ADHD Crash-Days: Militant Adherence for Burnout Prevention

ADHD Crash-Days: Militant Adherence for Burnout Prevention

There are crash days that I really don't want to deal with where I just literally want to do a million things... but I still need them and can't function without them. Adherence score: 100% : over a year. 

Obviously, staying in the workforce in addition to running a business: and only having six days to do it because of my crash day is challenging. It restricts how many friends or people I can keep up with... but at the end of the day, the right people are going to respect it.

Mitigated symptoms doesn't mean it ever goes away, but militant adherence to a weekly crash-day is how I preserve baseline brain function.

The crash happens after hyperfocus on a daily basis, but the weekly crash happens just because of ADHD, whether or not there's insomnia, whether or not we love what we do, it's always going to be there.  

I'm willing to make a lot of sacrifices in order to preserve my ability to provide for myself (control over my life) as I value self-reliance and autonomy

The sciency-version:

Living with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) can present a unique set of challenges, including the phenomenon known as the "ADHD crash day." For many individuals with ADHD, these days are characterized by mental and physical exhaustion, often accompanied by insomnia followed by a prolonged period of sleep to recover. But what exactly causes these crash days, and why is it crucial for those affected to prioritize rest to prevent burnout?

ADHD affects the brain's executive functions, which are responsible for tasks such as focus, organization, and impulse control. As a result, individuals with ADHD often experience difficulties in regulating attention and managing tasks, leading to periods of hyperfocus followed by mental fatigue. This cognitive rollercoaster can leave individuals feeling mentally drained and physically exhausted, especially after extended periods of hyperactivity or intense concentration.  

One significant factor contributing to ADHD crash days is sleep disruption. Many individuals with ADHD struggle with insomnia, characterized by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night. This disrupted sleep pattern can exacerbate symptoms of ADHD, leading to increased impulsivity, decreased attention span, and heightened emotional reactivity during waking hours.

Moreover, the cognitive demands of managing ADHD symptoms throughout the day can deplete mental energy reserves, leaving individuals feeling mentally exhausted by day's end. This exhaustion can manifest as brain fog, difficulty concentrating, and a general sense of overwhelm, contributing to the onset of the crash day.

Physically, the body also bears the brunt of the cognitive and emotional demands associated with ADHD. Stress hormones, such as cortisol, can become dysregulated in individuals with ADHD, leading to increased levels of fatigue and physical tension. Additionally, the constant activation of the body's fight-or-flight response can leave individuals feeling physically drained and prone to experiencing muscle tension and headaches.

To mitigate the risk of burnout and maintain overall well-being, it is essential for individuals with ADHD to prioritize self-care, particularly in managing sleep patterns and allowing for adequate rest on crash days. Engaging in relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, or gentle yoga can help alleviate physical tension and promote restful sleep.

Understanding the science behind ADHD crash days sheds light on the complex interplay between cognitive, emotional, and physiological factors that contribute to the experience of mental and physical exhaustion in individuals with ADHD.

By recognizing the importance of rest and self-care, individuals can better navigate the challenges associated with ADHD and strive for improved overall quality of life.