There’s a saying that the ‘less you do, the less you want to do.’
Some ADHDers have been procrastinating more and feeling blah since quarantine began.
Having more time at home sounds good in theory.
No travel time, no outside obligations means lots of white space in your calendar to catch up on projects and hobbies.
However! When each day feels the same as yesterday, the monotony can cause boredom, which for the ADHD brain isn’t good news.
Boredom means low motivation and possibly sinking into a low depressed state.
When you have ADHD, you need just the right amount of stimulation.
Too much stimulation leaves you feeling frantic and frazzled.
Too little makes you feel blah.
Stimulation can come from healthy sources, for example conversations with people, exercise, working on projects and hobbies.
It can also come from unhealthy sources, like overeating on sugar, using addictive substances like drugs and alcohol, picking fights with loved ones or strangers, driving too fast, online shopping etc.
Even in quarantine it’s possible to get the right amount of stimulation.
Structure and routines in your day is helpful because it gets you moving and doing the necessary basics like getting dressed, preparing and eating 3 meals a day.
They give you a framework.
Then within that structure, set yourself little projects and goals each day.
Spending each day seeing where the wind blows you and doing what you feel inspired to do has its time and place.
But if you are feeling blah, procrastinating and having low motivation, then giving yourself a short to-do list for the day and crossing items off makes you feel energized, accomplished and motivated to do more.
This is because when you complete something you get a little shot of dopamine, which the ADHD brain has less of than the non-ADHD brain.
In Chapter 8 of Untapped Brilliance, How to reach your full potential as an adult with ADHD, I talk about developing routines and working on projects