Archives for April 2015

How to Do Your Laundry When You Have ADHD

How to Do Your Laundry When You Have ADHDLaundry is one of those tasks that is vital in order to succeed in life. It is also boring and a multi-step process; two things that fill ADHDers hearts with dread!

The problem with all multi-step tasks is that you can get distracted at any point. You might put in a load of washing, only to find it 4 days later, still in the machine. It has been washed, but because it dried at the bottom of the washer, it smells musty. Or you might take your clothes out of the dryer and not put them away. Maybe you leave them on your bed. When bedtime comes, you are too tired to put everything away. So you pop the pile of clean clothes on the floor. Over the next few days, if you need to wear an item, you take it off the floor. In the meantime, your dog is thrilled to have a new place to sleep. After a few days, you realize everything needs to be rewashed.

If you don’t have clean clothes, you either have to put clothes on that you really shouldn’t (which may be a bit smelly or stained) or you are dashing around trying to ‘make do’, putting outfits together that don’t really ‘go’ or at the very least, you are wearing odd socks and hoping no one notices.

The trick to doing laundry when you have ADHD, is to do all the steps one after another, so the laundry doesn’t get held up anywhere. Here is a checklist to make it as painless as possible.

1. Have a laundry room or area where you keep everything. The machine, dryer, laundry detergent, stain remover, etc.

2. Have laundry hampers for different colours. One for whites and one for darks and one for gym clothes (for example). Keep the hampers in the room where you get undressed, (bathroom, bedroom), so you don’t have piles of dirty clothes on the floor.

By having separate hampers, you have completely removed the ‘sorting’ part of the laundry process. You are doing it continually every time you get undressed.

3. Pick up one hamper and go to your laundry area. Put a load of laundry in the machine.

4. Set a timer to go off when the laundry load is finished. If you aren’t sure how long yours takes, time it. It will probably be in the range of 20-40 minutes.

5. Carry the timer with you, so you will hear it when it goes off.

6. Now you have X number of minutes to fill. Don’t do an activity you hyperfocus on, as it will be very hard to tear yourself away. Do do something that keeps you on your feet. Maybe food prep, exercise or housework.

7. When the timer goes off, go straight to the washing machine and move everything to the dryer.

8. Set your timer to go off when the tumble dry has finished. Usually it’s between 40 minutes to 1 hour. Time yours, so you know for the future.

9. If you are doing another load of washing, have a second timer to let you know when that is done.

10. When the tumble drier is finished, get your clothes and carry them to your bedroom.

11. Set your timer for 10 minutes. If you move swiftly, you will be able to put away all your laundry by the time the timer rings.

12. Hang the shirts up (as you might not need to iron them if you do this straight away) and put them in your wardrobe.

13. Folder or hang everything else.

14. Match your socks up and put them away.

High Fives!! You have finished!

How often you do a load of laundry depends on how much washing you generate. However, don’t go longer than 7 days,because then it becomes a huge task and it will be easy to procrastinate doing it. Having a particular day that you always do laundry is a great idea. Because then, you know you will always have clean clothes. Some people like to do one load of laundry a few times a week. Other people like to do all the washing on one day. Try both methods and see which is easier for you.

How do you do your laundry?

How to Decide What to Wear When You Have ADHD

How to Decide What to Wear When You Have ADHDDeciding what to wear in the morning can be hard. However, it can be extra painful when you have ADHD for these reasons.

1.     Decision making is challenging: big and small.

2.     Mornings aren’t your best time; you might not feel awake for 3 or 4 hours after you get dressed.

3.     Social rules are a bit of a mystery, so you aren’t sure if  there is a dress code you don’t know about.

4.     You aren’t confident about ‘what goes together’.

5.     Keeping on top of laundry is a challenge; you don’t always have the items that work together that are clean at the same time.

6.     Sensitive to texture which means some clothes make you itch or are very uncomfortable to wear.

If you went to a school that had a uniform, you know it was very easy to get ready each morning. No thought was required. All you had to do was put on the standard shirts and skirts / trousers.

Even though you might not have an official uniform to wear now, why not create your own? It takes the brain work out of getting dressed every day and it means you always look good, feel confident and comfortable

If you are male, it is slightly easier for 2 reasons: You have the option to wear a suit (which is like a uniform), and society doesn’t pay such close attention to what men wear.

Think of Will and Kate. The press pays very close attention to what Kate wears and whole blogs are dedicated to her wardrobe. Yet, we rarely hear a whisper about which designer made William’s suit.

Recently, a news anchor proved that people weren’t paying attention to what he wore by wearing the same suit for a whole year.

It is possible to wear the same thing every day if you are female too.

In an article that went viral, Matilda Kahl explains her decision to wear the same thing every day. She has been doing it for 3 years.

 

Creating your own uniform doesn’t mean you have to wear the exact same thing every day. You can create a formula that works for you, then interchange clothes within that formula.

Let’s say you like ballet pumps and have a brand you get on well with. Buy a couple of pairs in different colours. If you like a certain style of trousers (and they fit nicely and don’t itch), buy them in black and linen. Next, pick out a few tops you love and there you go!You have created a stylish work uniform that looks great, takes all the brain work out of mornings.

What helps you decide what to wear in the mornings?

Why it’s Important to Make Your Bed When You Have ADHD

Why it’s Important to Make Your Bed When You Have ADHDIn May 2014, Admiral McRaven gave a commencement speech at the University of Texas. In this inspiring speech, he gave the graduating students 10 Life Lessons on how to change the world.

These life lessons came from his career as a navy seal.

Seals are known for their physical and mental strength and their ability to perform warrior acts in brutal conditions. So it was fascinating to hear the first lesson was to make your bed in the morning. It seems to be such a simple thing and to be honest, nothing new; because your mum has been telling you since you were little. However, that simple action has big rewards.

The admiral explains when you accomplish your first task, it gives you a small sense of pride and it encourages to you do another and another. At the end of the day, the simple action of making your bed will have turned into a productive day.

He also makes the point that if you do happen to have a bad day, then at least you will come home to a made bed and that will give you hope that tomorrow will be better.

Do you make your bed? A lot of ADHDers don’t. Here are some of the common reasons:

  • I don’t have time; I am always in a rush in the mornings.
  • What is the point? I’ll only mess it up again in the evenings.
  • It’s boring.
  • It’s just something else I have ‘to do’.
  • No one will notice; I live on my own.
  • I have more important things to do.

Making your bed doesn’t have to take you long. If you have a duvet, all you really need to do is pull it up to the pillows and straighten it out a little. For a more advanced technique, you could plump the pillows and it still would still take you less than a minute.

However, when you have ADHD, the act of making your bed is huge.

1. You have experienced your first ‘win’ of the day. This means you get a shot of dopamine and feel the urge to do something else. To learn more about ADHD and productivity, head here.

2. It improves your self-esteem because you are crossing things off your to do list.

3. You are taking care of yourself and nurturing yourself, which many ADHDers aren’t accustomed to doing.

4. When your bed is tidy, your whole bedroom looks tidier. ADHDers find it hard to tidy up after themselves because it’s boring. Now, you are doing a bit of tidying up without even thinking about it.

5. When you are feeling accomplished and good about yourself, your mood is brighter. You feel happier and that has a knock-on effect for the rest of the day.

I have been recommending making your bed to clients for the last year and every one of them has noticed a positive effect in their lives. Why don’t you give it a try?

Do you make your bed this morning? Leave me a note in the comments section below!!

Here is the speech if you would like to watch it!

http://www.utexas.edu/what-starts-here/preparing-leaders/mcraven

Why is Omega 3 Important When You Have ADHD?

Did you know that people with ADHD have less omega-3 in their bodies than people without ADHD?  Low levels of omega-3 can result in poor attention, focus, working memory issues and mood swings, all of which are very much like ADHD symptoms.
omega 3 and omega 6 for adhd

Of course, low levels of Omega-3 do not cause ADHD, nor does increasing your omega-3 levels cure ADHD.  However, researchers have found that taking a supplement does improve ADHD symptoms.

7 Benefits of Taking Omega-3

*Improves classic ADHD symptoms. For example it increases focus and attention.

*Increases memory, motivation and learning. Watch this compelling video about how omega-3’s helped transform Elliot’s life.

*Reduces feeling blue or depression. This is one of the biggest benefits clients report to me.

* Can help reduce symptoms of conditions that often co-exist with ADHD, such as  anxiety.

* Improvement in PMS symptoms. This is great news for ADHD women as many struggle with PMS and an increase in their ADHD symptoms.

* Might reduce the side effects of stimulant ADHD medication. Talk with your doctor before taking omega-3 with your prescribed medication.

* Better quality sleep.

What Exactly is Omega-3?

Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid. They are aptly named ‘essential’ because they are vital for your health.  They keep our brain and nerves working well and are used to build new cells.  Since our bodies cannot produce this type of fat, we need to make a conscious effort to consume it.

The main categories of essential fats are omega-3 and –omega-6. If you are eating a typical western diet, you don’t need to worry about getting enough omega-6. You will already be getting lots from rapeseed soybean and sunflower seed oil.

However, it is much harder to get enough omega-3 without careful planning.

The ratio between omega-6 and omega-3 is also very important.  One hundred years ago, the ratio between the two fats in the average person’s diet were 1:1; now our average ratio is around 20:1, weighted towards omega-6.

Omega-3

There are 3 types of omega-3 fats: Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

DHA is found in cold water fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and rainbow trout.

EPA is also found in fish; however, the fish don’t produce it; instead they get it from eating algae.

ALA is found mainly in seed oils like flaxseed.  Our bodies then convert it to DHA and EPA.

Do I need to Take a Supplement?

Since Omega-3 has so many benefits when you have ADHD, and because it is quite hard to get enough from your diet alone, taking an omega-3 supplement is a good choice.  Paul Montogomery, researcher at the University of Oxford in England, says that people would be ‘lucky’ to increase their omega levels with diet alone.

When you are choosing a supplement, look for one that has more EPA’s than DHA’s. The ideal would be 3 or 4x EPAs to DHA’s.

Ways to Include Omega-3 Into Your Diet

In addition to taking a supplement, you can still include omega-3 into your diet. Here are some ideas.

Fish, such as Salmon, tuna, mackerel, rainbow trout

Walnuts

Flaxseed

Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale.

What if I am Allergic to Fish?

If you are allergic to fish or are a vegetarian, you can still get the benefits from omega3. Check out this article to learn more.

What About Cod Liver Oil?

Cod liver oil is a fish oil;however, the levels of DHA and EPA are lower in cod liver oil than an omega-3 supplements.  To learn more about cod liver oil for ADHD, head here.

Speak With Your Doctor

Omega-3 supplements are sold at pharmacies, health food stores and on the internet. However,  speak with your doctor before you start to take them.  Like all supplements they have side effects and can change the way your body uses prescribed medication.

What if Omega-3 Supplements Don’t Agree With Me?

Some people find that Omega-3 supplements upset their stomach, give them fish burps,or just generally make them feel off.  To avoid this, start with a low dose and gradually increase to your recommended dose. Take your supplement with your main meal of day. Sometimes the ingredients in the capsules can be the reason why you feel ‘‘off’. In which case, a liquid form of omega-3 might be helpful. The liquid is often flavored, sometimes  with lemon, so that it tastes pleasant when you swallow it.

How Long Does it Take for Omega-3 Supplements to Start Working?

Research has shown that it takes approximately 4 weeks for improvements to be noticed. However, many of my clients notice differences in as little as a week.  Some people say they haven’t  noticed any improvement and decide to stop taking their omega-3 supplements. It is only after they stopped that they realize that they had been working after all.

 

Have you tried omega-3 supplements?

 

ADHD and Rage

Not everyone with ADHD experiences rage. But the people that do, usually experience it very intensely.

The dictionary definition of rage as:
‘to feel or express violent uncontrollable anger”

ADHD and RAGE
Anger is considered a normal and healthy emotion. However, rage can be destructive to the person experiencing it and to those around him / her.

So why is it people with ADHD experience rage so intensely?

ADHD and RageThe impulsivity, low levels of frustration and mood swings, are all characteristics of ADHD, which play a part in experience rage. However, ADHD expert Dr. Brown says that the intense rage in ADHDers, is a result of a poor working memory.

Working memory is one of our executive functions. When the working memory is operating well, it temporarily stores numerous pieces of information (from the environment and your long-term memory, etc.), where it processes them to help you navigate the situation you are in. However, when you have ADHD, your working memory is affected, and the ability to process multi pieces of information is reduced.

When you feel rage, your whole brain is flooded with that emotion and all other facts and feelings are pushed aside. The only thing you feel is rage. You forget that the person that you are shouting out at, is someone that you love, that the rage you are feeling doesn’t match the environmental trigger, or any other practical facts that a non-ADHDer would draw upon to balance the emotion of rage.

>However, rage can be managed and even stopped completely.

Here are 5 suggestions to help you reduce your rage:

1) Treat your ADHD with all the usual Untapped Brilliance strategies.
2) Share you rage triggers with another person: a friend, ADHD Coach or therapist. They can help you reframe your trigger situations. Then, when they happen, you can process them differently.
3) Start to write. It will help you process your thoughts and feelings, and you will also see patterns in your rage.
4) Join Luminosity. The training helps improve your working memory.
5) Don’t feel shame about have rage. It’s just a behavior that can be changed.