Reliable routines are the structure that create easy, productive, organized lives. The routines that support those with ADHD help them manage their time, be productive, stay organized and keeps life running smoothly. Start with baby steps this year with these 18 ways to create routines in you and your ADHD family.
Routines for a cohesive family
ADHD families crave organization. That is space and time organization.
1. Host a family declutter time each week. Make letting go of stuff a priority by letting go of some items each week.
2. Family meetings are part communication, part coordination and part fun. Everyone adds to the family calendar so everyone knows this week’s plan. It’s time to acknowledge successes, talk about family values and have some fun too.
3. Spend time with each of your kids by yourself with just one kid. Daddy -Daughter Dates, Girls Days, and Boy Bonding times are all times that are one on one special dates for your kids.
4. Keep a family calendar everyone can access. It can be google calendar or a paper month at a glance calendar. Update it daily and during your family meeting. Everyone appreciates knowing what’s coming up.
Routines that create a team
Working as a team is one of the best ways to support ADHD for yourself and your family.
- Know your strengths. Look at what you and your family members do best. Find team members in your family and routinely acknowledge what they do best.
- Partner with family members to accomplish family responsibilities. Write up a family chore chart to assign and remind family of who does what when. Be specific on your chart on deadlines and outcomes. If it’s dishes, then “dishes rinsed and in the dishwasher by 9 pm.” This way everyone knows how to complete the responsibility.
- Look for additional team members. Who can be a part of your extended team? Can you add on a homework helper? Are there church youth groups or a women’s support group that you and your family can be a part of? The additional energy of a new teams or team members can have positive benefits in terms of skill and perspectives.
Routines to ask for help
Asking for help means you are seeking out what you need. It’s an asset to be able to ask for help, knowing there are many ways to accomplish a task. When you have run out of tools, it’s always good to ask for help.
1. Identify how you ask for help routinely. Do you find an answer online, ask a friend or refer to online resources like Houzz? Knowing what your “go to” source for information builds a routine for you to use regularly.
2. Notice indicators that you are redy to ask for help. You may feel worn down physically, feeling emotionally drained or have brain fog. In knowing and acknowleding when you are ready for help, you are creating a routine and indicator for yourself.
3. When you are ready to ask for help, have a limit to define what lengths you will go to in order to find assistance. You can search endlessly for the help you need. My personal example is the number of inquries, that being 3 inquiries for a need I am having. I find 3 ways that I can get the help I need, interview and get started.
4. Find team members at work who you collaborate well with and. trust their judgement. Team work at work helps you start and finish a project and brings synergy and an improved end product.
Routines for delegating
Regular delegating requires practice. It starts with knowing what baby steps you can delegate and then communicating with all parties. The best delegating includes what you don’t like to do, since often it’s not being accomplished currently.
1. Delegate household tasks like lawn mowing and house cleaning starting with outside help once a month. Just the once a month boost from these outside helpers gives you time to accomplish tasks only you can do.
2. If you don’t like to cook, delegate dinner to a routine with healthy options. Dinner can be certain foods for certain days like Takeout Taco Tuesdays. It can be prepared by assigning the protein to a grilling partner, your husband. Delegate the chopping by picking up salad at the salad bar in the grocery store.
3. Hire a laundry helper for certain days of the week.
4. Delegate at work by assigning a small part of a project to your assistant. Have a check in every other day while you are practicing delegating. The more you create trust and communication while delegating, the easier it gets.
Routines to maintain self care
Self care can be the first routine that lapses. We are not always good about taking care of ourselves because it may feel unnatural, it may be difficult to jusify or because it simply falls off our radar.
1. Keep the same bedtime night after night. Your sleep schedule and routine keep you going day after day with a great night’s rest.
2. Schedule in protected time for yourself. Parents need time together to nurture their relationship. You need time away to rest your brain, gather your thoughts and generally regenerate. This weekly routine can include quiet time in whatever form you prefer.
3. Find fun. Creative brains need fun too! It’s hard to get away from the idea you may not have accomplished all your tasks, however it’s important to get aside fun time for you, your family and your partner to spend time together.
Routines are hard to establish and even hard to be consistent once established. Take the first steps by creating the routines, then setting up solid reminders that help you. Those reminders can be alarms, timers, check lists or any fun way you can keep your routines as consistent as possible. A day or two may slip by on your routine, however jump back in as soon as you can.
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