do it. A few examples could be journaling, going to the gym and cooking healthy meals. The culprits that we see getting in their way are often:

    • guilt,
    • disbelief that they deserve to have/accomplish their goal and
    • they don’t believe that they can actually accomplish what they would like to do since they don’t think they have in the past.
  5. Find your voice
    There is a huge shift that I noticed within myself and with my clients. When we start to:

    1. Pay attention to what we want,
    2. Start speaking to ourselves nicely and
    3. Start to take action to get what we want

The result is assertiveness! We start to understand who we are, what we deserve and start to actively act on the pursuit of what is best for ourselves and who we are!

If any of this rings true to you, please know that you don’t have to go through life having ADHD alone. Reach out, whether it be to partner with me as your ADHD coach or just to chat!

Stay tuned! Next Friday I will be posting “How to explain Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria“.

I’m breaking up with my phone! — Day Five.

Screen Time: 2h19min
Pickups: 48

(I am not improving lol. The elastic that I had on my phone fell off)


Here is a summary because day five is a big one!

  • WWW: What for, why now, what else?
    • What are you picking up for phone to do?
    • Why are you picking up your phone now instead of later
    • What else could you do right now besides pick up your phone?
  • Delete the social media apps (I can’t because of my business BUT I did put them all in a folder that says “WORK ONLY”
  • Don’t be strict with yourself and say for example “I have to go to the gym five days a week”. Instead reframe it and say “I go to the gym give days a week”. Notice the difference?

How to Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price

I’m breaking up with my phone! – Day One.

I’m breaking up with my phone! – Day Two.

I’m breaking up with my phone! – Day Three.

I’m breaking up with my phone! – Day Four.

I’m breaking up with my phone! – Day Four.

Screen Time: 2h 6min
Pickups: 56


By now, we’ve tracked our phone usage for a few days. Now that we’ve gathered this data, let’s analyze it.

  1. Look at the results from the tracking app that you installed
    The tracking data may not be entirely accurate, but that’s okay — we’re just trying to get a general sense of how our guesses match up to reality.

    How many times per day did you pick up your phone, and how much time did you spend on it?  How does this compare to your guessses? What, if anything surprised you?

  2.  Notice what you’ve noticed
    Next, think about what you’ve noticed over the past twenty-four hours about when and why you typically use your phone.

    • What did you notice about how – and how often – your phone interrupts you, or does something that grabs your attention?
    • How did these interruptions make you feel?
    • What did you notice about how you felt physically and emotionally before, during, and after you used your phone, and during times when you were separated from it? For example, did you feel relaxed, tense, excited, anxious, or some other emotion?
    • What did you pick up on about how your phone affects your levels of dopamine and cortisol?
    • What did you notice about the moments when you felt you were in a state of “flow” (that is, some combination of engaged, energized, joyful, effective, and purposeful)?
      • What were you doing?
      • Whom were you with?
      • Was your phone involved?
    • How did you feel when you saw other people on their phones?
    • Putting this all together, what patterns did you notice?
    • What, if anything, surprised you?

How to Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price

Here are my answers:

  1. Look at the results from the tracking app that you installed
    How many times per day did you pick up your phone, and how much time did you spend on it?  How does this compare to your guesses? What, if anything surprised you?

    –> The amount of “pickups” that I do astounds me. WHAT A WASTE. It’s the fact that my phone is grabbing my attention and distracting me ~56 times a day.

  2.  Notice what you’ve noticed
    Next, think about what you’ve noticed over the past twenty-four hours about when and why you typically use your phone.

    • What did you notice about how – and how often – your phone interrupts you, or does something that grabs your attention?
      –> I noticed that it is a huge time waster! I just set a timer to write this blog post for 40 min. I now have 15 minutes left and I did at least 3 “pick ups” because my computer notified me that someone txted me. (I have since turned it off but holy frustrating!!)
    • How did these interruptions make you feel?
      Extremely frustrated… no wonder why I feel like I’m on a constant ferris wheel and don’t get anything done!
    • What did you notice about how you felt physically and emotionally before, during, and after you used your phone, and during times when you were separated from it? For example, did you feel relaxed, tense, excited, anxious, or some other emotion?
      I am constantly feeling irritated. The only time that I do not feel irritated is when I decide that I’m going to sit down and respond to text messages and have a nice conversation with someone. Otherwise, I just feel like I am constantly being interrupted and am unable to get anything done. There is also this ginormous feeling at the back of my mind that I need to answer my phone and check if I have some sort of notification. I cannot wait to get rid of that feeling!!!
    • What did you pick up on about how your phone affects your levels of dopamine and cortisol?
      I am pretty sure that when I am picking up my phone it is because my cortisol is spiking and I’m searching for that dopamine “hit”. Most of the time I will not get that dopamine that I am looking for and my cortisol will spike even more. This is the constant ferris wheel that I am on. PLUS add to the ferris wheel that I need to return to what I was doing previously before I was interrupted. Talk about disruptive, especially for someone with ADHD.
    • What did you notice about the moments when you felt you were in a state of “flow” (that is, some combination of engaged, energized, joyful, effective, and purposeful)?
      • What were you doing?
        I was reading, on a call with a client or doing some creative thinking. Also, I was having in-person conversations with people that I really enjoy their company.
      • Whom were you with?
        I was with friends, family or on a date.
      • Was your phone involved?
        Nope! Only to show someone a picture or to looking up something on a menu.
    • How did you feel when you saw other people on their phones?
      I don’t think that it really bothers me. It is what people do nowadays… The only reason why it would bother me is if I am trying to have a conversation with someone and they are on their phone.
    • Putting this all together, what patterns did you notice?
      I notice that I don’t even really like having my phone beside me. I would like to change the story that I have been telling myself that “someone needs me, someone has messaged me and that I need to constantly check my phone for my business.” All are false. I also get this ginormous feeling like I am forgetting something. My phone ends up being my security blanket that will let me know if I have forgotten something. I think I would also like to squash the bug that is buzzing around my head saying that I have forgotten something.

    • What, if anything, surprised you?
      What surprised me… I think it was how often I feel like I need to pick up my phone. It’s just so silly and comical. I actually laugh to myself when I realize that I have picked my phone up out of habit. Time to break the habit!!

P.s. I totally forgot to put the elastic band on my phone so I have ACTUALLY just put it on now and I’m thinking it will do the trick to get rid of these unnecessary phone pick ups! I will also be hiding it away in a drawer (out of sight, out of mind.. I hope!)

I’m breaking up with my phone! – Day One.

I’m breaking up with my phone! – Day Two.

I’m breaking up with my phone! – Day Three.