ADHD and Underwhelming Self Care

When I was a child there was a popular commercial on television, the slogan was, “Calgon take me away” and “Lose yourself in luxury”. Calgon was supposed to take you away from reality and into a fantasy world where you were alone in a large bubble filled bath overlooking a cloud filled sky. I didn’t find the commercial and advertising to be calming, instead, I found them to be funny. Maybe it was because I was a child who didn’t quite understand that some adults need to retreat into a fantasy world to escape their current realities.

When I see articles and lists with ideas on how to practice self-care, I can’t help but see some of them as a modern day Calgon commercial. There are times when the suggestions seem to be about escape rather than tending to one’s emotional, physical, and spiritual care and rejuvenation.

Healthy versions of self-care accept the reality of your busy schedule, your lack of funds to do all the things you’d like, the tiredness you feel, and all the other parts of your life that you can’t escape from or ignore for too long.

When you have ADHD it’s important to keep self-care simple otherwise you may end up becoming stressed or overwhelmed with your plans for self-care. Allow yourself the freedom to tend to your own needs on a daily and weekly basis.

Here are some basic and underwhelming self-care activities. These ideas are based on saving yourself time and energy as a way to keep your life somewhat less hectic and more organized, two things are important in managing adult adhd.

Food:

Order take out. This isn’t something I would recommend doing often, but there is something to be said about coming home and not having to cook occasionally. Ordering in means avoiding noisy, crowded places, and instead of standing in line, you get to relax at home while you wait for your order.

 Bagged salads. This is another way that I have saved time. It only takes a few seconds to rip open the bag, and there you have it, a salad. No need to chop greens or wash fruits and vegetables, and you use less kitchen items. Depending on the salad, you might even be able to eat it straight out of the bag.

Make use of household appliances:

Microwave meals. I can’t begin to tell you how much time I’ve saved by having pre-made frozen meals in the freezer. Once a month I make a few meals and they go into the freezer for those days when I know I will be short on time, or when I don’t have the desire or energy required to cook for myself.

Use the dishwasher. Why do dishes by hand when you can simply open the door to the dishwasher and let the appliance do the job for you.

Slow cookers. This item is a classic time saver; throw your food in, place the lid on, push a few buttons and walk away for a couple of hours.

The Body:

Shower before you go to bed. Showering the night before saves you time in the morning. You can use that extra time to do something healthy like sleep longer, eat breakfast, daily devotions/prayer, and anything else that feels like self-care.

Purchase quality hair and body care products. Showers and baths can be used as a time to relax. When you’re in the shower products that smell good and help you to feel calm make a difference to your mind. Lavender has been shown to put people in a relaxed state. If this isn’t your scent, find one that helps relax you. I used to use a peppermint shampoo (I stopped because it became too costly for me to purchase), the smell and the feeling on my scalp felt great.

Regardless of what you choose as your form of self-care, remember, it’s not meant to be overwhelming, if it is, find something else to do.

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