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!

4 replies
  1. Seana Turner
    Seana Turner says:

    I’m sort of laughing over here because even though I don’t have children, my husband comes home with a lunchbox and I’ve had to teach him to empty it out right away, wash the inside, put the icepack in the freezer, etc. It really does make things easier when it comes time to make lunch!

  2. Linda Samuels
    Linda Samuels says:

    Ellen- I just returned (virtually) from ICD’s conference with Dr. Hallowell and Dr. Barkley, among the amazing presenters. They shared great information about ADHD. And both stressed the importance of having an awareness of doing the things that promote good self-care. I love how you’ve detailed ways to make the mornings flow more easily and minimize distractions that can take us off course.

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