Alex Gilbert & Katy Weber: Managing ADHD Overwhelm

Apr 08, 2024


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“My ‘To Do’ list feels like a table covered in those buzzers they give you at chain restaurants. Everything feels urgent and everything is competing for my attention.”

You may remember that I have another podcast called @theadhdlounge , which I co-host with fellow ADHD coach Alex Gilbert. This week I’m sharing one of my favorite episodes from that podcast, in which Alex & I talk about managing ADHD overwhelm.

We identify some of the main causes of ADHD overwhelm, as well as decision fatigue and paralysis. We also share some of the strategies we use in our own lives and with our coaching clients, including tools and resources to help them feel more motivated and confident in their progress.


Instagram: @theadhdlounge


Links & Resources:

Couples Counseling For Parents podcast

The ADHD Lounge: Episode 7: ADHD & Relationships (Part 1)

Pre-order Too Tired to Fight: 13 Essential Conflicts Parents Must Have to Keep Their Relationship Strong



Alex Gilbert 0:00
My job before COVID, when I was being laid off was very overwhelming. And I described it as being in a boat that had a lot of holes in it, that I had to plug. I had one or, and no life jacket, and I was the only person who could get it to shore. And I think that that's a lot of where people feel overwhelmed. They feel like they're drowning, they can't come up for air, and you think you're the only one who has to plug in the holes.

Katy Weber 0:37
Hello, and welcome to the women and ADHD podcast. I'm your host, Katy Weber. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 45. And it completely turned my world upside down. I've been looking back at so much of my life, school, jobs, my relationships, all of it with this new lens and it has been nothing short of overwhelming. I quickly discovered I was not the only woman to have this experience. And now I interview other women who liked me discovered in adulthood they have ADHD and are finally feeling like they understand who they are and how to best lean into their strengths, both professionally and personally. Hello there. Here we are at episode 182. And this week, I'm going to be doing things a little bit differently. Again, as some of you may or may not recall, I actually have another podcast called the ADHD Lounge, which I co host with fellow ADHD coach Alex Gilbert, the format's a little different from this one. Every month we interview an expert on a topic related to ADHD and learning disabilities. We have tackled disordered eating, we have tackled mindset relationships, decluttering, money management, medications and treatment plans. And in addition to interviewing an expert on the topic, Alex and I then have an episode where we talk about what has worked in our life and in the lives of the clients that we've worked with. We've been having a lot of fun over there. And so I thought I would share with you one of my favorite episodes from the ADHD lounge podcast here on women and ADHD. This was an episode we put out on managing ADHD overwhelm. Together, Alex and I identify what causes ADHD overwhelm, as well as decision fatigue and paralysis. We talk about some of our own experiences with overwhelm. And we also share some of the strategies we use in our own lives and with our coaching clients, including tools and resources to help them feel more motivated and confident in their progress. I really really love this conversation and this episode, so I hope you do too. So please enjoy and make sure to check out the ADHD lounge podcast. I'll put a link to that in the show notes. And make sure to come back next week where I will be back with some new and very exciting guests. Okay, enjoy. Welcome to the ADHD lounge podcast.

Alex Gilbert 3:04
Whether you are someone with ADHD or learning disability or just curious to learn more,

Katy Weber 3:09
come hang out with us in our lounge.

Alex Gilbert 3:11
I'm Alex. I'm a mom, a New Yorker, a Mets fan, a yogi and a brunch enthusiast. I also happen to be diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD at the age of eight. I'm the founder of table consulting, a coaching and consulting business that supports adults with learning disabilities and or ADHD. And I'm

Katy Weber 3:29
clearly an ADHD advocate, coach, mom, author, founder of Women and ADHD, and I host the popular women in ADHD podcast. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 45. And now I have made it my mission to help neurodivergent adults learn to love their brains.

Alex Gilbert 3:45
In each episode, we'll be diving deep into the world of ADHD, discussing unique challenges sharing our personal stories, providing support and resources and bringing in experts to help us along the way.

Katy Weber 3:57
You can also find the two of us over at the ADHD an all in one ADHD coaching community for personalized guidance, goal planning, skill, building expert roundtables and so much more to help you make the most of your amazing brain and live life to the fullest.

Alex Gilbert 4:13
So grab your favorite drink, maybe a croissant, grab a seat or start walking or cleaning or however you choose to listen, because of the ADHD lounge, you can come exactly as you are.

Katy Weber 4:29
Alright, so welcome to our second episode of the ADHD lounge podcast. It's Alex Gilbert and myself, Katy Weber here today. For this week's topic. We really wanted to get to the idea of ADHD overwhelm, and it's something most of us face. It's something a lot of our clients come to us with right from the get go, which is I have so many things I want to get done. I don't know where to start. I'm overwhelmed and I end up paralyzed on the couch. she, you know, in that stuck place, and you know, it's it's a, there's a lot to unpack there. So we figured we would just at least get started with some basics around overwhelm, and some of our tips as coaches for getting past that sorting through the trash as I call it and getting to a place of just taking those first steps. I'm

Alex Gilbert 5:23
also thinking, Katie, as you mentioned, that the people who come to us are like, where do I start? And I'm often like, well, you just did it. You just started, you just started by acknowledging the fact that you are overwhelmed. And you know, you need support. So what that looks like might vary and how we can get you through that. But at least you're starting and if you are listening to this is because you were aware, you're overwhelmed. And this kind of consumes you either weekly, monthly, daily, whatever it is. So that is a great place to start.

Katy Weber 6:01
Good point. Yes. And I think also, there's a sense from a lot of the clients I work with that there is some secret sauce, there is some thing that's going to be revealed to them that where it's like, you know, everybody, you know, that feeling that we all have, which is like everybody knows how to do this. But me, everybody knows how to adult but me, and everybody got the manuals. So what is the secret thing that if I implement, it's going to work for me? And the answer to that is like yes and no, right? Like, it's really like, there are a lot of strategies that are very helpful, but there's no secret ADHD handbook out there that's going to fix all of the issues, especially these issues of feeling overwhelmed like feeling overwhelmed is just part and parcel with of life with ADHD. As far as I'm concerned, I'm curious what your thoughts are.

Alex Gilbert 6:49
I was also gonna say that impulsiveness of I want the quick fix, of like, let's figure this out. Now I know how to manage my overwhelm, let's implement all of those things all at once is usually something that happens a lot to people with ADHD because you hear the solution, you might read the solution. It might work for other people and not work for you. But then all of a sudden, if you're sitting there and thinking, it worked for them. And it doesn't work for me, what's wrong with me? And the answer is nothing. It's just strategies that we're going to talk about might work for you. At some time, like some point in your life, they work better than others, you might find that the strategy that you're working works for you for a while, and then you have to adapt because other aspects of your life have changed. That's part of this process. It is it is your life changes, your life evolves. We're not sedentary in how we go about our life. So the ways in which we manage our overwhelm is not going to be the same no matter what the case is. And I think that that's also important to manage.

Katy Weber 8:06
Okay, so first off, let's talk about what are some of the common causes of overwhelm when you have an ADHD brain?

Alex Gilbert 8:15
I think a lot of people who come to me, when they talk to me about being overwhelmed, it's because they think they have to do everything all at once. That they have a million things on their to do list and everything feels like a top priority. When really, if we started to analyze it, it's not some things are a lot more obvious that they should do first and then others. I think that's part of it. What were what were you going to say? Because I feel like I just cut you off?

Katy Weber 8:46
No, no, I think that's exactly it. And I think you hit on the head with just like it's a prioritization issue. As far as I'm concerned, right. Everything feels urgent, I always liken it to those buzzers that you get at chain restaurants, where I'm like, everything feels like that are all at once on a table demanding my attention. And you know, that is one of the executive functioning issues is prioritization. And it's something that I think we struggle with in terms of everything that comes immediately to the fore of our brain becomes the new important thing that we really have a very difficult sense of realizing what is truly important, as opposed to what is immediate.

Alex Gilbert 9:28
It's also the thing that comes in front of you first. So I think when you might have an idea as to what you're prioritizing, but let's say somebody at your office comes into your office, and it was like, hey, we need to work on this. You drop everything immediately. Because that's the thing that you see directly in front of you. So it is still a prioritizing issue. But all of a sudden somebody brings something to you and all of a sudden it's like it went out the door because you've been interrupted Your focus has been interrupted. The other aspect is that time management piece, sometimes you are overwhelmed because the task that you want to do, or I shouldn't say want to do, the task you're avoiding generally, is the is the thing that you don't want to do. Because it's frustrating for you, you don't necessarily know where the starting off point is. And therefore, it's consuming you because you are not sure where to start how to figure out what tasks are involved, or it's the opposite, where you see all of the little tasks that have to be done in order to accomplish this one big goal. And that to you feels like I don't have enough motivation to start. Right.

Katy Weber 10:45
And that's where I always used to think I had some kind of processing disorder, because I remember experiencing that a lot in school when I was younger, right, which is just that feeling of, there's this end goal, and there's so many steps that I have to get to, to get to this end of this giant project. And like, I don't even know where to start also, like I see all the steps at once and so instantly overwhelmed. And it's like you see everything and nothing all at? Yeah. And you know, really feeling like, I don't know how to take that first step. That is where we really, really need help from, like you said, right from the get go. Just before we've even taken that first step. But I think we tend to like say, I have to figure out what my first step is, before I get help. Like, we have to show up already knowing things. And I'm like, where does that come from?

Alex Gilbert 11:38
The pleasing aspect of us the overcompensation? I mean, I could go on and on about where that comes from. But it's, it's true. And I think that there's no shame in asking for help. I'm like thinking as you were talking about when I had this boss, she would give me a list of all the things that needed to be accomplished. And when I would sit in the room, and she would talk to me. And I realized I was the sole person who had to do all of these things. I would go silent, which clearly, that's not my personality. If I went completely silent, everybody in the room knew something was wrong. And it was usually because I was so overwhelmed that I had no words, because I'm processing all of those steps, and how am I going to have enough time to do all of those things? How am I going to motivate myself to sit down and focus on that, who is going to proofread all of those things, I mean, it is every step can feel overwhelming, even if you can figure out that step. But what we're going to talk about is not necessarily that you have to do it by yourself. And I think that that was always the part that was frustrating for me was I always felt like this was my challenge alone, and that no one would be able to help me. And some of what I think you and I are going to talk about is not that you're doing it alone, but how you can make it a little bit easier if you are on your own, and ways in which you can get support from people around you to make you feel less alone in those tasks. Because the tasks that feel the most satisfying are the ones that we could just check the box and be like, Oh my god, we're done. It's like, graduated next level, like it doesn't come back to me like the boomerang like this is complete. So I think you and I have a lot of different strategies on how we can get that feeling and help you feel more motivated to keep going. Yeah,

Katy Weber 13:41
that's a good point. There are so many different levels to what support looks like. And it's not always necessarily another human, although that would be great. But it's you know, like having a toolbox where you can say like, what do I need in this moment, even before you even take that first step?

Alex Gilbert 13:59
So yeah, I'd love to know like, what strategies do you really work on with your clients when it comes to managing that overwhelm? Like what are what are some tips that really seem to feel universal in some way?

Katy Weber 14:15
So one of the things I work on with my especially with my group coaching clients is the recognizing the difference between an interest based brain and and and a neurotypical sort of information are important space brain and realizing that we are actually incredibly motivated. We're actually incredibly productive when we are interested in something. So the first step in this process is to just recognize that we are not actually inherently lazy human beings that design methods to this madness, right.

Alex Gilbert 14:50
Can you put that on a bumper sticker?

Katy Weber 14:53
It's like, and so one of the things I actually do with my clients is I walk them through like what are some of the things you're really good at it because chances are, you know, a lot of neuro divergence have issues, you know, some of them, you know, some of us are really, really difficult at like feeding ourselves. And others of us don't have an issue with that some of us love cooking, right? A lot of people who are neurodivergent have a really hard time with certain hygiene like tooth brushing, right things that don't have an immediate reward or an immediate consequence. And some other people who are neurodivergent have like such sensory issues around their mouths are able to do things on a regular consistent basis, and then identifying what the motivation is behind that. So for somebody who is really, really good at brushing their teeth, or at least really, really consistent with it, usually there's like a sensory issue, or they're dentists or, you know, like me, extensive gum issues, to finally get me to have sort of follow through on that, right. So it's like something happens that finally flip that switch for you. Usually it involves your dentist yelling at you, or really expensive bills, or some kind of debilitating issues. But like you identifying that there is always a motivation. And like what that is because I think that's really, really key when it comes to figuring out how to approach something if it's not inherently interesting, and recognizing that if something was inherently interesting, you would have already done it. So I would do it. That's how we approach things. So that was always like the first step. As far as I'm concerned, by the

Alex Gilbert 16:28
way that a toothbrush thing, I, the game change. For me, I hated my electric toothbrush, because I hated when you would stand an electric toothbrush, and then it would get like slimy and gross. And then I didn't want to touch it. So it was like a sensory issue. So I found a toothbrush that you put upside down. And it like cleans it with like this Sonic whatever, so that it's clean, but it never gets like a soggy bottom. And that completely changed my piece on brushing my teeth. So I totally connected with that sensory piece.

Katy Weber 17:06
For me, I have increate other chores into my tooth brushing routine. So now I it's like a two minutes, I have one of those toothbrushes that buzzes every 30 seconds to tell you to shift to a different place in your mouth, which sometimes I pay attention to, sometimes I don't. But usually I use that two minutes, I don't stand still I walk around, I go around, you know, I'm upstairs, I open the windows at night, like I have other things that I then do that I've kind of habit stacked to get it done. But anyway, so so the point is, there's like, we have to be really proactive when it comes to something that we don't naturally want to do. But also recognize that it's really just sort of like solving a puzzle, right? It's not you're getting out of that place where you're like, I'm a terrible human. I'm lazy, I'm boring, you know, I'm procrastinating because I'm suck, like all of the sort of emotional reactions that we tend to have to not doing things is to really get to that place and get much more logical place where you can say like, something needs to happen here that isn't happening. So how do I identify what is happening? And so for me, and with my clients, usually it's some sort of motivator. And then there's also if the motivation is lacking, like for instance, you know, some one of the ones that's really difficult are like, doctor's appointments, a lot of us struggle with that, because it's like, yeah, there's no urgency there. It's really annoying, you never know how long it's gonna take. You never know when you pick up the phone, if it's going to be a five minute phone conversation or 30 minutes on hold. So it's like there's so many variables around that that are really frustrating. So just recognizing, like some of those like really sitting and thinking like, Okay, this is why I'm reluctant to do this.

Alex Gilbert 18:44
I think the recognition of that is definitely there. I think the motivation there is also part of it. And it's really hard to self motivate, especially when you don't have to feel accountable to anybody else. You're just holding yourself accountable to it. So that's why you're like, No, I'm just gonna, like let it pass. So I didn't go to that doctor's visit, like I'm really the only one who's gonna suffer. So you kind of put yourself in the back seat and it's like, okay, but you need to prioritize yourself. When you're mentioning doctor visit, I would like twice a year schedule, two days where all of my doctor's appointments were like in those two days, and I would reward myself with something at the end of those days, like a dinner out with my friends or getting or getting my nails done or something in between or on the way there. If I didn't have to do like fasting blood work or something, I would go pick up like my favorite coffee and it wasn't just like Starbucks, it was something specialty. It was just the tiniest piece. But I I want to go to part of what I do. And I think this really plays in nicely to what you're saying is how to even figure out where to start because a lot of that is like, I know where to start and therefore I'm doing it I know What's motivating? But how do we kind of take a step back and say, Where do I start. And a lot of the times, I talked to people about just doing a full brain dump, write down everything that is in your mind so that you can visualize it. Because if it's just sitting up here, it's gonna overwhelm you, because you're the only one who knows it. That's kind of when you're like in those workspace scenarios, and you're like, I have to do it, because no one else knows what to do. I want you to take that and put it down on paper. And I have people write down all of the things, whether it's work related or home related or personal, it doesn't matter. And then we kind of rank in order of priorities. But I actually start with what's least important, because that's the easiest thing, we can just throw to the side and say, Okay, now I know where to start. But also breaking that task down. You mentioned, making the doctor appointment, it's calling the doctor, it's driving, potentially, or walking or wherever you live, getting to the appointments, sitting there, maybe having to do a follow up appointment and schedule that and then it's also going to a pharmacy if you have to pick up a medication after that appointment. Who knows it's what do those steps look like that we can get that feeling of check that box, I did that part, this part feels tangible. And I can be successful if I just did this part.

Katy Weber 21:28
Yeah, I like to use the example of Thanksgiving dinner where I'm like, we don't show up to the grocery store with with Thanksgiving dinner written on a piece of paper, right? Like we have to get there. So we have to think we have to work backwards, we have to figure out what all the dishes are, we have to figure out who's going to be making what and who's helping and who's bringing, we have to then figure out what are the ingredients for each dish. And then we have to figure out if we have those ingredients, and what we have and what we don't have, right. And so it's like that 30, backwards,

Alex Gilbert 21:59
backwards, it's that low hanging fruit of like, I know, these parts.

Katy Weber 22:06
And oftentimes, that's where I think a lot of us feel like we should be able to do that on our own. And that's I feel like that is in those sorts of prompts like, like I think of like quarterly financial planning are some of the things I'm really bad at, which is like, you know, you could give me a list of questions that I need to ask myself in terms of what are my next steps? I'm still not going to answer those questions alone, right? Like, I literally will need either somebody to do it with me, or I need to be prompted like there's something even just about holding ourselves accountable. That can be really, really difficult with ADHD. So it's like recognizing, like, How long am I going to spend trying to force myself to do something versus, you know, getting better at immediately recognizing this isn't something I'm going to do on my own. So now what, right and again, getting out of that, like, Oh, I just need to try harder. I just need a full weekend of, you know, unstructured time or all these things that we tell ourselves are basically these judgment calls about how we're terrible for not doing it, as opposed to getting out of the emotional place and saying, Yeah, this isn't something I'm going to do so. Right.

Alex Gilbert 23:11
But you're also thinking about that, that accountability factor. And that's what we're really hoping when we do these body double doubling sessions that you can actually feel like, you have the support of other people in this community to hold you accountable to do something, some people are sitting on those, you know, body doubling sessions and putting their laundry away, that is really hard. And if someone is not in like standing over you to say like, put your laundry away, it's overwhelming me, if you see somebody else doing it, oh, you know what, okay, I can do it. Now somebody, somebody's here to do it. If someone's not in your physical space, my husband knows. If the apartment is a mess, I will tell him I'm very overwhelmed with how messy the apartment is. And he'll look at me and be like, so I need to start in order for you to start moving and like, exactly, like, support doesn't have to be physically in person. If it is sometimes it is as simple as having somebody start. But that's also what we're hoping you can get from the body doubling session to that we're here supporting each other, virtually to do that.

Katy Weber 24:17
Yeah, a client I had, who was used accountability in really unique ways. And so one of the things that she did when she needed to clean a space is she would do it, she would make it fun, which I think is something that helps with interest for a lot of us were for us a lot of the time, which is how can I make this more interesting and more fun. So I would take before and after pictures and there was sort of like a challenge, right? And a lot of people do that with before and after pictures, but she would send the before picture she would text it to her friend and say, if I haven't texted you back in an hour check in on me. And I thought that was so smart because it's like there's so many boxes checked off there in terms of accountability. It's like you've got you've given yourself a deadline. So you've given yourself a little bit of urgency, which is also, you know, like when I talked about the five key elements that something needs to have for us to be interested in it. And this is you can find this on the internet too. But it's really it's sort of these things around a task where it's like, does it have urgency? Is there a timeframe, when it doesn't have a timeframe to it, it can be really, really difficult for us to get motivated. So can I create a timeframe? Basically, can I can I make it urgent in some way. And, you know, one of the things I used to do, I remember when I was a kid, and I had no idea how to ADHD, but when my parents would make me clean my room, I would pretend that I was an adult, and my bedroom was an apartment. And I would like get a phone call from my parents, and they from the airport, and they'd be like, Hi, honey, we're gonna come visit you. And we're gonna be here in half an hour. And I'd be like, okay, can't wait to see you and that I would hang up my imaginary phone. And

Alex Gilbert 26:02
I love that pretend play, right.

Katy Weber 26:04
And I was like, wow, that was really brilliant. I've little eight year old me to come up with that just as a way of, you know, creating those ways, that sense of urgency. So I

Alex Gilbert 26:13
did something where I would play my favorite game. I love Tetris, that has always been like my favorite game, I would play Tetris for a certain amount of time. And once I got to that time, then I would focus on something else. But I was already in a hyper focus mode, because I was so consistent with that, and I felt that dopamine fix that I could get up and do something. But one of my clients made a special playlist that was like 20 minutes long. And when she would tell herself, she needed to clean, she would put on that 20 minute playlists. And when that playlist was over, she was done. So she, she knew how long the playlist was for and she had, like, certain playlists that were certain amount of time, but the whole point was, she could like dance around. So she had like a 90s mix on this one. And like, show tunes for this type of one, whatever it was, it was like different enough. But she knew when it was over. That's all she had to do. If something didn't get finished, maybe she felt motivated enough to keep going. But if she didn't, she felt like it was exactly what she needed in that moment.

Katy Weber 27:22
That's really smart. Yeah. Yeah, I feel like music is a great motivator for a lot of us. So So another one that I wanted to also get to, which is like, is it novel? Is it new is it you know, is another one that I think a lot of us struggle with when especially when it comes to housework, and ridden the redundancy of a lot of domestic tasks, because it's like, I'm cleaning dishes, and they're just gonna get dirty again, I'm cleaning laundry and folding in, it's just gonna get worn again, right? It's like that cycle of mundane nests that I think really, really keeps us from doing something. But we always joke about the fact that it's like, if you want me to clean your garage, I will happily go do it. Because I'm like, it's somebody to grind. Like, it's not mine. Thinking of ways that we can infuse novelty into what we're doing. Because also, again, I think it's really important, but oftentimes, if we're in a state of overwhelm, we can't get to a place where we feel like how am I going to make this more interesting. And that's where I think it can be helpful to bring somebody else into it. Or again, like coming up, you know, brainstorming with a community of people who get it right, who can say I had a friend who did this, and it was really cool. And that'll spark your interest and be like, Oh, okay, what can I do? One of my favorite examples of this, and then I'll let you go. But it was like one of my favorite examples of making something novel is all of the people on tick tock who do time lapse videos of themselves clean, oh, satisfying, because it is so satisfying. But at the same time, it's like they've got them sounds like all they did really was got themselves to do a boring task by setting up their camera and filming themselves doing it. And then you know, creating a post, they've made this so much more complicated. But it got them to do that thing. And that's where I think it can be really clever to come up with interesting ways to get yourself to do the thing, or even your friend with the with the music, right? It's like she paved up with this whole playlist. But it's recognizing that there's going to need to be a little more scaffolding around just doing the thing.

Alex Gilbert 29:29
Totally. And we have all those challenges of like, decluttering your spaces and I think that that's something that we can talk more about in those challenges of what are different ways in which you can motivate yourself to do the things that feel really challenges. And that kind of goes into like my next question of how much do you think mindset really comes into this overwhelm feeling of being unstuck? Yeah, they get unstuck. Well,

Katy Weber 29:57
I mean, I think that mindset is is Almost everything really, because I think when we are in a state of emotion, basically, and I liken it to treading water in a river, right, where it's like, if you're only treading water, you're not thinking about ways to strategize, you're not thinking about how you should be have learned, maybe you're thinking how I should have learned how to learn how to swim, but like, you know, you're not really thinking about anything but survival. And it can be really, really difficult to take steps when you are in a state of overwhelm. So it's really like getting how do we get ourselves out of overwhelm as fast as possible. And I think the best way to do it is to zoom out and become more logical. And one of the phrases that I use that's like a switch for me, is the term this is information, which I talked about a lot with my clients, which is like, what is happening? What is what am I learning? What am I going to take away from this? What am I going to do differently? Asking a lot of these more objective logical questions is going to get you out of a state of I'm a failure, what is wrong with me a lot of the things that we tend to think when we are in overwhelm, and really just stop yourself in your tracks and say, like, Okay, what's done is done, the past just happens. And here we are, what am I going to do now with this information? And I think that's when we can start. That's where I think we really thrive with ADHD, because those are those moments where we start to spin plates, and start to connect the dots and be like, Okay, what am I going to do with this? Like, what would I do differently, and that's where I start to see people really, you know, it's like, you've come to shore and now you're in a state of regulation, and you can really start to think about what your steps are.

Alex Gilbert 31:39
You know, it's so interesting, I have a similar analogy with like that swimming scenario, but I use it as the feeling of drowning, or being in a boat, I used to describe this as my job before COVID, when I was being laid off was very overwhelming. And I described it as being in a boat that had a lot of holes in it, that I had to plug, I had one or, and no life jacket, and I was the only person who could get it to shore. And I think that that's a lot of where people feel overwhelmed. They feel like they're drowning, they can't come up for air, and you think you're the only one who has to plug in the holes. You're the only one who has to row to shore. But honestly, you don't even know what's at the shore. You think you want that. But a lot of times you get in you're like, was that worth it? Was that that process of getting there trying to fix everyone else's, you know, challenges? It does, it's like most of the challenges we're facing, it's not that I'm saying that they're not your own. But we've also taken on everybody else's challenges to do that. And it takes away from what our own needs are. And I try and change the environment. So instead of being in the boat, instead of being out on that island, or wherever your destination is, where can you physically take yourself out of it, so that you can take a deep breath, to look around and say, what are my needs? What do I need to do for myself to get me where I need to go? And is it even that little island that I wanted to go to? Because when you have your head down, and you're just focused on what's in front of you, you don't know what's around you. And I think that's what's also really consuming is that you don't know what's around. So I usually try and tell people like, let's let's step out of it, let's physically go to a different place. Whether you were sitting outside, sometimes I would just sit on the opposite side of my desk, because that felt different enough? Or can we put our legs up the wall or do some kind of breathing exercise that takes us out of the moment of overwhelm, so that we can say, what do I need right now? Because that's usually the best place to start. And sometimes it's I need to walk away for an hour or I need to create the to do list so that I can come in tomorrow with like, you know, fresh pair of pies. I don't know what that's going to be but you are the only person who is going to know what that's going to be in that moment.

Katy Weber 34:27
Well, and I think when we were talking about creating the ADHD lounge, that was something that we talked a lot about in terms of our goals for you know, consistency is impossible when it comes to ADHD. But one thing I think we can do consistently with something like a subscription community or you know, an ADHD coaching community is just showing up, right, which is just not having to know any of the answers not even having to know the question yet. Just having faith in the fact that when you show up for that in that space and say this is the time I'm going to say Sit, I'm gonna chat, I'm gonna work. Like, I'm just going to show up and give myself this container of space, either in body doubling, or just in a group conversation where it's like, I'm just going to have faith in the fact that conversation or the time spent in this mode of self care is going to get me out of the unstuck. And that's another thing where I think we sort of can get into a frenzy of like, Oh, my God, what do I do now? What do I do now? And sometimes it's really just like, like you said, How do I get myself to that place? Where I can even start contemplating? Yeah. And that's, you know, why I think the idea of community I think is so is so tremendously important when you are neuro divergent, because that's how we move forward is with each other.

Alex Gilbert 35:45
It's also a safe space. I mean, you know, it's really hard to communicate your sense of overwhelm to people who don't necessarily understand why you're overwhelmed, because to them, doing the dishes or doing the laundry or brushing your teeth. They're like, what is the big deal. But if you say something like that, here, we get it, we know it, we understand why it's hard. And you're not going to be judged for the fact that this might be what's challenging you right now. And the other aspect of having that as Katie, you and I also said is we wanted to create the space, we wanted to have those places to do Q and A's, to have people jump on every few weeks and say this is the question that's really burning, it's really frustrating for me, what can you tell me and then see other people who might be able to relate to that, because they're feeling that too. And that sense of self that, that you're not alone also makes a huge difference. And also, by doing these roundtables of bringing in different people on different topics and different experts to talk about the things that might be the part that's actually overwhelming, you, you know, we we want to be able to help you navigate what is challenging by giving you a support system that makes you feel well rounded and feel your best. That was beautiful. Thank you.

Katy Weber 37:19
I agree. Right. And I also think just, you know, even if you don't have questions, just showing up and listening, I think can be really powerful, too. And just the acknowledgement, and the validation that comes from having other people talk about issues that we all struggle with can be super helpful. Do we want to talk about what's coming up next month?

Alex Gilbert 37:38
Definitely shed because we already know, and we already know, but it's also something I feel like I talk about all the time with my clients, like you do it, you share, and then I'll share my excitement. So

Katy Weber 37:51
we really one of the topics that immediately came to mind. Because, you know, in the ADHD D lounge, we wanted to have monthly themes, and bring in experts. So the first one that came to mind was eating and you know, in general and covering a lot of the issues that we have with either disordered eating, weight cycling or sensory issues around food, executive function issues around feeding ourselves. There's so many things that are tied to ADHD and food. And you know, nutrition is really, really important. But I think we also get really confused and overwhelmed when it comes to like what we're supposed to be doing and what are the rules and wait a minute, there are no rules. Oh, no, that's chaos, you know, and like just constantly feeling like we're doing it wrong. So we decided to bring x two registered dieticians from wise heart nutrition are going to be joining us next month Sarah Kushner and Aleta storage. So we're super excited about that conversation. Yeah,

Alex Gilbert 38:52
I was really also excited about this. Because, you know, Katie, you and I have talked about this, in the sense that I have been diagnosed with learning disabilities and ADHD at eight years old, and have always had struggles around food that I didn't realize were even remotely related to ADHD. And it was such a aha moment for me a couple of years ago, of all of my decision fatigue around eating, I mean, it is, it is become a joke that I would stand at the fridge, eating a piece of cheese trying to figure out for an hour what I was going to do, or I would spend my entire lunch hour walking around New York City, trying to decide where I was going to eat and end up at the first place. It would have just been easier if I started at the first place. But you know, all of that is related. And I think that us being able to talk about that and understand not look, this is a very anti diet approach. And I think that that's really important for us to also mention, not one specific way that I think we should be talking about specifically when it comes to how you eat. It's how we figure out what we want to eat, how we make it easier so that we don't forget to eat. Because I think that that's also what comes up a lot or really even breaking down the decisions of what should I have in my fridge? How do I how do I just simplify this process? And I think that that's really what it comes down to is how do we simplify the things that are challenging?

Katy Weber 40:29
Have I think also develop just a peaceful relationship with food? Just stressful and anxious about all the different food rules we've been given our whole life? And you know, and that yeah, just being able to kind of serve, serve each day and just be okay with the fact that maybe today I'm only going to eat cheese on hand sandwiches, or, you know, sometimes my lunch looks like,

Alex Gilbert 40:57
this is my half a lunch. Right? Exactly. Right. super satisfying. You know, that's, it doesn't have to be that complicated. And I think that there's that perfection mentality that a lot of us really struggle with. And so when we're presented with something, I'm like, This is what perfect looks like we're like, okay, that's what we should do. So I think this will be vastly different than that. And it will be much more tangible, and digestible, literally and figuratively, so that we can figure out how to bring you that joy, again, potentially, when it comes to nourishing your body and your brain when it comes to ADHD.

Katy Weber 41:39
Yeah, so that's, that's going to be next month's topic. If you want to come join us for these topics, and join us for these live roundtables and actually participate in the discussions, you can go to the ADHD And that's where you can join our monthly all in one coaching community hosted by Alex and myself. In addition to the monthly roundtables, we have weekly body doubling, and we also each of us hosts a monthly small group coaching session live to so it's a lot of bang for your buck. And yeah, is there anything else we want to say about that?

Alex Gilbert 42:16
No, I covered it through a website. It's all in the West. Right? That's, that's easier. Yes, you could, you could check it out on the website. But we hope to see you there. And we hope that you will come with questions so that you can feel supported, and do your best. Awesome.

Katy Weber 42:36
All right. Thanks, Alex. That's a wrap for this episode of the ADHD lounge podcast.

Alex Gilbert 42:43
Thank you for listening. And make sure to join us over at ADHD

Katy Weber 42:48
We've got resources, co working workshops, and a community of amazing ADHD folks, just like yourself. And you can also attend these recordings live where you can ask questions and join in these discussions as they're happening. So make sure to head over to the ADHD to join us today. And you could find that link in the show notes.

Alex Gilbert 43:07
And if you've made it this far, and you've enjoyed today's episode, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review. Your feedback means the world to us. And it helps us reach more listeners who could benefit from these conversations. Seriously do it oh, now before you forget

Katy Weber 43:31
there you have it. Thank you for listening. And I really hope you enjoyed this episode of the women and ADHD podcast. If you'd like to find out more about me and my coaching programs, head over to women and If you're a woman who was diagnosed with ADHD and you'd like to apply to be a guest on this podcast, visit women and guest and you can find that link in the episode show notes. Also, you know, we ADHD or crave feedback. And I would really appreciate hearing from you the listener, please take a moment to leave me a review on Apple podcasts or audible. And if that feels like too much, and I totally get it. Please just take a few seconds right now to give me a five star rating or share this episode on your own social media to help reach more women who maybe have yet to discover and lean into this gift of nerd of urgency. And they may be struggling and they don't even know why. I'll see you next week when I interview another amazing woman who discovered she's not lazy or crazy or broken. But she has ADHD and she's now on the path to understanding her neurodivergent mind and finally using this gift to her advantage. Take care till then