Did you ever see the Friends episode where Joey starts to carry a bag that looks a bit like a woman’s purse? He is very proud of it and calls it a Man Bag.
This is how Joey describes his new bag to his skeptical friends.
‘At first I thought it just looked good, but it’s practical too. Check it out. It has compartments for all your stuff: wallet, keys, address book.’
Then he reaches into the front pocket and retrieves a sandwich to snack on.
This episode was filmed back in 1999 and while humour can be timeless, a few things date this episode. Not many people carry address books around anymore :).Plus, Chandler and Ross are laughing at Joey for carrying a bag. Fast forward nearly 20 years and that doesn’t seem funny anymore. Right now, I am at my local Starbucks and looking round the full room, everyone, man and woman, has a bag.
Bags are such everyday items it’s easy to forget how helpful and useful they are when you are living with ADHD.
5 Reasons Bags are Helpful When You Have ADHD
1. Peace of Mind
Every time William left my office, he would perform a ritual of patting down the pockets in his sharp suit. Each time there was a slight panic until he found his keys, phone and wallet. Sometimes there would be a decoy item that would feel similar to his wallet. This would raise William’s panic levels until he found his actual wallet.
When William started to carry a bag, these mild panics disappeared from his life. Each time he was leaving one environment, all he had to do was to check he had his bag which was clearly visible.
Knowing all your important and valuable items are in one place brings with it peace of mind.
2. Stop Losing Things
Jenny was in her 20s and had lots of cute bags at home but she never used them. Instead she walked around with her wallet and keys and phone in her hand. More often than not she would leave one of these things behind.
Sometimes she was able to find the missing item by retracing her steps. But not always. That meant she had to replace the lost item, phone her bank to report a lost card, etc. When Jenny started to carry a bag, she saved time, money and reduced her stress levels.
3. Helps You Feel Organized
Having all the items you need for the day in one place (your bag) helps you feel organized, grounded and nurtured.
Besides your valuables, you have items that help your day run smoothly, for example shades, snacks, meds, tissues, a book for entertainment. Sure you can go hungry or pick up an unhealthy snack from the vending machine, squint when the sun shines brightly, wipe your nose on your sleeve when no one is looking or feel super bored in the dentist’s waiting room. But life is much more enjoyable when you have helpful items to hand.
When you have your own bag, you don’t need to ask other people if you can put your belongings in their bag.
5. Mornings are Easier
When you leave the house in the morning, you don’t waste time hunting for important items because they are already waiting for you… in your bag!
ADHD Friendly Tips For Using Your Bag
1. Pick a Bag That You Really Like.
Well-meaning people might offer you their old bags, or you might track down a dusty old bag from your closet. However, use these bags only if you like them! You won’t be motivated to use a bag unless you really love it. So choose it with care.
2. Make Sure Your Bag Has Pockets.
Whether your bag is a messenger bag, rucksack, briefcase or purse, make sure it has pockets.
This way you can have designated homes for your main items so they are easy to find. For example, I have a deep pocket at the front of my bag and that is where I always keep my keys.
3. Empty Your Bag Regularly.
Aim to empty your bag once a week. Bags tend to gather all sorts of random items such as receipts, pens, half-eaten snacks. When your bag gets full of stuff it’s hard to see and find your precious items.
4. Avoid Plastic Bags.
Don’t use a plastic bag. It’s only a question of time before it is mistaken for garbage by you or someone else.
5. Use Just One Bag.
If you have a lot of cute bags, it’s tempting to change your bag frequently to match your outfit. The downside is it’s easy to accidentally leave items behind in the transfer. Consider getting a neutral bag that goes with all your outfits. Or perhaps just change your bag with the seasons (four times a year) rather than daily.
What is your favourite type of bag? Leave a note in the comments section below.
P.S. If you want to see Joey’s bag, here is a link: Joey’s Bag Video