Saturday, June 30, 2018

Inspirational Quote – June 30, 2018

“Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go.”

We all doubt ourselves and our abilities at one time or another, maybe more times than we can count. However, this is normal so nothing to be ashamed of. The thing to remember is that, while it’s healthy to doubt ourselves as it gives us an opportunity to stop and think about what we’re doing and adjust things if we have to, it also pays us to be more ready to give ourselves a pat on the back. We all tend to be harder on ourselves than anybody else would be, so take time to recognize how far YOU have come and what YOU have achieved and what you know YOU can achieve in the future. Be kind to yourself, you’re so worth it.

Avoiding Volunteer Burnout With Mindful Self Care

Being a person who makes a difference in the world is a hope that most of us have, but being able to do so for any sustained period of time is the challenge. For many of us, making a difference takes the form of volunteering in challenging situations while working full time jobs. In the article "Avoiding Volunteer Burnout With Mindful Self Care," author Jennifer Jean shares a five step plan that she developed while teaching poetry to sex-trafficking survivors. By practicing compassionate and proactive self-care, Jennifer has been able to continue caring for herself and her family while sharing the hope of healing to others in need.

Friday, June 29, 2018

What Your House Says About Your Health...

fruit bowl in kitchen

What’s on the Kitchen Counter?

Set yourself up for snack success. Stock up on the good stuff: Fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fats. If you get canned goods, go for fruits packed in their own juice (instead of syrup). Skip additives like salt or sugar. When in doubt, read labels. Or better yet, stick to whole foods that don’t need labels in the first place.
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family eating dinner together
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Is Your Kitchen Table Dusty?

Busy schedules and screens can butt in to dinnertime. That isn't good for your crew's health. Kids have better eating habits and teens are less likely to take part in risky behavior when mealtime is a family affair. Everyone benefits when you carve out time to sit at the table together.
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three portions of food on plates
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How Big Are Your Dishes?

Did you know your plate size can affect your waist size? It’s true -- studies show that when people use larger bowls and plates, they fill them up. That means they eat more than they need. Try this simple switch at mealtime: Put healthy foods on bigger plates and less healthy foods on smaller ones. You’ll satisfy your hunger with more nutrients and less junk.
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containers of leftovers in refrigerator
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Do You Do Leftovers Right?

Eating them is a great way to get the most meal for your buck, but be sure you store them safely. Refrigerate leftover food right away in an airtight container to keep bacteria from setting up shop. Reheat in microwave-safe or oven-safe glass or ceramic (not plastic). Get food hot all the way through. Check for cold spots, so germs scram before you swallow.
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woman reading laptop in bed
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Too Many Screens in Your Bedroom?

Like to surf the Net before sleep, or drift off to a flickering TV? That can rob you of high-quality sleep. Light from electronic gadgets turns on the wakeful parts of your brain. This can make it harder to nod off. And the shut-eye you do get is often less restful.
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pet sleeping with owner
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Do Your Pets Sleep With You?

Cuddling up with your cat or dozing with your dog at night can be a great comfort, but there are tradeoffs. Pets take up space in your bed, make noise, and move around. Even if they have their own beds on the floor, they can still disrupt your sleep. And if Fido is sick, snoozing together makes it easier for some germs to spread to you.
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young woman waking up with backache
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Is Your Mattress Just Right?

Do you wake up stiff and sore in the morning? Your mattress might be to blame. Not everyone needs a firm surface for sleep. Your body will tell you what’s best. Replace your mattress after about 8 years, and pick up new pillows if yours are shapeless or lumpy.
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first aid kit contents
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Can You Find Your First-Aid Kit?

When minor injuries or illnesses strike, it’s good to have the right treatment on hand. Pick up a pre-stocked first-aid kit from your local pharmacy and read up on everything inside. Talk to your doctor about other items you might add. Put your kit somewhere you can get to easily (but kids can’t). Restock anything you use and any expired items.
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makeup set in open drawer
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How Do You Store Your Makeup?

Whether you wear it every day or pull it out for special occasions, make sure it's germ-free. Store it in a cool, dry place, and always wash your hands before you apply. Try to avoid touching makeup in its container. Don't add water or saliva. And don't share with your friends.
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cleaning bathroom shower
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Is Your Bathroom Moldy?

When your space isn’t well-ventilated, mold can set up shop, fast. It causes all kinds of health problems, from nose and throat irritation to infection. Send steam from your shower outside with a fan or open window. Clean up with mold-fighting products, and never install carpet on your bathroom floor.
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athletic shoes in store
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Are Your Shoes Ready for a Workout?

Your body needs about 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week to stay healthy. But if you don’t have the right shoes, you can bring on new aches and pains. A sports specialty store can set you up with the right kicks for your activity level and style. Don’t believe the break-in myth. Shoes should be comfy from the moment you put them on.
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young woman painting wall
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Does Your Decor Help You Think?

Your wall color can help you get stuff done. Red, for example, can help you with detail-oriented tasks, like chopping vegetables and measuring ingredients. Choose blue for an area like a study or craft room to boost your creativity.
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filling drinking glass with tap water
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Is Your Water Clear and Tasty?

When the wrong stuff gets into your water, it can cause anything from a stomach bug to neurological disorders. The EPA guards public drinking water safety, but that's your job if you use well water. No matter where it comes from, be careful anytime your home’s water tastes or looks odd. This could be a sign of a problem. You can also use a water filtration system. Be sure you know what your filter can and can’t remove. Change it often.
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curtains blowing in breeze
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Is Your Air Fresh and Clean?

Air that carries health hazards can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat. It can give you a headache or make you dizzy. It can also lead to long-term problems like cancer and respiratory and heart diseases. To lower the chances of indoor air pollution, make sure fresh air can get into your house. Open windows when you can. Be sure your house has proper ventilation. If you still have problems, consider an air-cleaning device.
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baby playing on rug
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Can You Write Your Name in the Dust?

It’s more than just dirt. Anything in the air can end up in dust, like chemicals used in your flooring, cleaning products, and furniture. Young kids who spend time on the floor are more likely to have health problems from dust. Use an air cleaner with a HEPA filter. Wash your hands often, and clean with a damp cloth or wet mop.
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Why Gender Stereotypes Are So Hard to Fight at Work

Here's what we learned from a failed gender equality training, and how workplaces can support women better.

The police were concerned. They had investigated diversity in their large U.K. force and discovered that when female officers and staff reflected on their time being pregnant, only 39 percent felt supported by their managers.

In collaboration with the police, my colleagues and I at the Behavioral Insights Team were tasked with creating a more supportive environment for those female employees. In part, this would mean improving how managers communicated with and supported their female employees: Of the 44 percent of women who were moved to a different job after they announced they were pregnant, only half were consulted about it, and only 33 percent reported that they had a conversation with their line managers about maintaining contact throughout pregnancy.
We hypothesized that stereotyping, prejudice, and bias might be at play. Perhaps managers assumed that their female subordinates needed to be protected from the outside world, or that women’s career ambitions would evaporate because of the pregnancy.
We thought perspective taking might help. Perspective taking consists of imagining what other people are feeling and thinking. In lab experiments, it has improved communicationreduced the tendency for stereotyping and prejudice, and increased empathy. Perhaps, we thought, it could do the same for the police force.
We designed a 15-minute, online perspective-taking task for line managers, asking them to imagine what it would be like to be a pregnant woman. In the intervention, managers first completed a short writing exercise designed to boost their self-efficacy by recalling a situation in which they were able to overcome challenges to help another person. The managers were then presented a short description and picture of a pregnant police officer, Anna, and asked to write a few sentences about her life as they imagined it, including her experiences at work and with other people. Finally, the managers were encouraged to write down a few specific things they could do in the following week to better support or communicate with their female staff.
The results surprised us. In a randomized controlled trial with over 3,500 managers from the police force, we found no positive impact. In fact, the line managers who completed the perspective-taking task performed slightly worse in hypothetical scenarios asking how they would support female staff.
But maybe we shouldn’t have been so surprised: Gender stereotypes are notoriously sticky, in part because we’re often unaware that we hold them, and they can influence impressions and judgments outside of conscious awareness. This means that even when someone genuinely believes they’re treating men and women equally, biases based on stereotypes can creep in. Gender stereotypes are also sticky because, despite progress on many aspects of gender equality, such as universal suffrage and education, stereotypes are still perpetuated in realms like media and entertainment.
Changing people’s conscious and unconscious beliefs about women is hard, and programs to do so have limited impact. Research on diversity and unconscious-bias trainings also bear this out: Trainings are mostly ineffective at changing behavior and can even backfire, especially when trainings are mandatory and participants resent being sent to the course. Diversity trainings may also fail if they create the illusion that the organization has now fixed its diversity problems.
Similar mechanisms may have been at play in our study, explaining why our intervention wasn’t effective. Or perhaps the line managers simply did not know how to be more supportive, even if they wanted to. Future interventions should offer specific tools for behavior change, combined with organizational support to maintain the new behaviors.
Despite these challenges, there’s hope. But the solution won’t come from getting rid of the stereotypes inside our heads. Instead, argues behavioral economist Iris Bohnet, it will come from changing the stereotypes and biases inside our systems, systems such as hiring and selection in organizations, or how we assess students in schools.
Take hiring processes, for instance. This is a system that consistently disadvantages women, as shown by the low levels of women in senior positions. My colleagues at the Behavioral Insights Team launched Applied, a hiring platform designed to remove bias from hiring decisions. It does so through various evidence-based features like removing a candidate’s name or other background markers that could affect a candidate’s likelihood of being invited to an interview.
“Gender stereotypes are notoriously sticky, in part because we’re often unaware that we hold them”
―Dr. Tiina Likki
Systems that can influence promotions—like performance reviews—are also fertile ground for debiasing. For example, using data from a large service organization (the type of organization isn’t specified in the research), MIT professor Emilio Castilla found that identical ratings in performance reviews were more likely to lead to a promotion for men than women (a phenomenon called performance reward bias).
The first step that any organization can take is to look at the data on your people. Dig into gender differences in work allocation, development opportunities, salary and bonuses, and promotions and retention in each grade. Where are there gaps? Why? In the U.K., many employers have recently begun looking at their data due to the new legal requirement to publicly report their gender pay gap, a measure that reflects the difference in hourly wages between men and women across all grades.
Once an organization has identified potential systemic biases, it can begin to apply behavioral science. But that’s only the beginning: It’s critical for any organization to keep monitoring that original data, to evaluate interventions, and to set measurable goals for change.
What’s more, when solutions fail, we need to openly broadcast those failures. We can only get a sense of what genuinely works to improve gender parity if we show when initiatives have gone wrong or turned out to be a poor investment. I look forward to continuing to solve this problem and promise to keep sharing failures—and successes—along the way.

Inspirational Quote – June 29, 2018

“Procrastination is the thief of time.”

I am a guilty of being a procrastinator! If procrastinating includes not being able to make a decision then I’m your woman. “Would you like a biscuit with your coffee” throws me into a panic? Should I think of my gradually expanding figure and refuse’; would I be thought rude; what if it’s a biscuit I don’t like (very unlikely but you never know)? I guess what this really means is that to procrastinate is to hesitate, and time spent hesitating means less time actually “doing” so time lost. We need to aim to be more decisive or take action sooner rather than later to thwart the thief, procrastination.

The Spiritual Diplomat

Having witnessed the ravages of war in the 1940s, James George determined as a young man to be a peacemaker and harmonizer in the world by working as a diplomat for Canada for 30 years. Ultimately, George realized that only an inner spiritual practice could generate the peace he wished to carry into the world. He applied his spiritual practice by being aware of what is happening moment to moment in himself and around him. He made himself available to the life that was given to him and tried to help people living in various countries to find inner peace as a means of achieving outer peace. 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Inspirational Quote – June 28, 2018

“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.”

Our experiences of and in life are what shape and mold us into the people we become. However, we too have a hand in shaping the malleable clay we represent when we are thrown on the spinning wheel of life to begin the shape we will become. It’s how we respond and move beyond what happens to us that shapes us. Using the tools we each have, i.e. free will, determination, confidence, the will to succeed and overcome, as the “hands” and “tools” of our choosing therefore taking control of who WE choose to become.

The Wisdom of South Korea's Garden Hacking Grandparents

Whether we wake up each morning under eaves beneath trees, or on the top floors of towers among a forest of more towers; whether we walk our children to school through a park, or drive our car down the traffic-clogged streets to the market; whether we spend our mornings closed in meeting rooms, or tending urban gardens, each of us are the potential builders of a new culture, and each of our actions offers opportunity for transformation. Consider the garden hacking grandparents of Dae-dong in South Korea, who have realized that there is inherent value in the action of tending a garden, and in the action of taking time every day to be with nature. Nurturing a love for nature is an indispensable part of life.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

14 Ways to Make Your Feet Feel Better


Your Fabulous Feet

They’re easy to take for granted, but it’s hard to get anywhere without them. And when they hurt, it can be tough to concentrate on anything else. So pamper your feet to keep them at their best.
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Keep an Eye on Them

Your feet take a beating every day, and small problems can turn into big ones if you ignore them. Look over your feet each day for cuts, sores, loose or discolored toenails, swelling, or rashes.
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Wash Them

When you’re walking, they’re working -- and they sweat, too. When the cracks and crevices between your toes are trapped in your shoes, they’re a warm, moist place that’s ideal for fungus. And that can lead to things like athlete’s foot. When you wash your feet, the water shouldn’t be too hot -- between 90 and 95 degrees is best -- and don't forget to get between your toes.
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Keep Them Dry

This may seem obvious, but many people don’t dry their feet the right way. It’s not just the tops and bottoms: You should get between your toes -- where fungus is most likely to cause problems.
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Use Powder

After you dry your feet, sprinkle cornstarch or talcum powder on them to help keep them dry. If you have athlete’s foot or some other infection, you can try special medicated foot powders that help with itching, too.
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Don’t Soak Them

It may feel good at the time, but soaking your feet for long periods can lead to dry, cracked skin that can cause pain, sores, and even infection. Wash, dry, powder, and repeat -- and leave it at that. Save the soaking for your beans.
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Keep Them Soft

Lotion, cream, petroleum jelly -- whatever moisturizer you prefer -- put a thin coat of it on the tops and bottoms of your feet. Make sure to rub it all the way in and skip between your toes, where too much moisture can cause trouble.
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Trim Your Toenails

You want to cut them straight across. You can smooth the corners with an emery board or nail file, but don’t angle them. That can cause your toenails to grow into your skin, which is painful and can lead to infection. Have a foot doctor trim them if you can’t see, reach, or feel your feet, or your toenails are thick, yellowed, or grown into your skin.
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Keep Blood Flowing

Wiggle your toes a couple of times a day for 5 minutes at a time. Move your ankles around to help even more. Don’t cross your legs for long periods or wear tight socks -- that can mess with your blood flow.
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Stretch Your Feet

Foot stretches and massage -- with a ball or roller -- are good for your feet and can help manage painful conditions like plantar fasciitis, an injury to the sole of your foot that comes from overuse. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about which stretches are right for you.
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Smooth Corns and Calluses

You can use a special kind of stone called pumice on these. After you bathe or shower, rub the stone gently over the area. Don’t cut them or use corn plasters, “liquid corn,” or callus removers -- they can cause infection. If you have this done as part of a pedicure at a salon, make sure the footbaths and tools are clean and that the technician washes her hands between clients.
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Get the Right Shoes

When you need a new pair, it’s best to try them on at the end of the day, when your feet are largest. Make sure that there’s plenty of room for your toes and that they fit when you get them -- don’t expect them to “stretch out.” And as pretty as they are, high heels and shoes with pointed toes are really hard on your feet.
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Be Active

Just a few minutes of activity a day can help your blood flow, which can lead to healthier feet. You don’t have to run a marathon, unless you really want to. Walking, biking, swimming, dancing -- even gardening -- will work. Get the right kind of supportive shoes for your activity, and ask your doctor if you’re not sure what’s right for you.
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Protect Them From the Elements

Keep your feet safe from the hot pavement in the summer with sandals or shoes, and protect them from sunburn. Many people overlook the top of their feet when they put on sunscreen, but that's a common place to get a burn. In the cold of winter, lined boots are your feet’s best friend.
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Special Care: Diabetes

It’s even more important to take care of your feet if you have diabetes, especially if you have pain, numbness, changes in the shape of your feet, or sores that don’t heal. The condition lowers blood flow and can damage nerves in your feet. You may need to talk with a foot doctor -- a podiatrist -- to make sure you’re doing all you can for them.
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How ADHD May Be Affecting Your Life

woman eating midnight snack

Compulsive Eating

Having ADHD often means you struggle with the ability to set limits on your behavior (like eating). What’s more, ADHD often lowers your level of dopamine, the hormone involved in your brain’s pleasure center. Gorging on food is a way to temporarily raise your dopamine levels and get that good feeling again.
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woman biting nail
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Worry that won’t go away and keeps you from living your life like you want to is a sign of anxiety. About half of adults with ADHD also have an anxiety disorder. Sometimes your ADHD symptoms cause that on-edge feeling. When that’s the case, treating your ADHD also helps your anxiety.
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man asleep holding drink
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Substance Misuse

The same “thrill-seeking” behavior that leads to out-of-control eating can play a role in the overuse and misuse of drugs and alcohol. Doctors think there may be a link between ADHD and drug or alcohol use disorders.
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woman driving with sore should
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Chronic Stress

Your ADHD symptoms can be stressful. It’s likely that your stress level stays up for longer than most when you have the disorder. Over time, stress can lead to other issues like:
  • Muscle tension and pain
  • Breathing problems
  • Heart issues
  • Trouble controlling your blood sugar
  • Digestion issues
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restless leg syndrome
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Sleep Problems

ADHD can affect your ZZZs. It raises your chances of snoring, sleep apnea, and restless legs syndrome (an urge to move your legs when you’re at rest). It can also throw off your body's internal clock, called the circadian rhythm. That means your sleeping gets out of sync with the natural rising and setting of the sun. That can make you struggle to fall asleep and wake up at regular times.
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employer dissatisfied with report
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Employment Problems

Though all workplaces are different, most expect you to be organized, on time, attentive, focused, and do the work you're asked to do. ADHD can make all of these harder. As a result, you may not be able to live up to your employer's expectations. So it may be a struggle to keep a job.
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meter reading time expired
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Trouble With Deadlines

ADHD can make you forgetful and distracted. You’re also likely to have trouble with time management because of your problems with focus. All of these symptoms can lead to missed due dates for work, school, and personal projects.
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car trunk filled with shopping bags
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Impulsive Spending

Buying things just because you want to gives you a brief boost in those “feel-good” hormones. But that can come at a price. You may find yourself with a drained bank account or bad credit from all of your unplanned spending.
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woman on floor reviewing bills
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Financial Issues

Dropping deadlines and having risky spending practices are just two of the things that raise the chance you’ll leave bills unpaid. You also have to keep up with paper statements and your checkbook -- two tasks that are much harder when your ADHD symptoms aren’t under control.
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man using smartphone at dinner table
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Screen Addiction

It’s true that ADHD makes it hard to keep focus. But when it comes to smartphones, video games, and televisions, your attention can get hooked by the constant change of images, comments, graphics, and games. Your brain craves the reward it gets when you’re on a screen, which can make it hard to tear yourself away.
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couple talking on bed
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Sexual Problems

If your ADHD symptoms show up during sex, they can really dampen the mood. Your mind can wander off your partner and the overall experience. Lack of patience can keep you from going the distance. You also need good communication for a healthy sex life, and that may be a struggle for you.
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couple on park bench arguing
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Relationship Problems

It’s common for couples to struggle with communication when ADHD is part of the relationship, especially if you aren’t treating your symptoms. It may feel like you're constantly nagged by your partner as they try to deal with certain traits of yours, like forgetfulness or lack of focus.
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road rage incident
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Emotional Outbursts

One way ADHD affects your brain is that it makes it harder for you to control how you respond to things. You could explode in anger or lash out in annoyance or impatience. It can also be why you worry so much over minor things.
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