Self-care is important for all of us and most especially those with ADHD. Strategies for sleep, exercise, diet, and collaboration support and strengthen successful lifestyles. Even more so, there are other aspects of self-care that empower you. ADHD symptoms and associated stressors can be helped with attention to rejuvenation and
Acknowledging the value of self-care
Self-care as a sanity saver and self-preservation tool? Yes! Self-care helps us be resilient, use our energy well, and manage our emotions. Daily self-care is about practical actions that afford you more capability and capacity to focus, work, and connect. This is done best by prioritizing self-care and establishing a structure throughout the day, week and month.
Structure for daily self-care is like other routines in our lives. It can be a time block for mindfulness or exercise. Or it could be weekly meal plan deliveries. Structure and habits are foundations set into place.
If you see obstacles to self-care, it is often because of boundaries. Self-care can also be staying in and heading to bed early, asking for what you need, and asking for help. This is where knowing ourselves well plays a big role. Each of us has different needs. Having strong boundaries helps you prioritize your time for you. Too many projects, too many activities, and too much “saying yes” means that your self-care will diminish. Feeling overwhelmed means you are in need of self-care.
Healthy self-care categories
Self-care extends to many areas in life and lifestyle.
- Physical health self-care includes not only a good night’s rest, exercise, and a healthy diet. It also includes regular doctor’s visits, therapy, coaching, and possibly nutritionist visits.
- Connection self-care includes fostering positive relationships with family, friends, and colleagues.
- Organizational self-care includes establishing an organized environment, keeping up with finances, and maintaining good routines with laundry.
You may have good self-care established in one area and a gap in others. Focus on strengthening one area in one small way and you continue with your other areas.
Creating self-care strategies
As with all routines, start small in creating self-care strategies. Knowing what is best for your self-care includes learning education. You might attend a webinar about a topic before strategizing how to include it in your daily routine. Plan out your day and write a checklist that includes self-care. Start working with a coach or certified professional organizer to help you be accountable for your new routine. Make small, specific, changes with dates and timelines to reinforce your success.
My motto for all my clients is to build a bigger team first. Find an exercise class to join or switch up exercise classes to keep engaged. Meal plan and prep with one of your family or bring in meal prep boxes. Build a care team of physician, psychiatrist, a coach, and other assistants. Each member of your team helps reinforce your goals and care. Your team offers support with positive encouragement and loving accountability.
Practicing self-care and self-compassion
Creating new routines can take from 21 days to 254 days, much longer than what we think should happen.
Being graceful with yourself as you take on new self-care means giving self-compassion. Not only is building self-care a lengthy process, but it can also evaporate as quickly. Keep the momentum going by keeping it simple. Complex self-care requires a lot of juggling. Freshen up self-care by changing up exercise and diet. Know the value of taking time off to reset. It is not easy but worth the effort.