January 12, 2023

What I'm doing to improve my wellbeing

The long and winding journey to optimum health

For the past few years, I've been working on healing from including chronic illness. Being chronically ill is an isolating and daunting experience. Although I've found support, I've struggled to scrape through some of the lowest points. Fortunately, I've improved my health enough to go further and incorporate more habits.

Brain Retraining

Retraining and rewiring has dramatically impacted my health and helped me recover from many of my worst symptoms. It's not an easy task and requires a commitment of one hour a day until healed. I've had bouts of not doing it for stretches at a time, but I'm on a regular practice again and always feel better when I do. In terms of overall symptoms, I have recovered about 80-90% and function well enough to work full-time and do activities off the table for a long time. Even short walks were strenuous for me.

Getting sunlight earlier in the day

I haven't perfected this yet, mainly because it's still very dark here a couple of hours from waking. But as someone who's felt exhausted the past few years, optimizing my energy and doing attainable exercise is very important. I've been following Andrew Huberman's advice to get out into daylight as soon as possible in the morning to help regulate my dopamine and generate melatonin. I've felt mentally better as a result, especially because I live a block from the Vancouver seawall, and it's beautiful no matter the weather. I owe a lot to the healing nature we have in the Pacific Northwest.


I've done a lot of therapy in the past three years, and thankfully I've had some excellent support. I have seen specialists as well as participated in groups, which has helped me dive in alongside supportive people. I wish more people could go and benefit from it.

Body doubling

I've been using a website called Focusmate recently, and it's greatly improved my motivation, productivity and mood. As someone who's worked on many digital products over the years and is pretty skeptical about the net positive impact of technology in people's lives, I don't get hyped about it anymore. But Focusmate is a revolutionary product, and I've met some amiable and supportive people along the way. Unlike ADHD groups with co-working sessions at fixed times during the week. Focusmate is a 1:1 video call with a partner in the background, where you state your goals at the start and what you accomplished at the end. Aside from desk work, I use it for things like doing yoga in the morning, my DNRS program, cleaning and journalling.

Understanding the impact of undiagnosed ADHD

My recent diagnosis has helped me to recover from ingrained core beliefs about my aptitude and intelligence and how I've compared to my neurotypical peers in the past. It's sad to learn about all the the people who've been held back because they weren't diagnosed in childhood (and from my generation, that's mostly women). I'm thankful to learn about my brain's working and why I've been more sensitive or found certain situations more challenging. Thankfully, with treatment, coping strategies, and self-compassion, I feel I am far more understanding towards myself and productive.

I will continue seeking opportunities to help me feel better, but I also know I want to stick with what's working and be consistent. Consistency is what I'm working on for 2023, along with intention. And I intend to lead a fulfilling life of vibrancy. I believe these habits are leading me there.