ADHD and tiredness, a girl at her desk looking exhausted

Why ADHD is so tiring… and what to do about it

EXPECTATIONS

Many people expect that those with ADHD need to appear hyperactive and energetic all of the time. “As if driven by a motor”   is a common expression to describe ADHD’ers. However, that’s not always the case! Truth is, ADHD can be quite exhausting. 😫😴

everyone expects adhd'ers to be energetic as if driven by a mothor. A girl in the picture looks really happy and enthusiastic.
struggling to sleep, lack of sleep in ADHD can impact focus, mood and energy levels. Girl in bed.

STRUGGLING TO SLEEP

There are many reasons why someone with ADHD might struggle to sleep: restless legs syndrome, racing thoughts, delayed sleep phase syndrome, just to name a few… but the fact is, we do struggle! And you know what having a bad night’s sleep does to our energy and ADHD symptoms? Nothing good. 😅

REJECTION SENSITIVITY DYSPHORIA

If we haven’t worked on boundaries and self-awareness, we might take on more responsibilities than we should. Rejection sensitivity dysphoria – the fear of real or perceived rejection can also play a part in this. It often leads to overwhelm, and overworking and takes a toll on energy and self-esteem. It can feel like we’re on a never-ending hamster wheel.

Rejection sensitivity dysphoria might make it difficult to set boundaries. Girl at the desk with a load of work.
ADHD and difficulty having a work life balance, responsibilities pile up causing a burnout.

NO WORK LIFE BALANCE = BURNOUT

Since we often feel like we’re not doing enough, ADHD’ers might struggle to create a work/life balance. And the life part is the one that often gets left behind. So eventually we might end up in a burnout-causing situation, where everything seems too much and out of control with no hope of return. 🤯

HYPERFOCUS

Even seemingly great symptoms, such as hyperfocus, can be problematic when it comes to energy. As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. And hyperfocus really takes a toll and depletes our energy cup. Okay, I hate to admit this but many of us also expect to perform like we’re hyperfocusing ALL THE TIME. It’s not only unrealistic but impacts self-esteem and how we view ourselves and our productivity

ADHD hyperfocus can also cause tiredness.
ADHD anxiety and depression can be really tiring. Feeling like you should be achieving more.

DEPRESSION & ANXIETY

And don’t even get me started with the depression and anxiety that unmanaged ADHD can bring. It can be really difficult to rest when you constantly feel like you should be reaching for more and achieving more. 🙃

COMBATING EXHAUSTION

🧠 Working with a mental health professional to process emotions, trauma, perfectionism & limiting beliefs.

🧠 Working with an ADHD coach to untangle overwhelm and tackle ADHD challenges by taking purposeful action.

🧠 Making rest a priority. You can’t pour from an empty cup. While working on ADHD challenges is important, learning to rest without guilt and shame is just as important. So, ask yourself:

  • What activities make me feel rested?
  • How do I know that I need rest? What thoughts and body sensations do I notice?
  • What prevents me from taking time to rest?
  • What could improve my energy levels?
  • How can I take the first small step?
what can help with ADHD and tiredness? Strategies to combat exhaustion and burnout.

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