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When it comes to creating an ADHD-friendly lifestyle, I like break the process into lifestyle pillars and walk through each area with my clients. Very often, they have never given much thought to these areas, but when they do, the impact is typically quite dramatic.
So today I’ll walk you through each of these pillars in the blog post below, or, if you prefer to listen, you can access the podcast here.
Within each of these categories, there’s a lot we can do to set ourselves up for success by reducing friction towards the behaviors we want to cultivate, create reminders and systems for ourselves and generally just getting stuff done.
Let’s go though each pillar in a bit more detail.
Creating an ADHD-Friendly Environment That Supports YOUR Lifestyle
Our environment plays a huge role in our ability to function and feel at peace. That’s why it’s important to understand how our surroundings influence us. Start by taking a look at your home, office, car, or anywhere else you spend a lot of time. Which spaces give you the most trouble? What aspects of them are causing you friction? For example, maybe your workspace is cluttered and disorganized, causing you to feel overwhelmed and distracted.
Once you’ve identified areas that need improvement, make a list of tolerations – the little things that you tolerate on a daily basis that seem small enough to ignore but collectively drain your energy. What needs fixing, adjusting, or decluttering? Try to avoid trying to fix everything at once. Instead, focus on making micro-changes that are easier to manage.
Making ADHD-Friendly Self-Care Practices a Non-Negotiable
Self-care is critical for anyone, but especially for those with ADHD. It’s important to get enough sleep, stay hydrated, eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly. Beyond these basics, self-care can look different for everyone. Maybe you enjoy bubble baths or yoga, or perhaps you need to journal or meditate to feel your best. The key is to find what works for you and make it a priority.
Identify Your ADHD-Friendly Lifestyle Routines and Habit Structure
Creating routines and habits is essential for those with ADHD. It helps us avoid unnecessary cognitive load and unnecessary distractions. Start by identifying a specific behavior or action you want to work on and create a structure around it. For example, if you want to start working out every morning, identify what you need to do to make that as frictionless as possible.
Cultivating Connection, Community, and Support
Finding a community of people who understand your struggles can make a world of difference. Consider joining an ADHD community or finding friends who also have ADHD. Having people who appreciate you for who you are and practice good boundaries can be incredibly helpful.
Finding a therapist who understands ADHD, or a professional ADHD coach can act as part of your support team and help you develop skills for thriving and growth.
Making Time for Personal/Spiritual Growth and Self-Awareness
Finally, it’s important to commit to ongoing personal and spiritual growth. This means exploring your limits and understanding your unique strengths and weaknesses. With ADHD, we have big, ambitious brains. If we can learn to understand and focus them, we can achieve incredible things.
By focusing on these 5 pillars, we can create an ADHD-friendly lifestyle that works for us. Remember, it’s okay to start small and make incremental changes. Over time, these changes will add up to big improvements in our quality of life.