Categories
ADHD

Creating habits to manage ADHD

After 45 years of having ADHD and not realizing, I’ve unknowingly developed coping strategies to help me function in productive ways.

One area where ADHD affects me the most is my memory. I have to use to-do lists, reminders, emails, and so on just to get things done and not miss appointments. Even then, I still forget things.

After 45 years of having ADHD and not realizing it, I’ve unknowingly developed coping strategies to help me function productively. In addition to the tools I mentioned above, I use habits to help me remember.

For example, a few months ago, I visited our family doctor about having my prostate examined. She thinks I’m still not quite old enough, so it didn’t happen. But we did discuss my health generally. One thing she recommended was taking vitamin D daily. Apparently, researchers have found that most Canadians don’t consume adequate amounts of vitamin D each day.

I always struggle taking vitamins, medicine, and the like, but I knew that if I created a habit of it, I’d remember to take it. I decided that I’d integrate it into my morning hygiene routine.

I have a morning routine I stick to in the washroom. It helps me remember everything I need to do to get clean and prepare my body for the day. In the shower, I was my bum, then shampoo my hair, shampoo my beard, condition my hair, condition my beard, wash my body, wash my face, and rinse. Even so, if I am too distracted with my own thoughts, I occasionally grab the conditioner without having shampooed first. Luckily, I notice right away.

After I towel off and exit the shower, I brush my hair, brush my teeth, use mouthwash, apply deodorant, apply beard oil, style beard, and moisturize my hands. I decided that I’d take my vitamin right after I use the mouthwash. I always rinse out the mouthwash cap, and I figured I could just fill it with water, which I could then use to wash down the tablet.

And this goes for anything I need to get done.

Here’s another example. Every Wednesday night, I run a bunch of errands. I always do them in the same order: drop children off at activities, take recycling to the depot, buy groceries, fill the gas tank, and (if the weather is warm enough) wash the van. Doing it this way means I don’t come home with an empty gas tank or full recycling bins.

This is the same reason I always put my keys in the same place and hang up my clothes on the same hanger.

Every day is filled with habits for me. And when combined with other tools, such as reminders, to-do lists, and email, they help me stay on track.

Do you create habits to help you remember things? Tell me about your habits in the comments below.

Like this story?

By Kim Siever

I live in Lethbridge with my spouse and 5 of our 6 children. I’m a writer, focusing on political news, social issues, and the occasional poem. My politics are radically left. I recently finished writing a book debunking several capitalism myths. My newest book writing project is on the labour history of Lethbridge.

I’m also dichotomally Mormon. And I’m a functional vegetarian: I have a blog post about that somewhere around here. My pronouns are he/him, and I’m queer.

6 replies on “Creating habits to manage ADHD”

My front door is metal of some sorts and I have a to do list on a magnet. When I go out the door I check my list to see if I need to bring anything with me to drop off or deliver etc. I have an app on my phone for my doctor and when I think of anything I need to discuss with her I add it. Otherwise I leave her office and after I get home I realized that I forgot to discuss it with her

Lists make a huge difference for me. As I pointed out in an earlier post, I have a list on my phone for each day, and I just add things to it that I need to do that day.

My front door is metal of some sorts and I have a to do list on a magnet. When I go out the door I check my list to see if I need to bring anything with me to drop off or deliver etc. I have an app on my phone for my doctor and when I think of anything I need to discuss with her I add it. Otherwise I leave her office and after I get home I realized that I forgot to discuss it with her

Lists make a huge difference for me. As I pointed out in an earlier post, I have a list on my phone for each day, and I just add things to it that I need to do that day.

Comment on this story

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.