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7 Tips to Cope with End of Summer Blues- ADD Style

Posted on August 24, 2015



What happened? After waiting 9+ months, summer finally arrived. I couldn’t wait to get my jogging shoes back on and enjoy the more laid back days, many spent at our little cottage in Canada.

As I write this, I’m lying on a futon with the windows wide open, listening to birds, crickets and Lake Huron waves hitting the beach. My ADHHHD kiddo is fast asleep (I’d better hurry, because that will end way too soon) and hubby will also rise soon, looking for another Mr. fix-it job to take on at Chez Matlen.

It’s late August now and…what is that I feel in my throat? It’s a lump. A lump of sadness that our brief Michigan summer is about to end. The days are already getting shorter and my carefree days have already morphed into deadlines for fall projects.

As a woman with ADHD, there’s a very good chance that you’re dealing with anxiety, depression, or some other lovely “add-on” that creates more baggage for you. For me, thinking about winter has always been difficult- and I have SAD to boot (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I hate, I mean I really HATE winter.

And I’m guessing many of you do, as well.

I’ve found some solutions that have been extremely helpful to me. And I’d like to share them with you right now.


How to Ease the Transition from Summer to Winter and Kill Those Winter Blues


  1. Think of indoor activities you enjoy and start preparing for them. For me, it’s making art in my studio. Since my studio is in my basement, I can’t get myself down there in the summer, because I crave sunshine and the outdoors. Now, instead of ruminating over the upcoming change in season, I put a positive spin to it and remind myself that my “creative” months are coming up soon. It’s a total re-frame that helps me a lot.
  1. Vitamin D3. My doctor recommended this for bone health, but I discovered that my SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) improved greatly. Who knew? Give it a try.
  1. Get out of town! To help survive winter, we head to Florida every winter for vacation. Start saving and planning now.
  1. Get the cozy going. Think about hot chocolate, holidays (if that doesn’t stress you out, that is), cozy PJs and hearty meals.
  1. Remember that we still have fall. Personally, I hate fall because it means winter is right behind. But many love the fall colors and crispness in the air. Plan your pumpkin patch or apple cider excursions.
  1. Force yourself to learn a winter sport. Honestly? It didn’t work for me because I dread the cold, but maybe you’d like to try ice-skating or cross country skiing.
  1. Hey now! Summer isn’t over yet, so…drink up each delicious day and make the best of what we have left. Then again, many of you may HATE summer (it does wonders for hot flashes, doesn’t it?) but if you’re like me, treasure each day that is over 60 degrees.

How about you? Do you detest winter like I do? If so, how do you manage? What can you think or do differently to make the transition easier for you?
Post your thoughts in the Comment section below.


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ADD School Summit Starts Tomorrow (Aug. 24, 2015)

Posted on August 23, 2015

ADD School Summit


Starting tomorrow (Monday, August 24, 2015)!

The ADD School Summit- top ADD experts help you help your kids get on the right track. There’s no fee to attend.

Register now HERE.  

8 Ways to Stop Tormenting Yourself

Posted on August 10, 2015

Unhappy Woman


“I can’t stop blurting out things. I’m such a loser”

“Why can’t I get started on that project for work? The boss will realize I’m not competent and will fire me”

“I can’t have people over- my house is a total wreck. What is wrong with me??”

I talk to women with ADD every day that have negative tapes playing in their head- sometimes 24/7- who feel like complete failures because they can’t keep up with the rest of the world, or because they make ADD faux pas, and more. They begin to identify themselves as people who can’t measure up, period. They accept the negativity some people throw at them, mainly friends, relatives, bosses and co-workers who have no clue about ADD- and they begin to believe what they hear.

Does that sound like you?

After years and years of living with (usually untreated) ADD, this can certainly take a toll on you until you get to the point of not even wanting to socialize, make new friends, or even attempt to get a job better suited to your abilities- hey, it’s much safer to hide behind the Wall of Shame and avoid anything that might hurt your already battered self-esteem.

Don’t give up hope.

8 ways to stop tormenting yourself with negative self-talk


  1. Realize and accept that ADD is a medical condition, not a character flaw. Accept who you are instead of rejecting that part of yourself, which is biologically based.
  2. Rejecting your ADD challenges is rejecting you. You may not be able to get rid of all of them, but you surely can learn new strategies and get help from a professional who understands how your ADD impacts you.
  3. Instead of clobbering yourself over the head over every ADD -related challenge, recognize your own uniqueness in a positive way. Move immediately into a mental image of what you do well instead of obsessing over what trips you up.
  4. Honor your differences. Do you really want to be like everyone else?
  5. Hang out with people who accept and support you.
  6. Stop trying so hard to fit in. Our finest thinkers, artists, musicians stand out; they don’t blend in
  7. Instead of being critical of yourself, spend time on strategizing solutions. Problems with being late to work? Break your mornings down into 15 minute increments- write each step- and follow them every morning.
  8. Listen to the criticism of others as an opportunity to explore change and solutions and self-discovery. Use criticism as a doorway towards something positive instead of negative. If there’s a pattern, maybe it’s time to get professional help. Often, an ADD coach is just the ticket you need to learn new strategies for areas of challenge.

Are you ready to make the move from negative to positive? What do you plan to change about yourself right now?

 Share your thoughts in the Comment section below.


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Terry an Introvert? Heck Yes! Read My Story on Quiet Revolution

Posted on August 08, 2015



Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking , launched a fabulous website, Quiet Revolution and profiled my personal story HERE.


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What’s It Really Like to Have ADHD? My Interview on WebMD

Posted on August 08, 2015

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Terry Matlen, MSW, is a therapist who specializes in adults with ADHD, particularly women. She too has ADHD. Her diagnosis came after her daughter’s. “A real common theme,” she says. ADHD tends to run in families.

She describes having ADHD like this: “It’s a chronic sense of overwhelmed. It feels like you’re being attacked in all areas of your daily life — like sounds, and lights, and sensory things can be overwhelming,” Matlen is the author of Survival Tips for Women with ADHD.”

She says she hit a wall after she became a mother. “And that is what we see a lot with women, once their lives become more complicated, they can’t stay on top of things.”

Read the full story on WebMD HERE.

** Like this post?  Get notified any time I publish a new article like this one, and get instant access to my e-book “Tips for Women With ADHD.”  Go to and sign up right away! 

When Planning Is Overrated for Adults with ADHD

Posted on August 08, 2015


I’m not going to tell you planning is not important. After all, I help people both plan and learn the skills needed to plan.

But too much planning can definitely get in your way, and sometimes it makes sense to just start. Now you are wondering, “When is planning too much? When should I plan and when is it better to just dig in?”

(Interesting article by Marla Cummins. Read the whole story HERE )


Piles Here, Piles There, Piles Everywhere! De-clutter and Get Organized with Me!

Posted on August 03, 2015

Terry 3 Queens


Piles Here, Piles There, Piles Everywhere! De-clutter, organize and have fun with me and other women with ADHD. Special rates end THIS WEDNESDAY, so register today at

Comic Relief

Posted on August 02, 2015


Sanity Savers for ADHD Parents

Posted on July 25, 2015



Homework battles, meetings with teachers, fielding calls from the principal or IEP team — it doesn’t take long for moms and dads to burn out once school starts. If you also have ADHD, burnout happens even sooner. Use these tips to step back, stay calm, get help, or treat yourself.

Read the rest of the article I wrote for ADDitude Magazine……  HERE.

10 Top Tips for a (Mostly) Stress-Free ADHD Vacation

Posted on July 25, 2015

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I’m on vacation! I’m on vacation! Isn’t that just how you feel when you finally get yourself (and your family) packed and ready to head out of town?

It takes me hours and hours to prepare for a trip, even if it’s only for a few days away. My anxiety begins to kick in, as I worry about forgetting something important, whether it’s medication or contact lenses- things not easily replaceable when you’re away from home.

I dream of all the things I want (or don’t want) to do and can’t wait to get to my destination. I arrive at our little cottage in Canada, just 2 hours from home. Since Michigan summers are so short, every weekend away is cherished like a rare gem.

But then something odd happens. The lack of structure, the close quarters, the wide-open space of nothingness begins to make me feel funny. I suddenly can’t tell if I’m happy, sad, or bored! The lack of stress (did I mention my ADHHHHD daughter is away at camp?) makes me feel disoriented. There’s no yelling, cupboard slamming, tumbling through space or…heaps and heaps of…stuff on the floor waiting to trip me. I listen to the incredible QUIET and am stunned. The sensation of peace and quiet is foreign to me.

But something is bothering me.

You see, many of us with ADHD thrive on structure, predictability (even if it’s boring at times) and caffeine-driven brain activity. We need to be- if not physically, then at least mentally active- even those of us with inattentive ADHD. I kid you not- even the most sluggish of inattentives have brains on steroids. So, here I sit, in the deep dark purple shade of nighttime, wondering…what the HELL am I going to do tomorrow? Everything is a double- edged sword. I can walk the beach. Head out to the provincial park and explore the trails. Drive through the glorious farmlands in this remote rural area of Canada. I can lie on the hammock and read the newest Anne Tyler book. But…will that bore me? Will I adjust to this floating sensation? No deadlines? No projects?

Enough about me. I will venture to say that many of you also feel torn about vacations. The stress of planning the trip, packing, preparing the house, traveling, and the sometimes disappointing moment when you arrive but feel so….lost…can make vacations terribly disorienting.

We sometimes set ourselves up for disappointment, as we visualize all the things we want to do. As the days tick away like minutes on a clock, we race through each day trying to hold on to each second.

Take solace in knowing that it’s not just you. Of course, there are many who jump into vacations feet first and are exquisitely happy. But if you’re one who feels lost during the transition (transitions are a common problem in general for those of us with ADD), here are some suggestions.


10 Top Tips for a Stress-Free ADHD Vacation


  • Make a list (I know, I know) of things you’d like to do. Do your research beforehand. Have a backup plan in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.
  • Change your expectations. Don’t go forward thinking you’ll have the best time of your life- go with the idea that you’re going to get away from the routine, period. Or perhaps, look at this as a time to simply kick back. One of my problems is that my expectations become so high and unreachable, I get too upset if things don’t pan out. I need to see these mini- trips as simply down time- time away from daily stress, period.
  • Move out of your comfort zone but don’t leave it completely behind. If you find out you hate scuba diving and would much prefer reading a book under a shade tree…that’s fine, too.
  • Brain storm with your family/friends so that everyone has the opportunity to do what they enjoy. Rely on others, if needed, to help you organize the trip.
  • Start your packing and to-do list early enough so you don’t find yourself stressed out at the last minute.
  • Don’t obsess about how few days you have left of your vacation. You’ll only lose the pleasure of the moment. Do it the Buddhist way and live in the moment- because all we really have is now.
  • Build some structure into your days. Maybe it’s meeting your friends/family for lunch each day at a specific time/place. Or maybe it’s a ½ hour swim every day at noon. Build around that daily plan so that you don’t feel lost the rest of the time. Take a tour with a guide, who will structure the time for you.
  • If you’re taking a highly active trip, make sure you have down time so you can re-charge and not expend all of your energy.
  • Express your needs. Let others know when you need more time to rest (or conversely, need more activity) and negotiate with each other so that everyone is happy.
  • Recognize and accept that it may take you a day or two to get into the swing of things.

Everyone needs a break from work and other routines. But it’s not always as easy as it seems.

What works for you? Share your experiences in the Comment section below.


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