[Intro audio: “There is a Dark Place,” by Tom Rosenthal]
Hi, I’m Jordan.
And, fuck it, I’m Lex.
And this is Or, Learn Parkour.
This is a podcast about ADHD done by two people who definitely do have ADHD. Also, yeah, just real quick announcement. Hopefully we can just ride on past the couple of months that I went by Sylvie. It just felt a little too femme for me. And so I’m just Lex again, it’s fine. Maybe I can reclaim the power from the stinky rich man.
Rhymes with Shmeff Buttholes-os.
Okay. Yeah, yeah, that one. So yeah, you know, if you call me Sylvie, that’s fine too. It just didn’t quite fit right. So just gonna take it back to square one. Thanks for sticking with us, team. But this week, well, okay. So here’s the thing. It’s March of 2022. So it has been almost two years to the day when they started talking about doing lockdowns in Chicago and you know, the pandemic is still going on.
Yeah. I’ve been seeing a lot of tweets lately like, two years ago today I said, see you next week to my coworkers. And I sure didn’t. So whatever you’re feeling about this time of year is valid. But yeah, here we are.
Here we are. Yeah. It’s tough ’cause, so my birthday is March 19th, which is the day they decided to actually start lockdown in Chicago. So that’s, on the one hand, yay, my birthday’s coming up.
Man, we should have done a birthday episode for you. I feel like we did that last year. You got to pick the topic, and I didn’t remember that this year.
Let’s compare me to a global pandemic, you know.
I much prefer you.
Same, but I’m just saying, you know, I can share. There’s a lot of important shit that’s happened to people ’cause of this.
That’s fair. Maybe next episode.
Yeah, sure. On that note though, this week we are gonna be talking a little bit about how people have been seeing a lot of overlap in symptoms between ADHD and long COVID. And Jordo, it sounded like you kind of went Bill Nye and you got some science ready for us, what’s the vibe here?
I sure do. I read so many papers and I understood so few of them, but what I do understand is ADHD. So when I was reading through many of these very, very long, very science papers, there were a couple things that stood out to me. Like you started to say earlier, there are some symptoms that overlap. And before I get deep into this, I do wanna just acknowledge that there are a lot of symptoms of long COVID that we’re not gonna touch on today. But if we don’t talk about them, there is probably already a community within the disability community that’s been talking about it and dealing with those symptoms for way longer than COVID has even been a thing. A lot of the, you know, physical things that people go through, a lot of the ICU and medical trauma related things, to give credit where credit is due, I just wanna acknowledge that even from the start of COVID, from dealing with masking, from dealing with not being able to be in public in the same way as we’re used to, the disabled community has been sharing their knowledge to the rest of us for this entire time. So I didn’t wanna hop and be like, hey guys, did you notice that these are kind of similar, ’cause that conversation’s already been happening,
I mean, we never do. That’s not our vibe at all. Our vibe is a little bit more like, that’s really interesting, how about we spin it in a way that it’ll make sense to a five-year-old?
Because that’s how I need it to be explained to me.
Yeah. That’s what I wish I had, trying to go through all these papers.
Yeah. We’re just a bunch of dum-dums. We’re not professionals, we’re not counselors. We’re not therapists, you know, all those fun little caveats.
Nope. Not a doctor. And even if I was, it wouldn’t be a medical doctor.
Yeah. And I mean, so here’s the thing. It is tough ’cause we’re like, this is a relevant episode, it’s a relevant topic. There are people who are dealing with these symptoms now, right? And it’s new because they didn’t have to deal with it before the past two years. But it’s kind of tough ’cause we knew going into this, right? We’re like, we’re gonna do an episode about long COVID and ADHD. That’s a bummer. You know, but at the same time, there are a lot of people who maybe are unused to the brain fog, unused to the distractibility, unused to the complete inability to focus on something for longer than two seconds.
Yeah. And that’s, I mean, one of the huge things that stood out to me between processing my ADHD diagnosis and reading the stories of a lot of people who are dealing with long COVID and trying to figure out how to live their lives is how to navigate the societal pressure that you should be getting more done than you’re capable of. That was a huge thing. And obviously, you know, we don’t have one-and-done answers to that, like, we fixed it. Society’s better now. You have all of the accommodations you need. But think of it this way, welcome to the club. You’re not alone at the very least.
Yeah. I feel like every time we try to say something sincere in a way that’s like, hey, this isn’t, we’re goofing, but we know this isn’t a joke. But everything we say, I feel, sounds so insincere. It’s so shitty. And I feel so bad and I’m like, we sound so fake right now. Or at least I feel like we do. You know what I mean?
I hope not.
I mean like we’re trying really hard not to. You know what I mean? It’s tough. So I just really wanna emphasize, we’re trying, team, but also, you know, it’s an interesting, fun balance to do a comedy talk podcast and also talk about COVID.
Yeah. This is a topical, serious thing, but there are plenty of sources in the world to be doom and gloom about it. So I don’t wanna do that.
Yeah, no, I’m not saying, I just want everyone to know, we’re not just being blasé about it. You know?
That’s a fair caveat. Dealing with this is not fun and we’re not trying to make light of it in a flippant way. But hopefully it helps to know that, like I said earlier, you’re not alone. And if that helps or if trying to make a joke about it helps or you know, whatever you need to do to cope that’s not hurting other people, we’re not gonna judge you for that.
Yeah. For real. Are you hungry too? I’m really hungry.
I’m thinking about that McFlurry.
Nice. I’m thinking about Pop Tarts.
I do love Pop Tarts. I mean, I’m good with my McFlurry. That wasn’t me trying to be like, hey Pop Tarts.
No, no. You’re good. You’re welcome to them. I got two specialty.
To see how they taste.
I’m very intrigued by the maple one.
Same, but I’m also really intrigued by the Boston cream donut.
Yeah. I’m curious how, ‘cause I feel like the cream part is pretty easy to nail, I’m very curious about how donut-y it is.
I mean, it’s probably not gonna be ’cause it’s a Pop Tart.
I know, but I feel like there’s a dough flavor that can be unique. I don’t know. There’s only one way to find out.
Yeah. I mean, I guess the thing about donuts is they’re usually fried. So that’s part of it I think. That’s part of what makes the donut flavor a donut.
We could deep fry one of them.
Yeah. I’m just gonna try it. Like a normal person.
That’s fair. It’s also a fair option.
And see what I think. It’s kind of like that I don’t pick favorite songs off of albums until I’ve listened to an album at least three times through all the way. I say, sounding really pretentious and weird. I don’t know. My brother told me to do that and I thought it was good advice when I was in fifth grade. And so it started with Dave Matthews Band, Stand Up in, what, 2005, and never looked by. So what are some of the similarities that people are seeing between ADHD and long COVID?
Yeah. Our episode topic.
Yeah, the sooner we do the episode.
The sooner we can go deep fry some Pop Tarts.
You can deep fry some Pop Tarts if you want. I genuinely just want to eat a pop tart.
That’s fair. I’m also mad hungry. So I’ll give the quick overview of what we’re talking about when we say long COVID and, caveat to that, it’s only been around for two years. So even people who know what they’re talking about still have a lot of questions. So just more now than ever, this is not a be all, end all source of all of the information.
Now more than ever. I feel like we say that every episode and we mean it every episode. I’m currently gargoyle-crouched on my chair, in the studio right now. I don’t know why, it just is what’s comfortable to me at this moment. I turn 29 in a week, so I’m just gonna kind of let myself do whatever I fucking want at this point.
Let yourself become a gargoyle. I love that for you.
Thank you. I love that for you. You have a gargoyle as a roommate, you’re like Quasimodo, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, but his roommates were gargoyles. At least in the Disney one. I never read the book.
No, me neither.
I think it’s pretty fucked up as an original story.
I mean, the movie’s pretty fucked up, and it’s been Disney-fied.
Yeah. No, I think that’s the point. ‘Cause isn’t it the same person who wrote Les Mis?
Victor Hugo? I think so.
Dark. So speaking of dark.
Long COVID symptoms. So long COVID, or there’s a couple different names for it that are basically long COVID syndrome or post COVID sequelae or long COVID, which is what most people call it, is a name for a big constellation of things that have happened to people from the COVID 19 virus being in their body. It can be from severe cases where people are hospitalized and there are parts of long COVID that can be specifically related to being hospitalized or being in the ICU and the medical trauma from that. But you can also have long COVID symptoms after a mild or even asymptomatic case. And even those instances can attack the body in a range of ways. The research that I did had damage to the lungs, heart, nervous system, kidneys, liver, other organs, as well as unresolved general pain or fatigue, and mental health problems, including brain fog, depression, PTSD.
A lot of those don’t have too much to do with ADHD. I will say.
No, that’s fair.
To my knowledge, having ADHD does not damage my lungs.
No, probably not.
I do other things that probably damage my lungs.
But those protect you from COVID, remember.
Oh yeah. But that protects me from COVID. Yeah. You’re right. I’m just a sleazy dude with sleazy habits. What can I say? I mean, let’s maybe hone in on those.
Relevant ones? No, that’s fair.
Good to know and good to point out again, this is so much more than just our brains. although I guess your brain is kind of the whole thing, but you know what I mean? You know what I mean?
It’s our whole body. COVID attacks the whole body.
It does. I still don’t completely have my sense of smell back. And that’s incredibly mild in comparison to a lot of the rest of these.
Can you still not eat eggs when they’re by themselves?
I haven’t tried. I did have an egg on a sandwich the other day and it was pretty good. But it had very flavorful sausage patty and spicy jam. So I have not tried eating eggs by themselves recently.
So sad. So sorry, bro.
Yeah, it really kind of knocks my breakfast game off it’s rocker.
It’s not too bad though. ‘Cause you’re still pretty good at making some tight breakfasts.
Thanks. It’s hard to get protein in. Eggs feels like the easiest way to do that.
You’re also welcome to some of my protein powder. If you wanna add that to a smoothie. It’s just vanilla vegetarian protein powder.
Thanks, bro. I appreciate that.
Got you, bro. Gotta get those gains, bro.
Gotta get yoked, bro. If I can’t have yolks, how else am I gonna get yoked?
Oh my God. Yeah, you gotta get yoked and I gotta get yoked so that we can be equally broked.
I should have seen that coming and I didn’t.
It was a whole episode title and everything.
Sorry, I was reading.
I’m sorry. The look. Withering. Absolutely withering. It’s okay. I get it though. I want those Pop Tarts too.
Yeah, no, you’re good. So like we’ve mentioned before, in talking about some of the mental health symptoms of this, depression and anxiety are long COVID symptoms. They’re also, not ADHD, but often comorbid. So that can be a helpful experience. But the main one that I did want to hone in on is brain fog.
Yeah. The light from the computer in this little closet, it’s the only thing really lighting us up, and Jordan looked directly in my eyes as the light came up from the computer screen while they said that. And I’m afeared.
Good. Because brain fog is no joke.
It is also not really well defined. According to the CDC, they just define it as difficulty thinking or concentrating.
[Laughter] Sorry. Okay.
No, that’s kinda open-ended.
What the fuck? Hysterically laughing. What? Okay. Sorry.
Yeah, no that’s fair. That’s fair to laugh at. CDC has kind of got its pants down a little bit in this.
To be fair. I think this pandemic caught a lot of us with our pants down, but you know, major government organization, built specifically for this, you know? Interesting. So what were you gonna say?
That’s a great question. I was just gonna say that there are differing definitions of brain fog that tend to overlap. But for this purpose, we’re gonna start with that, difficulty thinking or concentrating. Some people define it as cognitive dysfunction, which might sound similar to our dear friend who is a frequent guest on this podcast. Executive dysfunction.
I was like, who? What?
Our friend, cogi dysfuncto.
I was like, who’s been on the show more than once? I was like, what? But yeah, executive dysfunction. That bitch. I know her well.
Yeah. I mean, cognitive dysfunction is just kind of a wider area of dysfunction within the brain. But it includes executive dysfunction ’cause your executive function is a certain set of abilities.
Yeah. It’s like if there’s a circle that is cognition, then executive function is a smaller circle within that. I think is a good way to picture that.
It’s like cognitive function is a square and executive function is a rectangle.
No, it’s the other way around.
Cognitive function is a rectangle.
And executive dysfunction would be the square ’cause all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.
I got you.
So we know about cognitive dysfunction. Well, if that bit didn’t prove it to you.
It’s Friday. It’s Friday and it’s March of 2022. So excuse us for being a little shitty. Just a little.
Oh, sleep problems is another overlap. A lot of people have reported sleep problems with their post-COVID experiences. Sleep problems are also a biggie for the ADHDers out there, like us. Because we don’t really know what’s causing sleep problems so far in long COVID it’s hard to say if they’re related, but there’s some overlap in the general practice of making yourself comfortable and not trying too hard to make yourself go to sleep and then you just get frustrated and it’s even harder to sleep, kind of stuff.
Yeah. I think the main point here with all of this is, the reason we’re doing this episode at all is because if you or a loved one, sorry, I started talking and then it just latent sleeper cell activated and I had to start saying it. But if you are somebody who is struggling with long COVID, the reason we’re talking about it here is because people with ADHD are dealing with this shit on the daily.
Yeah. You don’t have to start from scratch here. You can copy off our homework.
Got you, bro. I’m not a snitch.
No, that is the number one fucking American rule, bro. Snitches get fucking stitches.
I’m not a narc. So yeah, basically the plan today was that we were just gonna share our advice and the advice that we have accumulated from people who are much smarter than we are, about the parts of the long COVID/ADHD Venn diagram that overlap. So sleep problems. We’ll start there. How about that? Do you have any advice?
Oh, you’re asking. Okay. Sorry. I thought you had a list. I didn’t come prepared for this. Okay.
No, no. I mean, I have some to share. I just didn’t wanna be like, I’m gonna talk this entire episode, myself.
I’m interrupting a lot. Nah, you go. So here’s the thing. I keep grandma hours. And during the week I go to bed at 10:30 PM and I get up at 7:30 AM, depending on when my cat Root Beer decides to scream at me in the morning, and my problem isn’t necessarily falling asleep. My problem is that I will often wake up in the middle of the night, super restless, full of antsy energy and I’m unable to fall asleep at that point. So what I usually do is I try to take a warm, not too hot ‘cause I don’t wanna dry out my skin, but a nice warm shower. And I will put on maybe a face mask or I’ll light a candle that’s got a soothing scent. I know that sounds really stereotypical, but I will genuinely try to help my body and brain recognize those cues that it’s time to relax and get ready for sleep again. You know?
Yeah. That totally makes sense. It’s classic for a reason.
Yeah. So that would be my numero uno, a nice warm shower. I mean, even though we’re mammals, we still have some of that latent biology of hot water, just feeling water on your face can actually calm your brain down a little. So that is, genuinely I think, my biggest tip for sleep problems ’cause that’s what I deal with most these days. And that’s how I deal with it.
Yeah. That’s super helpful. And given that it seems like there’s a wide range of sleep problems with long COVID, whether it’s having trouble falling asleep, having trouble staying asleep, having trouble waking up, that covers a lot of bases. I know for me, what I normally struggle with is I’m just such a night owl. It is astounding if I’m in bed before 11:30.
Yeah. That’s fair. And true. Now that you have a job where you don’t have to be up at 5:00 AM anyways.
I’m really becoming my true self. But so the things that I have experienced dealing with are getting myself to wind down at night and waking up in the morning ’cause I don’t wanna. I know for me, part of why it’s hard to go to sleep at night is it’s difficult for me to shut my brain off and say, we’re done. We’re done for the day. And I think that with some of the anxiety and trauma that can come with long COVID. And especially if you are not functioning at the level that you’re used to and you have all of these tasks left in your head at the end of the day, going like, I should have done this. I should have done that. Why did this happen? Whatever it is that you’re thinking about, if you have a hard time getting your brain to shut off, the best thing that I have found is, even if it seems like you’ve got so much better stuff to do, unless somebody is dying, it almost always pays off to just set aside 10 minutes, 15, maybe half an hour if you can to, I call them thinking naps, I know I’ve talked about this on the show before, but just lay down and let all of those thoughts just run rampant, just get ’em out so that they’re not running in your head at the end of the day, it’s like reverse meditation. So that’s a big one for me. And just hacking the system and planning stuff in the morning that you have to get up for. Big fan of that one. That’s gonna get me outta bed quicker than any alarm or reward system or punishment, is just like, you have to be somewhere. And will I still be there slightly late? Yes. But that will still be way earlier than I would without anything else to do. We’ll also extol the virtues of the weighted blankie.
Oh, I can’t believe I forgot to say. I’m glad you’re saying something now.
Yeah, I got you. Oh, weighted blankie, weighted blankie. This is not a sponsored episode. There are no weighted blanket manufacturers paying us to say this. We just love our weighted blankies.
There could be. If you’re feeling freaky, weighted blanket companies.
If you wanna get jiggy with it, weighted blanket companies.
If you wanna weigh me down, weighted blanket companies. Yeah, weighted blankies, those are great. They just help you relax. Similar to tapping into our basic biology as people. There’s a reason that it’s pretty common to swaddle babies when they’re crying a lot, ’cause it will help to comfort and calm them down.
Have you seen those like swaddler, stretchy blanket things?
Yeah. I’m intrigued by them. I fear feeling a little foolish. You know, I fear feeling a little bit like Houdini or some shit, trying to get out. And I will say, when I’ve woken up in the middle of the night or in the morning and I’m tangled up in blankets, I do not care for that at all. You know what I mean?
Yeah. That’s where I’m a little hung up on those. I’m also a big “hella blankets, but my feet are out” person.
Yeah. Or I can have my feet tucked under or I tuck the blanket under my feet but loosely so that there’s some breathing room. It just depends on how cold I am, where I’m at. ‘Cause I will say, I have memories of spending the night at people’s houses where you’re at sleepover and you’re the one kind of tucked against the wall or the couch. And I will say there’s something very comforting about sleeping with your back against something or, you know, your body is against something.
Like couch naps. I think that’s really what makes ’em sweet.
Yeah. You feel very safe. I feel held.
That was so sincere. I’m glad.
Thank you. I’m just thinking about Midsommar ’cause of that fucking “does he make you feel held?” guy who’s a fucking, I think he’s technically a murderer, but probably actually, you know.
Little bit murder-y.
Yeah. I mean he’s definitely in a murder cult.
I have not seen Midsommar. So I can’t answer this question, but what do you think would happen if that character was just replaced with a futon?
I think a lot of the movie wouldn’t happen. ‘Cause he’s a villain. He’s an antagonist. He causes a lot of stuff.
I see. Is there a way for the futon to still cause those things?
By human rules or Rubber, the movie about the tire, rules. Have you not seen that movie?
Oh my God. It’s incredible. It’s an indie horror film about a sentient tire that rolls around and makes people’s heads explode with tire telepathy.
Okay. Does it talk or anything?
So that’s a big thing, right? The plot of the movie is that there’s a fellow anthropologist grad student with the boyfriend, Christian, but a fellow grad student who is from Sweden. He’s the one who grew up in this cult and is from the cult and is from Sweden and whatever. And so he’s the one who invites all of them to sacrifice them.
So that message wouldn’t transfer through a couch?
Well, I mean, if the futon could figure out a way to do it, I’d be entertained. I’d be interested to see what a futon could come up with. But I personally, you know, trying to get into the mind of a futon is beyond my improv skills. Besides just laying down and being quiet. That’s right up my alley. So sleep problems.
Right. Don’t think about anything we just said, ’cause that will keep you up that night.
It’s fine. Sorry if I spoiled anything for you, it’s just a movie that’s been out for a couple years now.
Yeah. We’ll put Midsommar and Midsommar spoilers in the trigger warnings.
Cool. That’s smart. Thank you. Someone’s gonna be mad about it.
Whether or not you want to know what happens in this movie.
Yeah. I mean, but I didn’t say any of the gross stuff. It is nice.
Just the part about sacrificing people to a cult. Not how they do it.
Yeah, but that’s not gross, I don’t know. It’s not graphic or anything. That’s just life in the world.
What? Sorry. What’s just life in the world?
Cults killing people. That shit happens. Not that often. Not as often as modern media would lead us all to believe, but it does happen.
Anyways, number two, depression.
Depression. That’s our number one tip. Just say depression in a silly voice. Do it, do it right now. We’re gonna give you a second. Do it. Depression.
[Singing] Depression, depression.
Yeah. Oh my gosh. That new album that I’ve been vibing to, the album Kids by Noga has literally just been in my speakers nonstop this week. It’s just bop after bop after bop. But one of the first tracks is I’ve been d-d-depressed and I was like, yeah. I’m classically vocally trained. Anyways. So depression. How do we deal with depression?
How do we deal with depression?
Yeah. That’s a good one.
At least in this house. That is pretty primary for me anyways.
Yeah. No, for sure. There are many tasks and things to try to help manage depression. I couldn’t do any of those things if I did not have my friend Wellbutrin to help me every day.
Yeah. If my sweet, sweet Zoloft didn’t sing me awake every morning with a sweet little swallow, you know? I don’t know, brah. I mean, we do know. There have been times where I have not been able to afford my meds in the past and stuff, where we all know it ain’t good.
It’s not a fun time.
It’s bad. So that would be one. Get that arsenal of really cute animal videos. Find people you care about who you can be around or talk to.
That’s a number one. You are not a burden. No matter what you’re going through right now, there are not only friends and family, but doctors to help you. And there are support systems, even if they’re not always the most accessible, which is a whole other episode. But you’re not alone in this. This is not necessarily going to be the rest of your life. You know, there’s still so much that we don’t know. So yeah. I think that that one is- sorry to jump in and just go hard on that one, but I think that that’s really crucial- is a support system.
Yeah. Okay. Here’s the thing, you know, we like to goof, but when it’s serious, we’ll be serious. And support systems and community and taking care of yourself and each other, that’s big for us in this house.
Yeah. For sure.
Alright, what’s next?
Next is gonna be the big boy that we talked about at the top of this and said that there’s not a great definition of, so we’ll find out what we’re about to talk about, brain fog.
Yeah. The good old head mist. Cranium drizzle.
Oh, that one’s good. The good old mental marine layer.
Oh, damn. You’re killing these.
Thank you. I’m really sorry that I’m making really direct eye contact with you very intensely while I come up with these too. I’m just focused. I’m sorry. I feel like I look like fucking Jim Carey when I get focused, my eyes just sort of bug out and I’m sorry.
If it makes you feel better, I have literally never once thought that you look like Jim Carey in any way.
I’m sorry. Did you want to?
Well, no shade to Jim Carey. That’s not meant to be an insult.
No, you know who I do look like, besides Lily from The Princess Diaries? I know, I know.
You said that other actress from Shredded, or whatever that show was called?
No, I feel like I look a little bit like Tony Hawk is my dad.
Oh my God. I see it.
Yeah, I know, righ?. You know, Tony Hawk kind of looks a little bit like my actual dad, so I guess that’s part of it, but we must have similar genes. I don’t know.
Just like that fly under the radar, sort of.
Big nose, chill, heavy lidded eyes.
No one recognizes you in public.
Long-ish face, you know, I don’t know, sort of vaguely they’re, you know? I dunno.
What were we talking about?
I wish that was a bit.
Yeah, that’s tough ’cause brain fog, to me, I feel like it just sounds like when my brain gets really fuzzy and static-y and everything just kind of goes a little blank or soft or fuzzy where it’s just like, I don’t know what I’m doing or where I’m going. And it’s not to the extent of, I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what X, Y, Z thing is for, right? But it’s like, I pick up my keys and I look down at the keys and I’m not like, I don’t know what these are. I’m like, why did I get my keys? You know what I mean? Does that make sense?
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. I think a lot of the things that I have to share are kind of overlaps from specifically executive dysfunction, but hey, if it helps. Your mileage may vary there. Did you have anything you wanted to share before I start reading off of a list?
No, go for it. List away.
So a lot of these are a little bit capitalist-y and I will acknowledge that because, number one, if you can’t do stuff, don’t do it. Rest. If your brain is saying, don’t do it, don’t beat yourself up because you can’t. But in terms of living a life that does unfortunately demand a lot of you and, tying into number two, of your and others expectations of what you’re capable of, whether those are realistic or not. Some of this is directly related to mitigating that, which is why they’re a little capitalist-y. I just wanted to apologize for that.
It is interesting the way we focus so much on what people can do and what people can produce, you know, ’cause when you get down to the bare bones of it, there is nothing ethically or morally wrong with just having brain fog. But the way society reacts would make you think otherwise.
Yeah. And obviously this can’t be completely extricated from that situation, but it can be frustrating when it’s preventing you from doing things that you genuinely want to do and care about. And that’s valid too. So yeah. I mean one would be a lot of the things we touched on in our ADHD tax episode. We shared some low- and no-cost options to invest in your life a little bit to make it easier. That whole concept of “buy the bagged broccoli”, it’s okay and good to not make yourself do tasks that you don’t need to do. I can’t think of a better way to say that.
It’s okay to be efficient. And it’s okay to plan ahead to the extent that, maybe the freezer bag of broccoli isn’t quite as good as the fresh head of broccoli that you could chop up fresh from the market, but it’s still broccoli. It’s still nourishment. And if that’s easier for you to do, then that’s what you should do.
Yeah. The broccoli you’re gonna eat is the best kind of broccoli, hands down.
It’s okay to take shortcuts.
Yeah. Work smarter, not harder, right?
Yeah, that general concept, as I said earlier, one way to think about that has already been pioneered by the disability community who has been thinking about this and figuring this out for a very long time. Now’s a great time to get familiar with spoon theory. Just a way of thinking about how much energy and capability you have to do things. If you’re not familiar with it before, it can be a really helpful way to be realistic with yourself about what you can do, which helps ’cause I think it takes away a lot of the time of going like, can I do this? Can I not? Thinking about how to do a task, getting overwhelmed by it.
Yeah. Well, and spoon theory, to clarify, is the whole, do you have enough spoons today to do X, Y, Z thing, in case you don’t know what spoon theory is. It is genuinely just a way to measure how much energy you have for tasks.
Yes. We’ll share some things that explain that a little bit better, but thank you for explaining it, at all, ’cause I didn’t. Yeah. The last thing that I had on the list is focusing on what you can do. And if you do need to be productive for some reason when you’re going through this, if there’s a time when you have some more clarity, you can use that to make a list of no-brain tasks. Keep that handy, say, okay, I can’t do this thing that I was gonna try and do because I’ve got all of this fog in my brain. You don’t have to sit down and feel defeated about it. If rest is on that list of things to do, that’s incredibly valid. But I know for me it can be nice to kind of have a fallback. Like, I know how to start this, it’s not gonna take any brainpower, task to fall back on. For me, I feel like it makes my mental capacity worse to sit around and feel like I can’t do anything. I’m too frustrated by that to rest. So just having a list of little fallback things and especially break it down and say, here are the steps to do those things, to save yourself that effort too. That can be helpful. And I’ve heard from other people who go through this that has been recommended a few times.
Yeah. Different levels of lists.
Yeah. Well, that’s kind of what this podcast boils down to whenever I give advice.
Yeah. It’s not bad. Not bad advice. You said there was one more thing. ADHD and the overlap.
Yeah. And this is less a medical symptom and more an overlap in experience, is dealing with the difference between your capability with ADHD or with long COVID versus the expectation of your past self or other people like family or employers or something, or society as a whole, of what you can do. I know that that’s a huge thing with ADHD, is this expectation of, you are incredibly bright and you think really fast and you have, or had, all of this capability, why can’t you work like that all the time? Why can’t you meet those high standards? Or even, why can’t you focus, meet the standards or performance of everybody else all of the time. Just dealing with that can get really frustrating because-
Yeah, I should say.
Yeah. I know you know this.
I know. The way you explained it, if someone was like, that doesn’t sound frustrating. Hello? Excuse me?
Yeah. I think I’m just gonna take the ship real quick.
I got you. So here’s the thing that I will say, and I feel like it’s a good wrap-up point for this episode, the thing that I’ve been kind of falling back on saying and believing pretty concretely is that everything is so bananas right now. Everything is really wild and wonky and not necessarily in new ways. Maybe new to specific places and everything or new to the way that it’s being covered in the news and what we have access to and what kind of information that is hitting us all the time. But we are all the little dog in the room on fire, okay? Really what it comes down to, when I think about managing expectations from myself and from other people, is do not expect much from yourself or other people right now. Why are you expecting a lot? Are you kidding? You know what I mean? So I know it’s not super constructive, but really, genuinely, please take the time to care about yourself and care about other people and take a beat and recognize that we are all going through it. Maybe varying levels, varying differences in how exactly we’re going through it. But that’s the best you can do, is just give yourself and others the space to just be really messy right now. Honestly, I think that’s kind of all we can do, you know? So that said, whether you have ADHD or long COVID, hopefully, this was helpful to at least maybe not feel as alone or, you know, maybe you can just make fun of us for the fact that we clearly are just Pop-Tarts. I want Pop-Tarts so bad.
Or this is our time to be messy. Oh, I do wanna say this, it is important. The one last technical important thing that I want people to know is that, I think as of this past July, long COVID is a protected disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Which means that you are legally entitled to accommodations from your workplace or your school. Take them, please take them. They are legally yours.
Yeah. Hell yeah.
And I will leave it there. So I don’t just go on another ADA workplace rights. That will be very long. We need to go to Pop-Tarts.
We do not need that. I love you so much.
That’s why I’m holding it back. Let’s do our DTs.
Yeah. So each episode we try to do our DTs, our Dopamine Trampolines. We go to a mythical little trampoline, hop on on it and talk about what has given us dopamine or used to give us, or is currently giving us or you know, any of that kind of stuff. I’ll go first. If you don’t mind.
Yeah. Knock yourself out.
Yeah. The thing that’s been giving me dopamine is so bad for audio and I’m sorry. But I got my eyebrow pierced. I got my eyebrow pierced last week and it is still just, I look in the mirror every day and I’m like, this is the coolest thing I’ve ever done. I will never be, or look as cool as I do with an eyebrow piercing. I just got one little gold barbell. So just two little gold balls on my face. And I love it.
I can confirm it looks incredible. They will share a picture on the Gram.
You know I love my selfies.
Yeah. You have a bizarre selfie talent. It’s like the light moves for you. I don’t know what it is. Looks tight.
Thanks. That’s mine. I know that’s bad audio, but I got my eyebrow pierced and it’s given me life. What about you?
My Dopamine Trampoline is an app that I’ve been enjoying that was actually recommended by one of our audience members. So thank you, Kay. Shout out. Appreciate you recommending. Finch is the name of the app. It is a self-reflection journaling app, but the way that they encourage you to do it is by taking care of a little cartoon baby bird. Yeah. And they give you little prompts. You can make a to-do list and cross things off the to-do list. But for every prompt that you do or what have you, your little bird gets energy to go explore Finchy Forest.
Shut up. Stop. That’s so cute.
It’s so cute. My little bird is a toddler now. And his name is Bernard.
Bernard the bird. Wow.
I love him.
I love him too. This is the first I’m hearing of him and I would die for him.
Yeah. And you get little push notifications during the day that are like, you’re important. I love you. My day was great. How was yours?
This sounds like the ideal app for you. I’m really glad you found this app. Thank you, Kay.
Yeah, thank you, Kay. Once you get a certain number of points they give your bird energy, they go and explore. And then they come back with a little story about something that they saw in the forest and you can pick an answer to them. ‘Cause they usually have a question about the world ’cause they’re going to explore and they’re little babies. One of ’em was what’s that big thing in the sky she was following the whole time. You can be like, that’s the moon. She loves you. Or like, many cultures have different beliefs about the moon. She’s in space, you know? And then you can earn gems from connecting with your bird. And you can use it to buy them little clothes.
Right now my bird has a little blue sweater and a pink scarf.
Right? And you can also, if you tap on the screen you can pet your bird. Little hearts pop up from their head.
It’s great. It’s very wholesome. And it’s little bite-size prompts. So they’re really easy to do. It’s not like sitting down and journaling a ton.
Yeah. I got you.
It is kind of funny though because sometimes it’ll pick up things that you type, like if it notices that it’s a proper noun or something like that, and then it will ask you prompt questions about it. And one time, one of the questions that I was initially asked was what was something that went well in your day? And I’d said something about work, a coworker and I figuring something out, which made me feel good. And then later it picked up on my coworker’s name and then one of the next prompt questions was just “what was so-and-so hilariously bad at?”. And I was like, way to dunk on my coworkers that you don’t even know. I love this bird so much.
What a good bird.
All right. Yeah. That was my DT.
Anything else we wanna say before we sign this one off?
Nah, take care of yourself. Take care of each other. The ushe. You know? Whether it’s a little baby bird on an app.
A nice candle.
Yeah. Just something. Something.
All right. I’ll sign this one out. This has been Or, Learn Parkour from Wholehearted Production Company.
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