Wellness Tips for 2018
Consider this: 8 million adults have ADHD/ADD. That’s 8 million adults who struggle with organization, focus, and keeping on task (to name a few things). What’s more, over half of those with ADHD also have some form of mental health disorder such as anxiety or depression. While doctor-prescribed medication is the first course of action, there are several things you can do on your own for a wellness boost in 2018.
Find Your Focus
With the start of the New Year comes resolutions to improve your health, such as eating healthy or committing to a fitness plan. Even the most laser-focused adult can find it hard to stick to goals, and ADHD adds another layer of opposition. However, by implementing the right strategies, you can improve your focus and reach your goals. Start simple by creating a visual reminder of your desired outcomes, such as a date by which to achieve a weight-loss goal or nights on which you will cook as opposed to eating frozen food or ordering from the drive-through. However, writing it down might not be enough. Papers get lost in the shuffle, and it’s easy to avert your eyes and ignore your plans. Find an accountability partner who will support and motivate you along the way. This doesn’t have to be someone who goes with you to the gym. This can be a friend or family member that you check in with once or twice a week to gain honest, unbiased feedback and constructive criticism. Use this person as your go-to not only in your wellness goals, but your life goals, too.
Let Your Home Match Your Goals
Your home isn’t just where your heart is; it’s where you spend a lot of your time, so it makes sense that you would optimize it for organized, stress-free living. Set aside a room in your home without electronic distractions for your creative pursuits. Buy a comfortable chair, some paintings of nature, and other relaxing decor to inspire less stress. Before you fill your house with de-stressing items such as an oil diffuser, greenery, or a new plushy pillow, you need to do a little bit of a purge first. No one is ever perfectly organized, but small changes go a long way. Recruit a friend to help you sort all your items into “Keep,” “Toss,” and “Donate” piles. Make sure everything has a place, including mail, receipts, and loose change. Rather than try to tackle it all in one day, and get down on yourself when you don’t finish, break it up into manageable tasks and use a sticky note to remind yourself where you left off. The sticky-note method can be applied for any project or task you take on whether it is chores, work, or reading a good book.
The Year of No
You’re using fine-tuned focusing strategies, and your house is in order, but none of this matters if you can’t say “no.” A major symptom of ADHD is impulsivity, which could lead to a plate that is way too full and unnecessary stress/anxiety. Rather than immediately turning down every request that comes your way, practice a rehearsed response such as, “Let me check my schedule and get back to you.” Use the extra time you earned to not only think about whether you want to do this, but if you can. Remind yourself that no one expects you to graciously accept every opportunity that comes your way—it’s okay to graciously decline. You’ll likely find that the control you have will carry over into other areas of your life. Plus, saying “no” frees up time to focus on you and the ways you plan to make 2018 the year of wellness.
ADHD is a chronic condition, but it is nothing more than an extra obstacle. You face challenges every day, some more easily solvable than others, and finding what works for you will be a process of trial and error. The suggestions above are a great start, but you’ll find what works for you and may have to tweak it a few times, and that’s completely okay.