I have an Instagram series where I will go live every two weeks on my feed @rebelatart to interview friends, health professionals, and artists about their self-regulation practices that keep them healthy, creative, and focused. Then I do their practices fully for an entire week while documenting it on Instagram to see what works for me and what doesn’t.
I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 30 years old after years of struggling with brain fog, forgetfulness, fatigue, and a literal inability to focus on any one thing at any time. I was gifted in multi-tasking and found solace in my ability to work quickly but still felt completely inadequate in figuring out that one thing I’m “supposed to do with my life.” Online courses or self-driven work? FORGET about it. I tried and failed several times. Maintaining healthy relationships? Ha, don’t make me laugh. Emotional outbursts, living/thriving in chaos, and getting so angry I could flip a table when someone steals my sheep in Catan…ya, that’s me. Why? Because no one taught me how to self-regulate. In my specific case of having ADHD, learning these skills would have been crucial to developing healthy coping skills, managing my emotionality, and having confidence in my neurodiversity.
BUT self-regulation isn’t just for people like me! It’s important for EVERYONE. For the kids who are having to learn online and all of a sudden organize their day (when they could be sleeping) to do homework while their parents are still at work, to the people who are trying to work from home, to maintain healthy habits, maintain relationships, manage their emotions…the need is endless, but we simply aren’t taught about it.
There is no one size fits all for self-regulation. You just have to take the journey. A great place to start is talking about it. Tune in to ADH Me to see some practices that you could try, try them, or watch me try them and celebrate the fact that we are all beautifully weird, messy creatures.
Kaitlyn is a performer, filmmaker, and film educator in Fredericton, New Brunswick. She runs Rebel Femme Productions and is grateful to have received an artist relief grant from the New Brunswick Government to make this web-series happen.