What happens in Vegas, when you live in Las Vegas and have ADHD?
The Las Vegas tourism board has done a fabulous job of imprinting the slogan on my brain. “What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas”
implies an escape from normal life, freedom to do let go and be impulsive with no future consequences. Opulent Entertainment, excessive gambling and drinking are what the city has been known for from the start. Casinos are designed to pull you in, keep you there while you lose track of time and money spent while perpetuating the fantasy that there are no consequences. Only the here and now.
Don’t get me wrong! Escaping normal life to rejuvenate and recharge is an important piece of the puzzle in a well-balanced life. (Don’t have to ask me twice) However, the freedom to make poor and impulsive choices with no future consequence is a fantasy that is being sold. Our choices always create waves that circle back to us eventually and without forethought and regard for the impact of choices on the future the wave can knock you down and pull you under.
Of course, as a coach that specializes in ADHD, my next thought is: “What happens in Vegas, when you live in Las Vegas and have ADHD?” Common challenges related to ADHD are impulsivity, hyper focus on favorite activities, and difficulty connecting choices in the here and now with progress towards future goals and dreams. When you live in a city that never closes and is designed to promise “reward” for impulsive behavior and hyper focus how can you keep the waves from pulling you under?
Here are 3 Tips from the ADHD Coach to manage ADHD impulses:
- Be aware, be aware, be aware! Did I mention being aware? Information is power and the more that you know about how ADHD affects you personally the better choices that you will make. Many adults that were diagnosed as kids were not educated as to all the areas that ADHD impacts and what it means to them. ADHD is complex and everyone has different levels of coping skills. Pills don’t teach skills and understanding how ADHD shows up for you is the first step towards filling skill gaps. October is ADHD Awareness month so share what you learn with family and friends!
- Set yourself up for success. Get real about where your impulsivity kicks in and negatively impacts you and then take steps to avoid or interrupt triggers. Perhaps you only go to a casino once in the while but drop a few dollars in the slots at the gas station every day. Calculate how much you actually spend that way for the last month and a goal of where the money could be put to better use. Set yourself up for success by not stopping at the gas station or taking an alternate aisle when you are in the store. A note in your wallet of your alternate goal can be an interruption that causes you to stop and think about the action you are taking instead of following an unconscious habit.
- Get a Coach. If you have trouble getting started and sticking to changes you want to make in life. A coach is a great support in moving your great intentions into action!
Here’s to living well with ADHD in Las Vegas!