Scared Your Good ADHD Habits Won’t Last?

After I have been working with a client for a little while and they have started to experience success, a strange phenomenon occurs. They enjoy the success at first, “I can’t believe I am finally doing this!” They are thrilled. I am thrilled!

Then fear and doubt creeps in, and they feel scared in case they can’t  keep the new habits and behavior. [Read more…]

How to Wake Up When You Have ADHD

How to Wake Up When You Have ADHD

Waking up at a particular time can be very difficult when you have ADHD and it can cause huge problems, such as being late for work, flights, interviews or lectures.

If you have difficulty waking up, don’t just see it as a morning problem; instead, look your sleep habits as a whole. Everything is connected and if you can’t wake up, it could be because:

– You couldn’t make yourself go to bed

– you had problems falling asleep

– the quality of sleep was poor

However, while you are addressing those issues, you still need to wake up in the morning!.

Here are 7 suggestions to help:

1) Have More Than 1 Alarm Clock.

3 seems to be the magic number.  Place 1 by the side of your bed and the others in your room but a walk away from the bed, so you have to get up to switch them off.

2) Don’t Press Snooze!

Pressing snooze just delays the inevitable, and those extra 7 minutes won’t help you feel less tired.

3) Getting Up to Take ADHD Meds

If you take ADHD medication, consider setting one of your alarm clocks 30 minutes to 60 minutes earlier than the time you need to get up. When this alarm clock goes off, take your ADHD medication, then go back to sleep. When the next alarm goes off, your medication is already in your system and it will be easier to wake up.

4) Wake Up and Smell…

Have you heard of the bacon alarm clock where the smell of bacon wakes you up? You might not have been one of the peeps to get the limited edition device for your phone, but waking up to a tempting smell is a great idea to get you moving in the morning.

– Set a coffee maker on a timer and co-ordinate it with your wake up time. Then Voila! You wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee.

– Cook your breakfast in a slow cooker overnight. This might sound weird, but I tested this recipe out and it was awesome!

http://paleomg.com/blueberry-breakfast-carnitas/

5) Have Something to Motivate You in The Morning.

Dr. Russell Barkley says ADHD is less about attention and more about motivation. What motivates you to get out of bed?

– Your dog?

– Getting something checked off your do to list?

– Eating a favorite breakfast food, or your first cup of coffee?

The trick is to pick something that really motivates you and not something that you would like ‘in theory’ or feel you are supposed to want.

The thing that motivates me first thing in the morning is to answer emails. This isn’t necessarily the healthiest thing to do, but it does motivate me. I check my email on my iphone while still lying down in bed. If an email has come in overnight, there is no way I can snooze, I have to get up and answer it.

One of my clients was really struggling to get up to get to work on time. After several conversations, we made the connection between him arriving on time and getting a promotion he really wanted.  He has been on time and even early ever since then.

6) Music

It’s very hard to stay asleep when there is upbeat music playing. Pandora has made waking up to music very easy. Thanks to the alarm clock feature on the app. Check it out here:

http://blog.pandora.com/2013/12/09/wake-up-with-pandora-introducing-the-alarm-clock-on-mobile/

7) Have a Morning Routine.

A morning routine sets the day up for success. In his book, ‘The Miracle Morning’ by Hal Elrod, explains his formula for a successful morning routine and people love it! It’s so compelling that you will be bounding out of bed earlier than you ever thought possible.

8) Get a Novel Alarm Clock.

There are 3 great alarm clocks to help you wake up:

Clocky

Clocky Is an alarm clock on wheels and makes snoozing a thing of the past. If you don’t get up when the alarm goes off, Clocky jumps off your nightstand and hides, all the while making a sound like, (and I quote) “deranged R2D2 hitting a bell”.

http://budurl.com/nfsg

Sonic Bomb

The Sonic Bomb Clock is the answer for everyone who sleeps through their alarm clock. It has an adjustable alarm that you can set to go off so it’s louder than a jackhammer. However, if that wasn’t enough, it comes with a bed shaker! You pop a harmless looking device under your mattress and when it’s time to wake the alarm sounds and your whole bed shakes until you are wide awake and UP!

http://budurl.com/7wf6

A Full Spectrum Light Alarm Clock

A Full Spectrum Light Alarm Clock has a light that gets brighter and brighter rather like the sun rising, so that you wake up gradually. This is particularly good for people who are grumpy when they are woken up abruptly.

There are many on the market, with all different features to meet your needs. A quick Google search will help you choose yours.

Wishing you a fabulous Good Morning!!!

If you need some extra help with your sleep and waking up, come and join us for the ADHD Sleep Course

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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

Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone

Breaking Out of Your Comfort ZoneThis week, I discovered an amazing quote by Thomas Jefferson

“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done”

It’s empowering, freeing and inspiring all at the same time! As you were reading the quote, did something pop into your mind that you would like to achieve? What actions would you need to take that you haven’t done before?

Sometimes the action is giving up an item, such as cigarettes or wine. Or it could be adding something into your life. E.g. exercise. Sometimes the action is emotionally hard, like leaving an unhealthy relationship. Or perhaps it’s learning a new skill, like how to write an awesome resume, so you can apply for a new job. Whatever the action is, it will involve shaking up your usual habits and breaking out of your comfort zone.

Breaking out of your comfort zone is scary. It makes you feel uncomfortable, vulnerable and fearful. It can also make you feel exposed and risk rejection. However, if you don’t take bold action, you will be stagnant and your life the stay the same.

Ironically, staying in your comfort zone doesn’t make life easier. In fact, it makes life seem scarier. If you always stay in your safe place, over time, your world gets smaller and you lose confidence in your abilities. Staying in your comfort zone requires just as much effort as breaking out of it, because with time, even small things seem huge.

This week’s challenge is: shake up your life!

1) Pick one area of your life you would like to change. It could be ADHD related, but it doesn’t have to be.

2) Think about what new thing would you be willing to do to make it happen?

3) Pick a start date.

4) Do it!

P.S. If taking a big action seems too scary, start small and build up.

ADHD and New Year’s Resolutions

The New Year always brings with it an enthusiasm to look at yourself and your life and make some positive changes. While tons of research has been to done to show that New Year’s resolutions don’t work. We also know that creating habits and setting goals do work.

So, why not make use of this New Year energy to make some positive changes using goals and habits in your life? Wondering what areas to address? Why not your health? As the healthier you are, the less problematic your negative ADHD symptoms are. For example, getting enough sleep, eating healthy food, exercising every day, taking supplements, such as, Omega 3, managing stress are all known to help your long term health, but also your ADHD symptoms right now.

There is a brilliant website that is dedicated to your health called http://www.realage.com/. The site’s creator, Dr. Roizen is a cardiologist and wanted to motivate people to take better care of their bodies. He realized everyone wants to be youthful so used this as an incentive. Some people are younger physiologically and mentally than their calendar age because they active make healthy eating choices while some people are older.

Take the quiz which covers all topics related to health, from what you eat, drink and smoke to how fast you drive and how often you use your cell phone.

After you get your results and find out how old you ‘really’ are you are given a compressive checklist of actions to take to reduce your real age. You can use the checklist to motivate you and guide you to know what new goals and habits to make in 2013

Good luck and I would love to hear what changes you will be making!!!