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ADHD and “Weekly Burnout”

Some days you have just got to accept that you are not going to get things done well- or at all. With ADHD, If we overtax our mental energy one day. The next day will be harder, almost guaranteed.

In five day through the week, I get in maybe three days worth of work done. It is an ADHD truth that has been a long and hard lesson to learn.

This is why I make phone calls on Monday only. Do errands on Tuesday only. And, give myself a half day of work on Wednesday and don't plan a lot. My brain needs the break midweek. This allows Thursday to be more productive and makes Friday a day where I can get in a decent day's worth of productivity. Unlike how it used to be if I tried to just power through.

It's not optimal to say the least. It's a fact of my ADHD that bugs me a LOT. I spent a lot of years trying to be perfect, and therefore a lot of time down on myself. Because, I could not pull off the "stay at home mom" routine as easily as other moms who were not ADHD. Forget an outside job on top of that!

I wish I could go full steam ahead and get more done in a day or week! Alas, my Executive Function Fuel tank is just not that large, and if I go on full steam ahead, I burn that fuel faster and it takes me longer to refill it.

This week my EF Fuel Tank is Running Low

This week for me has been crazy busy and mental-energy taxing for me. ADDgirl's cell phone died for no reason at all...just decided to stop working on Sunday and I have been making calls all week about it.

Her cellphone is an assistant device for her with her ADHD and anxiety. So, she is feeling like a fish out of water without it, and emotions have been running high too.


There is a reason why my slogan is "Sometimes I'm Super, Sometimes the ADHD is."

Our errand trip into the city yesterday was delayed from Tuesday...and I am just totally mentally exhausted today from it.

Yesterday was the 25th, so stores were extra busy because old age pension comes out that day. We usually avoid the 25th of the month if we can help it when shopping in the city. TMO has a handicap parking pass for his physical disability and on the 25th handicapped parking and ride scooters at Wal-mart are lacking that day. If we shop on the 25th he is more tired and usually bed bound for the next 3 days from the extra walking he ends up doing.

Even if we can get a handicapped parking spot, and a scooter for him, it takes us twice as long to get around the store and shop around the crowd of older folks shopping for the month. I'm not complaining, I understand they move slower and have health issues that probably makes shopping as taxing for them as it is for me, if not more-so. It's just a fact that makes our shopping tips longer.

Being an outgoing person who has worked in retail as a personal shopper for disabled customers, I can't help but notice when they need help. I always end up getting things off shelves or explaining the carb count on a food for a diabetic! I have the "gift to gab" as they say. It's an ADHD given.

I have certainly cut back on this kind of thing when shopping ourselves, to save time and energy. But, I am still inclined to do it.

So, shopping yesterday took longer and my brain was already drained from all the being "on" with calling our cellphone provider three times, the Samsung company about repair costs and info, and checking with local cell phone "doctors" to find a solution on Monday and Tuesday.

I ended up going to our cell provider store in the mall and finding out that the phone is essentially a paperweight now, and dealing with finding a solution for a phone that still has eight months on a contract. That added an extra hour to our trip, and is an issue we are still sorting out.

I'm burnt out this week already

I was burnt out yesterday!

Today is a day where people are fending for themselves. If everyone has a full tummy by whatever means necessary because I can't concentrate on cooking well today- That's considered a success.

Today is a day where, if everyone is in bed on time and I can manage to prepare for tomorrow...that's a good day!

I got up at 8:30 this morning. Napped from 11am to 3pm because I was just too tired mentally to deal with the slightest of a to do list today. I laid down with TMO at 11am to rub his back from the spasms he was having and I fell asleep. I woke up with my glasses still on and my cell phone on my chest.

I got up and helped everyone get food type things (snacky things and sandwiches), went to check on the maple tree sap buckets we are tapping, and now I'm laying in bed at 7 pm watching shows with the kids and TMO while I write this.

I could sleep even now, But I'm trying to hold out until 9:30 so I can get SensoryBoy off to bed with his bedtime routine, and then I will probably crash myself.

Understanding ADHD Weekly Burn Out


It took me a long time (years in fact) to accept this fact of ADHD and just let these days happen without guilt or feeling like a failure.

Years ago, I would stress out over it completely. I felt like a failure, and I would cry and or have an anxiety meltdown yelling at everyone to shut up and get away from me while I tried to concentrate on making dinner.

I'd get so upset, I would end up napping after all that spent energy on crying and getting mad.

Now I just skip that step and go right to the resting. Because, I finally realized that was what I needed most.

With ADHD we get mentally spent easily when we have to utilize our EF fuel tank so much. All that planning and organizing, tracking info and communicating more is hard on me. My CAPD drains me a lot when I have to make phone calls. Because I have to concentrate so hard to process what I'm hearing and double check to make sure I got the info right.

With ADHD, Our executive function deficiency depletes our EF fuel tank FAST and it leaves us feeling out of sorts, tired, cranky and even sad.

These are all signs of being over taxed EF wise, that I have gotten better at recognizing over the years. They are a sign that we need refueling through downtime, healthy food,good rest and lesser expectations of ourselves.

With ADHD, weekly burnout is absolutely a real thing. We even have daily mini burn outs after being "on" all day. Imagine how our kids with ADHD feel after school?! it is no wonder they have meltdowns in the evenings after being "on" all day.

Learning to recognize that, accepting it as an ADHD truth and then compensating for it has been an ongoing process for me in the 10 years since I was officially DXed with ADHD.

Do you recognize your ADHD/EF fueltank burn out behavior? What day of the week or time of the day is it the worst for you? How can you implement some refueling time and lessen the negative impact of it in your week?

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3 Comments on ADHD and “Weekly Burnout”

  1. This describes me perfectly. When I have my son on the weekend, I am always ‘on’, so when I go over to see my gf afterwards, she always complains that I’m so tired. I feel drained after having my son. It is fun, but tiring. Always wondered why…..thanks!


  2. I love this. How did I not find you sooner?
    I write about being a woman living and parenting with ADHD.
    You and I should be friends. LOL

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