Healthy Habits and Morning Routines for ADHD

healthy adhd habits and morning routines

October is National ADHD Awareness Month.

To “celebrate” this month, I am sharing 4 very important habits for living your best life with ADHD

in 4 blog posts throughout the month.

 

Establishing a successful habits and positive morning routines make for a great day! Successful habits are those that are consistent.  A positive morning routines gives you the foundation for a productive day. A smart morning routine consists of a series of habits.

 

Prepare and organize the night before.

A productive day always starts the night before with preparation. Mornings can be less stressful when you are already set up for success.  Being ready to go in the morning means having your backpack or bag packed with everything already stashed in it.

Pro tips to prepare:

  • As your kids get in the door, unload and reload athletic bags and lunch boxes.
  • The final step for homework is to load the backpack and place it by the exit door.
  • Connect your and your kids’ devices to the central charging spot by 8 pm.
  • Everyone do a quick calendar check to be sure there are no surprises the next day.

 

Simplify meal prep.

Easy, quick and on the go food insures good nutrition. Protein is most important for everyone to do their best.

Pro tips to meal prep:

  • Set up a lunch station for your kids to pack their lunches. Use pantry and refrigerator bins to stay organized.
  • Pack lunch primarily the night before. Most items can be grouped together so lunch is all set.
  • Prep breakfast and keep breakfast simple. Breakfast could include healthy fruits and nuts, a smoothie, or a microwave egg bite. Stay away from sugary cereals or carbohydrates.
  • Limit the meal options. Rotate the what is offered rather than give a range of options at a single meal.

 

Build in extra time for your morning routines.

Distractions and sluggishness slow down you and your family in the morning. It is unlikely that everyone in your family is a morning person.  Not to worry – add in extra time for your morning routine.

Pro tips for extra time:

  • Give everyone extra time to get up. Be sure there are multiple alarms set. Use alarms like the Sonic Boom to help wake deep sleepers or use wake up light with Sunrise alarm clocks.
  • Be proactive about time awareness. Allow three times as much time as you think to eat breakfast or get dressed. Work backwards to set time lines for leaving the house to arrive on time at work and school.
  • Take medications immediately upon waking up to kick in as you and your family are getting ready.

 

Set early bedtimes for everyone.

Getting to sleep and getting rest are difficult for those with ADHD. Setting an earlier than required bedtime means you will be prepared to rest regardless of whether you fall asleep quickly.

Pro tips for best rest:

  • Place everyone’s devices in the common charging station earlier than you think.
  • Use a gratitude practice, meditation and prayer before bed as a transition to bedtime.
  • Keep consistent for the time of bedtime each day. You might need to leave early from an event in order to keep consistent.
  • Know what works best for you and your family.

 

Place visual reminders to help your routine.

Hair brush, tooth brush and grooming tools can be strategically placed for everyone to look and feel their best before they leave.

Pro tips for looking your best:

  • Keep your kids’ grooming tools in first floor area to get this done immediately after eating and before leaving.
  • Organize your grooming tools for easy access. That includes make up and hair products for kids and parents.
  • Check lists for grooming, writing on a mirror or post it notes are visual reminders for each step of grooming.

 

Remember what not to do in the morning.

If you have one thing that immediately takes you off track, be sure you eliminate this. Once you go this direction, you know your routine will be off track.

  • Check email
  • Turn on the tv
  • Play a video game

 

Your morning routine will take a bit of work and time to become consistent. Don’t worry if it takes longer than you think. Recognize baby steps and successes for everyone!

Healthy ADHD Habits and Gratitude Practices

healthy adhd habits and gratitude

October is National ADHD Awareness Month.

To “celebrate” this month, I am sharing 4 very important habits for living your best life with ADHD

in 4 blog posts throughout the month.

Throughout these uncertain times, gratitude has improved our quality of life and general well being. When we are grateful we are energized and connected. Gratitude strengthens relationships, a part of our personal and business lives.

 

The Value of the Habit of Gratitude

Everyone wants to experience more joy in their lives.  Gratitude predicts hope and happiness. Grateful people are happier overall, have a more positive outlook on life and feel more connected to others. Gratitude elevates your mood, increases optimism, and improves your well being.

 

We’ve been growing in our knowledge about gratitude and habits. Science shows we can train ourselves to experience thankfulness by intentionally being aware of the differences in our lives. The practice of acknowledging abundance and connections can help us experience happiness. Practicing gratitude is a skill and a routine that we can add to our daily lives.

 

Practice of gratitude is especially important for those with ADHD. People with ADHD can think negatively about themselves and their experiences.  They are critical of their themselves in terms of achievements and lack perspective on all the positive accolades. Practicing gratitude is like practicing self care.  Gratitude will focus your thoughts on specific parts of your day and life that are going well currently and in the past. In addition, gratitude helps with sleep in pushing negative and anxious thoughts back. A better night’s rest helps your executive function.

 

Habits can be difficult.

Habits require consistency, which is one of the most difficult actions for people with ADHD. You might get off track or change the plan after a short time despite the intention and goals. If you miss a day of the routine, negative thoughts creep in with discouragement.  Finally it is easy to give up too soon on a habit. The key is to be intentional about follow through and knowledgeable about how long it takes to create a habit.  Research shows that creating a new habit can take from three to eight weeks. Track your success, allow yourself an occasional “oops,” and remind yourself why the habit is important.

Commit to a gratitude practice.

Life is ramping back up and it may be hard to find a time for your gratitude practice. Researcher Brene Brown says that more than feeling gratitude, we must have a practice that shows this. Here are several times throughout the day you can spend time in gratitude. To start a gratitude routine, choose one of these times to be intentional about your gratitude practice.

  • As you start your day during a time of meditation
  • During your morning or evening shower
  • Waiting in traffic
  • Waiting in the car pool line
  • As a prayer before a meal
  • Before bed with your family

Starting your gratitude practice can be a joyful action. Here are eight ways you can intermittently share your gratitude for yourself and with others. Just like a smile is “contagious,” so it gratitude.

  • Write a thank you note to someone who made a difference for you and mail it.
  • Write a note to a family member in your home sharing what you appreciate about something they helped you to complete.
  • Volunteer at a local philanthropy to share your skills and acknowledge your gratitude for that option for people in need.
  • Take a 5 minute walk and acknowledge the beauty of the greenery and scenery around you.
  • Write in a gratitude journal each evening.
  • Write a note of gratitude and place it in a gratitude jar.
  • Create a photo album in your phone named Grateful. Add photos to it each day.

 

Start to notice how gratitude is impacting your life in creating joy and cultivating resilience.

9 Ways to Maximize Your Storage in Your Home

 

 

9 ways to add storage in your home

 

Have you wondered if there are more storage options in your home? We want to maximize our storage options with value, function and flair. The value of additional storage is to easily access what we need and have a home for all items. It is most functional when we use additional storage in an area where those items are needed. Of course we want an attractive option with flair.  Check out these 15 ways clever ways to be more organized and functional with the space you have.

A note of caution before we proceed. Having more storage space is not license to over purchase. Keep in mind realistic amounts of purchases with respect to your and your family needs.  It’s tempting to over stuff our space so refrain from creating a difficult to access amount of items in your home.

 

Go vertical

There is a lot of wall space in your home and your garage. Use taller bookshelves, add additional upper level shelving, and use over the door storage to add storage options.

 

Categorize

Group items you use together in the space these are used. When grouped together, you can consolidate the amounts in a clear container.

 

Find under, upper and lower space

You can store items that you need less access to in less accessible spots. Use shallow, under the bed storage with wheels or shoe organizers under your bed for additional storage. Add flair with a decorative basket for upper store.

Double up

Use furnishings as storage. Think ottoman with hanging files, dresser as gift wrap organizer, or closet as an office space.

 

Divide up

Use dividers in spaces to create function and access.  In your junk drawer have slots for each item stored there. In a room, use a screen or an IKEA bookcase as a room divider and storage.

 

Clever containers

Decant into your favorite glass container or use a favorite tea tin as storage in your spaces. These items turn visual clutter into attractive, functional organization.

 

Zone options

Segment spaces in a drawer or a room by thinking about zone options. A zone is a space or area dedicated to one use, within the space itself.  A kitchen is a great example with the zones for prepping, cooking, serving, and containing leftovers. By adding specific zones, you are grouping items you use together.

 

Store on the back of any door

The back of any cabinet or closet door is great to add storage with either a shoe organizer or rack.  It makes access super easy for any items. Use cabinet doors to store towels, paper towels or rubber gloves. Use any closet storage for toys, grooming items, jewelry or any small items.

 

Hire a professional

It’s not a luxury to hire a professional organizer, closet designer and/or installer for your home. It adds value to your home sale which sells your home quickly. You will enjoy your closet, most especially your primary closet, with more space dedicated to your personal needs. Professionals come to your home with ideas you can implement on your own.

 

Look around your space and see where you can add a little more storage with these clever ways to add homes for all your items.

15 Minute Tasks that Keep You Organized

15 minutes tasks that keep you organized

 

Would you be surprised to know that in just 15 minutes you can make a difference in your organizing?  It is true! There are many small tasks that can make it easy for us to maintain systems and processes that we have established.  Check out these small ways to make a big difference.

 

Put away items you purchased

Busy lives have a lot of items coming in. These come from Amazon subscriptions and routines purchases, as well as projects and upcoming events. Take 15 minutes to put away what you have purchased and consolidate the items. Counters and floors stay clear and your home stays organized.

 

Try on items you purchased

You run to the store for that one item to complete an outfit. Maybe you purchased more exercise clothes to add new tops and bottoms. It was easier to try on at home, you thought, than in the store. Try these on within the week of purchase to return and credit back your extra purchases.

Return items you purchased by mail

It is easy to over purchase items online. You might have purchased multiple sizes or styles or a variety of the same item. Order using one email account and print the return slip within a week of purchase. As you might already know, Amazon has a 30 day return policy. This way you don’t accidentally “own” more than you need of any item.

 

Drop off items and make returns frequently

With my planner pad, I look at the week ahead to see where I can drop off items when I am in the vicinity.  During your weekly planning, check ahead to group your errands and drop offs.  If you have noticed, there are more drop off bins for donations than ever. Drop off at one of these you pass with just a 15 minute stop.

 

Consolidate items you purchased

We are preppers! With all the uncertainty, all of us are purchasing ahead. Consolidate what you purchase and rotate your “stock” to be sure it is all kept together to know what you have.

 

Review your calendar at night

A quick review of your calendar for the night before makes your next day more predictable and you are prepared for what is ahead.

 

Check your calendar in the morning

It might seem redundant to check at night and in the morning. However, it is about being prepared. Overnight you might have remembered something to add to your calendar or thought about an extra task. Checking your planner twice a day makes for your best work.

 

Keep a master list of tasks, errands and projects

I advocate to write stuff down either digitally or on paper.  Keeping your master list clears your mind. Not everything can be done on the list, however you are keeping your thoughts for deep thinking. It saves your working memory from being over taxed.

 

 

This list of 15 minute tasks is just the beginning of small ways to stay organized. Choose one or more to keep you organized and productive.

 

15 ADHD Friendly Finance Routines

 

adhd friendly finance routines

 

Managing finances can be overwhelming.  There are monthly bills, credit card receipts, account statements, essential paperwork and automated payments. It’s not easy managing the information and tracking of all the details of how we use our funds. When we are most organized, we have a good system and routines to review our finances. These weekly, monthly and ongoing routines give you guideposts for your finances, adding up to fifteen important finance routines to help you stay organized and track where your money goes.

Weekly

  • Go through your mail weekly and shred credit card offers and other papers that have account numbers.
  • Read email and text alerts from your bank and credit card company. Act on these immediately with a call directly to the company, not responding to the alert directly in case of further fraud.

Monthly

  • Set up payment systems that work for you.  Automated bill pay is an option for your ongoing payments. If you pay by check, set a time each week or every other week to pay bills. Consistently reviewing and paying bills keeps you aware and in control of your spending and bill payments.
  • Review your bank and credit card statements online or on paper. Check all purchases, especially looking for fraud charges big or small the fraud.
  • Use a list to review automated payments. Record the day of the month, the transaction company, how it is payed and the amount.
  • Organize your financial papers by big categories and drop in paper each month. Categories include Banks and Credit Unions, Credit Cards, Investment and Retirement and Utilities and Bills. That’s correct – you only need one very large file for utilities and bills. Big categories make it easier to file.
  • Set saving goals and monitor your monthly progress. Automate your savings as income comes in so it is easier to reach your goals. Monitor this progress with a monthly meeting  to review your monthly spending on your own or with your partner. See where multiple small purchases or large purchases are derailing your savings goals.
  • Set up reminders to pay big quarterly payments such as property taxes, estimated taxes and Home Owner Association bills.

Ongoing

  • Set up online access to all your accounts.
  • Consolidate when possible. Keep accounts to two banks or credit unions at most. Consolidate credit to credit cards to two cards from different companies and keep only two investment and retirement accounts.
  • Keep up with your passwords securely. Change your passwords regularly. Keep a log of your passwords.
  • Make a copy of all contents of your wallet and other cards. Carry only the credit and bank cards you need to use routinely.  Keep the remainder, such as debit cards, at home in your safe.
  • Keep a list of all financial accounts. List the name of the location (bank), account name (checking), account number and password.
  • Keep a list of closed accounts, paid off accounts for any type of loan, mortgage or credit card. If something goes wonky, you have the account to check.
  • In case of emergency, keep a solid amount of cash in your home safe. During a local emergency, you can only get $300 from an ATM.

Managing financial routines

Because consistency and routines are the hardest work for those with ADHD, set up reminders and work with a partner.  These routines are not difficult once you start with a checklist of routines. There’s technology that can help like your bank and credit card apps, Credit Karma, Mint.com, and YNAB (You Need A Budget) to help you stay on track with your financial routines. You will find that these financial routines save you extra time spent when things don’t work as they should.

Get Tech Ready for an Emergency

Get Tech Ready for An Emergency with these information tips from Ready.gov.

 

get tech ready for emergencies

Money Management: Organizing Your Money and Finances

 
financial organizing

 

We are more aware of the personal power of using our resources wisely. Those resources start with your finances and your time. Financial organizing is as important as organizing your home.  It starts with setting intentions, establishing priorities and creating goals for your funds. You want to know where you spend money and how much you spend.  All of this happens with money management and financial organizing. Try one of these five tips to get started organizing your finances.

 

Creating a money mindset

Perhaps as an adult with ADHD, disconnected utilities, insufficient funds, late payments and unpaid bills even with enough money in the bank may be constant struggles for you. Fear and overwhelm might create a road block in working on or organizing your finances. Getting organized is the first step to realizing your financial goals. These goals can be attained by a working knowledge of your finances. You can set short and long term goals by writing costs down and analyzing how to achieve these.  Set aside time each week to be aware and learn about your finances. Be specific about your goals and use these as your “why” to get organized. Share your responsibilities with a partner to work as a team.  A money mindset gives you a sense of accomplishment and command over your fears.

 

The Power of One

Keep a list of all your accounts. That includes bank accounts, credit cards, lines of credit and credit unions. Many of us are unaware of just how many places have our money. From this list you can pare down to single accounts to work with and use.

As in all organizing, you want to be able to find what you have! Having just one checking account is the way to know how and where you are spending it! Having one credit card not only simplifies paying the bill during the month, it also makes you most aware of where your money is going. If you are a small business owner, you should also have one credit card and one checking account for your company. Simplifying our connection to money can make all the difference. There is a lot less paper coming in as a result too!

 

Write It Down


Writing down how and where you spend money is an enlightening experience! Just like those food logs that scare us into a lifestyle change, we can do the same for money. Keep a log of EACH item you purchase in a month. Not only will you realistically know what things cost to create a realistic budget, you will also know just how many times you are using money for “wants” rather than “needs”.

 

Ledgers can make the difference for us in keeping track of and being accountable about our funds. Use your check register all the time to record checks and debit card transactions as these occur. For bill paying, keep a ledger to record your payments to utilities, credit cards and other monthly expenses. This way you see what each bill is each month, compare the expenses of the bill each month, and be sure you paid it each month. Seeing it on paper makes money not only a currency traded, but an effective way to track your financial goals. You can also use Quicken and budgeting apps to record the payments to see annually what your expenses are and to help balance your checking account each month.

 

Automate your money management to accomplish your goals


Good routines reinforce your plan. You hear it all the time: “pay yourself first!” Set up an automatic payment from you to your savings account. It is the most painless way to get ahead on your savings. Having trouble paying your bills on time? Set up automated payments to get this done timely. You can use auto debit from your bank account or a credit card. You will still need to keep up to date on what is being paid and to whom, but the process can make a difference in getting the job done. Finish bill paying by filing all receipts into an easy access file or notebook. Automation can give you visual tools to help you see your finances.  Charts for bill paying, categorized payments, debt tracking and financial goals help you see where your money is going and where you can change your behaviors.

 

Routines reinforce your priorities

Even with automation, you need solid routines to be sure you stay on track. A monthly money meeting with yourself and your partner insures your bills are being paid and you further strategize on how you are spending money. Set this date and make it fun by meeting at a coffee house, having a special treat, and keeping the meeting short.  At that meeting review your bills and see what goals you are accomplishing. Set goals for the next quarter and the year. These meetings give you knowledge and opportunity to drive your success.

 

Get started where you have the most questions about your money. Wondering where you spend your money all month? You can start with an expense tracker app like Mint.com to automate and then review your spending. Want to be able to pay your bills on time online? Set up your bank account app for automatic bill pay. Looking ahead to save more? Automate your savings plan.  If you are struggling in this area, meet with a money manager or certified financial planner to help as your guide. Once you start, you will feel comfortable spending more time on your finances.

Building Your Basic Emergency Kit

 

During and after an emergency, you may need stay in your home for a week or more with sufficient supplies. This kit is a group of basic supplies in case of a lengthy emergency.

Find this list on  Ready.gov, a national website dedicated to preparation.

 

Organizing and Creating Your Home Inventory

 

Organizing a home inventory

 

 

Our state is well versed in emergency preparation. We have emergency pantry supplies, back up power sources, and lots of batteries. We are prepared.

Learning about the uncertainty and frequency of emergencies, we are reminded of the next steps and the necessity of creating and organizing a home inventory.  September is National Preparedness Month which reminds us about the importance and value of a home inventory. We often put off this work because it can be a time consuming. However, it can be manageable in small steps. Here are a variety of systems to create your home inventory and baby steps to get started.

 

Know the use and goals of your home inventory

Knowing the goal for your inventory is important.  Is your goal for your home inventory to assure that you have sufficient financial coverage? Are there items in your home that you want to equitably pass to your children and want to know the value? Do you want to be secure in knowing you could replace what you have in case of an emergency? These different reasons are all important goals separately or together for your why behind the effort of this work.

There are different options for home insurance coverage.  Check your policy for coverage of your home, especially to determine what is covered and how it is covered.  Your policy could be cash value where you begin with receiving cash/check for the existing value of your items.  Or your policy could be replacement value, where you receive a check to replace the items at the current cost. Check coverage on big ticket items, such as jewelry, art and collectibles which may have increased in value and require additional coverage from your standard homeowners insurance policy.

Estate planning and equitable division of items are important as we age.  Talk to your legal counsel about what types of inventories would be most valuable. It may be important to list specific items for your family members in accord with your long term wishes. This inventory will be one part of your estate.

 

Paper and Digital Inventories

Your inventory can be digital, paper, or a combination of both.

Digital options includes these possibilities.

  • Video your home and it’s contents, talking through the names and details of the items.  Copy the video and place one at your house and another off site.
  • Use an Excel worksheet or GoogleSheet to list the items room by room.
  • Your documentation should include the name of the room, the category of the item (art, jewelry, electronics, furniture, decor,) item description, brand name if applicable, where purchased, model and serial numbers, date purchased, and purchase price. The estimated value could be optional information.
  • Scan in sales receipts of items and connect this information with your Excel worksheet or GoogleSheet.
  • Take photos with your smart phone and create albums within your photos to organize your inventory.
  • Back up all documents to the cloud to access these if you are away from home.
  • Use HomeZada or Pinventory online inventories to capture all your information and keep it stored in the cloud.

Paper options include these possibilities:

  • Create a binder with photos of each item and paper receipts of purchases inserted into sheet protectors.
  • These can be separated using dividers with categories such as electronics, furniture, appliances, and jewelry. Or these can be categorized by room, such as bedroom 1, bedroom 2, bedroom 3, living room, kitchen etc.
  • Cross reference with between categories using color.
  • Use the same requirements for this inventory as your digital inventory.
  • Duplicate your paper binder and keep one copy off site.
Home Inventory
Date of Inventory
Property Location
Item Number Room Category Item description Purchased from Model and Serial Number Date purchased Purchase Amount Estimated Value
Primary BR, 2nd BR, 3rdBR, Living, Kitchen Art, Jewelry, Electronics, Furniture, Clothing Brand, size, materials, number Name of store, Online, or from family


Here’s what to be sure to include:

  • Item number (one for each item listed)
  • Room (location of item)
  • Category (art, furniture, electronics, household goods, grooming, etc.)
  • Item description (Brand, size, materials)
  • Purchased from (Macy’s, Best Buy, etc.)
  • Make and model, or serial number if available
  • Picture of item for insurance purposes
  • Purchase date (helps with depreciation, by year)
  • Original price (if you have the receipt you can scan and attach it)
  • Estimated value

 

Organizing your vital documents

This might be where you are most organized!  Many of us have a safe or a waterproof grab and go box. Here’s a list of what should be a part of your vital documents. You can also keep these documents digitally on Evernote or save them on a flash or external hard drive in your waterproof box or safe. Be sure to use strong password for your Evernote account.

 

Start your home inventory now

  • Start with one room, then move around your home adding rooms.
  • Start with recent purchases, then work backwards
  • Start with the most expensive or big ticket items first.
  • Count clothing by category and by designer.  Make note of any items that are especially valuable.
  • Store sales receipts, purchase contracts, and appraisals in a file or digitally.
  • Add to your inventory as new items are purchased.

Right now it is the most important time to start your inventory.