ADHD-Brain

Secrets of the ADHD Brain

“It is hard to call something a disorder when it imparts many positives. ADHD is not a damaged or defective nervous system. It is a nervous system that works well using its own set of rules. Despite ADHD’s association with learning disabilities, most people with an ADHD nervous system have significantly higher-than-average IQs. They also use that higher IQ in different ways than neurotypical people. By the time most people with the condition reach high school, they are able to tackle problems that stump everyone else, and can jump to solutions that no one else saw.” —William Dodson, M.D. (ADDitude: Strategies and Support for ADHD & LD)

Find the full article Here: Secrets of the ADHD Brain (ADDitude)

Don’t Let ADHD Decide Quote

“Don’t let your ADHD decide who you can and can’t be. Instead let it be the inspiration for who you will be.” —Morgan Elizabeth Torre, author of ADHD Just Like Me

Talkin’ Trash: Evaluating Your ADHD Medication

I KNOW, I KNOW, I KNOW . . . medication is a touchy subject. And there’s no one right answer for anyone with ADHD. But this still is an eye opening article on how to evaluate yourself and see if your medication is working for you—or not:

Talking’ Trash by Gina Pera

college

My Daughter’s Mental Health Is More Important Than My Dreams for Her Future

This article honestly brought tears to my eyes. It’s so comforting to know that there are understanding parents out there who love their ADHD kids enough to let them choose what’s right for them, even if it’s not the choice they would’ve made. That’s true love.

I’ve learned to let Lee take the lead on whether college is right for her.

Source: My Daughter’s Mental Health Is More Important Than My Dreams for Her Future

3 Steps to Power up your Protein for ADHD

I’m really trying to adjust my diet to manage my ADHD. Except I don’t really know where to start. Or even what is missing in my diet that worsens my ADHD symptoms, or just leaves them untreated. This article definitely helps to give you a jumping off point. And I’m sure you can go to the comment section to see if author has any more recipe suggestions for your next ADHD-friendly meal🙂.

Source: 3 Steps to Power up your Protein for ADHD

Organization for ADHD: Part Two

Organization for ADHD Part Two

An Organized Bedroom Environment for PEOPLE WITH ADHD

IN THIS BLOG POST I’ll talk specifically about my main environment I organized to be ADHD-friendly: my bedroom. I say this is my “main environment” because this is where I spend most of my time when I’m at home. I’m going to be honest with you—I’m just getting out of college so I moved back in with my parents until I save up enough money to live on my own. Perhaps one day I’ll write a blog post about my journey of organizing my apartment to be ADHD-friendly. But for now, let’s focus on how I organized my current bedroom to be ADHD-friendly.

Notes On Feng Shui

BEFORE WE CONTINUE with my organizational process that follows up from my last blog post (Organization for ADHD: Part One), let’s discuss Feng Shui.

I am a big advocate for Feng Shui. Why? Because I’ve seen its positive effects. Yep, that’s right! I lived at Michigan State University for four and a half years. Three of those years I live in a space that was not “Feng Shui-ed.” And then I spent one and a half years in a space that was “Feng Shui-ed.” During the non-Feng-Shui years, I had a very difficult time in college. However, during the Feng Shui years, my time in college was so much better, and much more manageable. I was happier, more energized, positive, and best of of all—I felt in control. It seriously felt like a night and day difference.

I WANT TO TALK ABOUT FENG SHUI as it relates to ADHD organization because I honestly believe it creates a more positive, stress-free environment for those afflicted with ADHD.

I don’t want to bore you with an incredibly long list of all the resources I referenced to Feng Shui my living spaces. Instead I’ll provide you with a link to my Pinterest board, which focuses on Feng Shui.

MY OWN FENG SHUI TIPS are pretty basic. They are definitely covered in the proverbial “Feng Shui 101.” However, I do want to warn you—there are things that are no-no’s in Feng Shui that I choose not to pay attention to. But here’s the thing, because I live with my parent’s, my room has to store all  of my things (clothes, items for hobbies, books, etc.). And because of that, I’ve had to make some Feng Shui sacrifices in order to achieve a desirable living space. For instance, storing things under your bed is a Feng Shui no-no. However, I put my bed on risers for the sole purpose of creating extra storage space for my arts and crafts supplies. And some Feng Shui resources say you shouldn’t put your books in your bedroom—or that you should only keep the ones you’re currently reading in there. However, I have to keep my books in my room because I do not have the ability to store them elsewhere. So my suggestion is to take Feng Shui tips with a grain of salt, and adapt them to your lifestyle.

Here are the Feng Shui tips/rules I do follow:

Your Bed:

  • The bed should be in direct view of the door, however it should also be as far from the door as possible. This gives you a sense of safety and easiness while resting.
  • The bed should have a sturdy headboard to create a sense of stability. However, if you don’t have a headboard you can position it against a wall.
  • Make sure your bed is a good height, don’t put the mattress, box spring, or frame directly on the floor. The frame of your bed should have legs. And if you desire you can use risers to increase it’s height. Having your bed off the floor creates a sense of flow and control over the bed, and the space itself.

Electronics:

  • Electronics in your bed room should be limited, if not non-existent. If you absolutely must have them in your room cover them up when not in use. For instance, I have cover that I made for my sewing machine. And I just cover my cellphone up with a washcloth when I go to sleep. Doing things like this makes sure that your peace is not disturbed or distracted when you are trying to rest, decompress, and rejuvenate yourself.

Lighting:

  • Use natural lighting as much as possible during the day. That means opening your curtains and blinds.
  • When you must use artificial lighting, opt for soft lighting. I personally need a lot of light in a room to focus clearly, and not get sleepy again in the morning. So I have as many lamps in my room as possible.
  • Hanging a crystal by the window can make a space feel more open and positive. Plus it looks so pretty when the sun hits it and casts little rainbows all over your room.

Visuals:

  • Place inspiring art and wall decor in your bedroom. This will create positivity and confidence in your life.
  • Use the Feng Shui colors for each part of your room. That is, your room is divided up into elements (i.e., wood, metal, earth, water, and fire). Each area that is represented by one of these elements has specific colors associated with it. Try to incorporate those colors into your decorating. You can find more information about the elements and colors on my Feng Shui Pinterest board.

HERE’S HOW I FENG SHUI-ED MY ROOM. I measured my room’s dimensions, and the dimensions of all my furniture. I then headed on over to floorplanner.com to make a digital floor plan of my room. I did this because I wanted to experiment with different room layouts without having to actually move furniture. You can do the same thing with graph paper and a writing utensil. Just draw the dimensions of your room, making sure to include any little quirks (e.g. having five corners in a room instead of four—like my room!). And then draw boxes in the dimensions of your furniture. Or if you don’t feel like doing any of that you can just move your furniture around as many times as you want until you get your preferred layout. Here’s an image of my floor plan I made on floorplanner.com:

Morgan's bedroom floor plan 2016

At the front left of my room is my sewing table. Along the left side are all the boxes where I keep my craft, sewing, and knitting supplies. Along the back wall on the left side and above, are my bookshelf and a ledge that runs along the entire back wall, where I store the rest of my books and other knick-knacks. Along the back wall to the right is my night stand and a crate on the floor where I put recycling. My closet is inset along the right wall. And there’s a screw-in coat rack along the front right side wall. Under my bed I store more craft, sewing, and knitting supplies. Finally, within my closet I store my clothes, shoes, accessories (i.e., bags, belts and hats), and camping gear.

ADHD Organization Feng Shui Bed

My bed, which is placed in the center of the room so I can walk all the way around it. It makes it much easier to make my bed in the morning, and creates flow throughout my room.

ADHD Organization Sewing Area

My sewing area has all my sewing equipment and books that I use on a regular basis. I also sometimes store my current knitting project here too.

ADHD Organization Feng Shui Nightstand

ADHD Organization Feng Shui Bookcase

I keep my inspirational visuals in this corner of my room. They include Wonder Woman and Disney Princess Belle (two feminists lol), I also store my jewelry here, out in the open, so it’s easily accessible.

So You’ve Feng Shui-ed and purged . . .

NOW that you’ve purged your room (more on that here) and feng shui-ed your room, it’s time to divide your room into little areas. Think of your room like a government building, every department has their own area. Apply that thinking to your room, every item is grouped together by the task or activity it serves. For instance, in my room, I have different areas for clothes, books, crafts, sewing, knitting, and laundry. And within those areas I have sub-areas. In my clothes area, I have my closet divided up by clothing type. Leggings go on one shelf, blouses hang on the rack in a marked space, and tights get their own plastic milk crate. I did this for my craft area and my book area too. Most importantly, I LABELED these sub-areas.

Labeling With Washi Tape

In my closet, drawers and shelves are labeled with Washi tape and permanent marker. I label the tape and place it on the container with the items that occupy its interior.

 

ADHD Organization Washi Tape Labels

Because I don’t Have a ton of drawer space, I double up some drawers and made a cardboard divider to separate the different items.

 

ADHD Organization Morgan's Washi Tape Labels

organizing shelving space with plastic bins and tubs

I have Sterilite plastic tubs labeled with erasable white board marker indicating what’s inside (e.g. tank tops, t-shirts, pants, shorts, work-out attire, etc.). You can find some of the tubs I used here. But remember I measured my shelving and found specific tubs that fit those dimensions. So you may have to buy different tubs in order to fit your closet space.

ADHD Organization_Morgan's Plastic Storage Tubs

I choose NOT  to fold my clothes? Why? Because I have a lot of them (and clothing is one of my passions so I have a hard time being a minimalist when it comes to that). Plus it makes the process of putting clothing back in it’s place a whole lot easier. If something is too wrinkled to wear I just use Downy Wrinkle Release Spray and toss it in the dryer for a few minutes with a dryer sheet.

ADHD Organization_Morgan's Plastic Storage Tubs In Closet

I keep the shoes I wear most often outside my closet (i.e. my slippers and flip flops) and then I line up the rest of my shoes like little soldiers, grouping together type and frequency of use. Because I have so many heels for work I just went ahead and stuck them in a plastic milk crate. Probably a little harder to get to my shoes easily, but I love my shoes too much to get rid of them.

 

 

ADHD Organization Plastic Tubs In Closet

I label all my bins with erasable whiteboard marker. And because I do that, I can change the labels based on the season. For instance, when summer rolls around I can swap out my “Hats, Scarves, & Gloves” label for something else that I’ll put in that bin.

The author of Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD, recommends that you use these types of plastic stackable storage bins (seen below). However, when I was buying for organizing my closet space, I couldn’t find these anywhere . . . not even on amazon. I believe that they are more popular now, so if you so choose, these can be an alternative to my Sterilite plastic storage tubs. These bins that the author suggests are a little easier to deal with because they don’t have tops on them. So you can just toss your clothes back in the container and not having to worry about putting a lid back on.

ADHD Organization_Plastic Stackable Storage Bins

organizing rack space with closet dividers

The racks in my closet have plastic closet dividers with  names as to what kinds of outfits the clothes are for (e.g., work, casual, evening, etc.). I got my closet dividers off of Amazon.com, you can find ones like them here and here. And here’s a DIY tutorial on how to make your own closet dividers!

ADHD Organization_Closet Dividers

ADHD Organization Results

ORGANIZING FOR MY ADHD has made my life so much easier. And I am not exaggerating, in any way. I can always can find what I’m looking for. Clean up is a snap. And the stress in my life has been significantly reduced. Bottom line, the organization system I have instilled in my life, just for my bedroom, makes me much happier.

When I’m in my room now, my mind is clear and I’m free to go about my tasks with little to no difficulty because it is so much easier to focus. When my room was messy and disorganized it required so much energy and focus to remember where things were and then go and look for them. I am so, so, so happy that I found this organizational system because it has completely revolutionized my life.

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN! Try out this or a similar organizational system in your bedroom, give it a month or two to get use to it. And then evaluate the results. You may have to adjust how you do things in order to fit your lifestyle, but that’s okay! Much of the process of managing ADHD has to deal with trial and error. Just don’t give up!

Are you going to try out this organizational system for your bedroom? What ideas do you have about how you can adjust and, or, improve on the system I’ve presented to you? Share your input in the comment section below!

What It’s Like to Have ADHD by Morgan Elizabeth Torre

You could think about the human mind like this: There are voices in your head telling you how to behave and carry on throughout the day. And they are all taking their turn, speaking one at a time, and in the correct order.

You could think about the ADHD mind like this: There are voices that are in your head telling you how to behave and carry on throughout the day. But they’re all speaking at once, LOUDLY, without taking their turn, and definitely speaking out of order.

—Morgan Elizabeth Torre, author of ADHD Just Like Me

9 Ways for Adults with ADHD to Get Motivated

HOLY CRAP THIS IS AN AMAZING ARTICLE! IT MAY BE A LITTLE OLD . . . BUT IT WILL ALWAYS BE RELEVANT! I TRULY, TRULY, TRULY RECOMMEND THAT ALL ADHDers AND THEIR LOVED ONES GIVE THIS A READ. IT’S ALL ABOUT HOW TO MOTIVATE YOURSELF (which is one of the hardest things to do when you have ADHD). THIS IS SOLID GOLD!

 

It’s hard for adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to get motivated. But this has zero to do with laziness or not trying hard enough, said Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and clinical instructor in the department…

Source: 9 Ways for Adults with ADHD to Get Motivated

Four Great ADHD Tips, Number Three — ADHD Tip O the Day 707

This is a super awesome idea, and super important to do when it comes to managing your day-to-day life with ADHD. Give it a quick read, I promise you won’t regret it!

ADDadultstrategies

ADHD Vocabulary:

I highly recommend editing your vocabulary and eliminating the words “should” and “have to.”  As soon as we say one of these bad words to ourselves, we develop automatic unconscious resistance to doing the task. We really don’t need anything to foster our procrastination.

An ADHD Strategy:

I have recommended saying, “need to” or, “it would be good for me to.”

A Better ADHD strategy:

But this approach, of being determined to eliminate the bad words, often leads to awkward sentence construction. I recently ran across a better approach.  Eliminate the bad words, “should” and “have to,” and substitute  “I get to.”  This changes the whole thing.

I get to carry out the garbage. I get to pay my bills. I get to write tomorrow’s blog.

It’s a positive outlook. Your life will be better.

Doug

Questions O Question the Day:

Can you tell me where I saw…

View original post 51 more words

Organization for ADHD, Part One

Organization for ADHD_part one

Being Organized While Also Being ADHD

ONE OF THE BIGGEST HURDLES when you have ADHD? . . . Organization. The initial process of organization may be doable (well “sort of” doable) but the process of staying organized is one of the hardest things in the world—at least it is for me, but I’m sure others can say the same.

I feel like I’ve worked my whole life to become organized. It was encouraged in school and at home. It’s something that I deeply wanted. Yet, I always fell short. And the worst part is I never knew exactly why. Why is it that all those fancy and smart organizational systems that work for other people never worked for me?!?! Why did I have to be so different—yet again. It was/is so discouraging for me, and many other ADHDers I know.

About two years ago I decided to give organization yet another try. I scavenged Pinterest for solutions specifically for ADHD organization. And I came up short most of the time. There are few blogs written about organizational solutions for the home for ADHD adults. There are many written about school-related organization for ADHD children. I then turned to amazon.com. And with a short search my prayers were answered.

I came across one of the most life-changing books I’ve read. Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD by Susan C. Pinsky, is all about, you guessed it, organizing for the ADHD individual! I used this book to organize my entire house! It has completely transformed my life. It takes you through the first stages of organization. Introducing you to the “rules” and the “tools.” Then it takes you, room by room, through the actual process and outcomes of organization. If I had to recommend a book for ADHD Organization, hands down, I’d recommend this book every time.

Note: The book I bought is the second edition.

About the Book and It’s Authororganization solutions for people with add_2nd edition_book cover

 

SUSAN C. PINSKY maintains a career as a professional organizer. When her eldest daughter was diagnosed with ADHD her “jobs as a professional organizer and as the parent of an ADHD-afflicted child began to overlap” (Pinsky, 8). “Over time, I was able to develop a clear methodology that responded to the specific needs of someone with ADHD,” she says (8). She also tells us ADHDers that good organizational skills are not beyond our reach. You have no idea how encouraging those words are to me! “This book is geared toward anyone whose life and home are affected by ADHD, which includes both ADHD sufferers and their frustrated family members striving unsuccessfully to keep and organized home” (9).

She also explains exactly why organization is so difficult for ADHDers:

“For someone with ADHD, even the simplest task takes much more energy than it takes for others. To shower, get dressed, and get out the door in the morning can require the kind of care and concentration that average people expend over their entire day” (13).

So, basically, we require so much energy and concentration to do simple tasks that when it comes to organization it’s like, “why should I waste my time when I am already going to be late?” For me this thought ended with clothes strewn all over the floor, papers scattered across my desk, and a countless number of my belongings being misplaced. Then when I’d come back from school or work I’d be so totally lost in the mess that I couldn’t even begin to function correctly. While I knew where some things were it took me forever to get to them. I wasn’t happy with being messy, but it’s all I could do at that time when organization was an unattainable goal.

Pinsky addresses this too:

“Ironically, people with ADHD do not tend to be lazy—they are instead some of the most energetic people I know, capable of boundless enthusiasm and dizzying creativity. What they are is discouraged, because the organizational systems that are handed to them are either so complex or so tedious that they are impossible for the ADHD sufferer to maintain” (13)

That was me! The discouraged ADHDer who felt she had no hope of being a stable and organized (or at least, semi-organized) human being. But this book truly, truly, truly brought me solutions, and above all hope. Hope that I can take control of my life despite my ADHD.

An Introduction to ADHD Organization: Rules and Tools

SOME RULES are laid out by Pinsky, which one should follow when organizing for an ADHD-friendly environment. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Don’t keep adding things to your home that you’ll have to find storage for—”reduce your inventory” (16).
  • Make sure your belongings are easy to get to and put back.
  • When purging (I’ll talk more on that later in the post) only touch it once.
  • Ask yourself if you have duplicates of something, or if you have things that share the same purpose (e.g. a bar of soap and body wash). If the answer is “yes,” then get rid of one of them.

While in the initial stages of organizing my living space I also turned to Pinterest for additional organization advice. Here are some of the things I learned:

  • Make your bed.
    • It instantly makes things feel cleaner and more organized.
  • When purging ask yourself two more questions:
    • One, “Does it bring me joy?” (e.g. and old photograph)
    • Two, “Is it necessary?” (e.g. toilet bowl cleaner)
  • Feng Shui your rooms (I’ll be writing a post on this later).
    • This can automatically make a space feel more enjoyable to be in—which will make you want to take care of it!
    • If want to know more about how to feng shui a room just search Google or Pinterest. There are hundreds of resources to help you out. Below is feng shui map. Each section of a room holds a different meaning, and certain objects should be placed within those areas.

simplified feng shui map_kenlauher.com

TOOLS ARE ALSO SUGGESTED by Pinsky to make organizing for ADHDers that much easier! Here are the tools I used in my bedroom:

  • Hanging tools
    • I used hooks that I could nail and screw to the wall. And I also used 3m hooks in places where that wasn’t possible

41IHjxt0mxL._AC_UL320_SR186,320_

  • Shelving tools
    • Wherever I could have shelves, or places to store stuff that wasn’t the floor, I made use of it.
      • For instance, I bought wooden crates from the craft store and made a book shelf out of six of them.
      • I also used my closet shelving unit like nobody’s business.

wooden crate bookcase

  • Tubs and bins
    • I used tubs in my closet. I measured the selves dimensions and went to Lowes to find plastic tubs that fit for each shelf space.

adhd organization_tubs and bins

The First Part to ADHD Organization: Purge, Purge, and Purge Again

THERE ARE INITIAL STEPS to the organizational process that we must attend to before we can start on the purging process.

  • Prepare
    • You’re going to donate and dispose of/recycle many things (hopefully). Find the proper places to do that in your community. Especially for hazardous chemicals.
  • Set up
    • Set up your boxes or garbage bags. Label them “keep,” “donate,” “throw away” (or “recycle”), and “belongs somewhere else.”

purging boxes for ADHD organization

NOW FOR THE FIRST PART in the organizational process: Purging

Purging is where you literally clear out the space of every single item and sort them into your respective boxes/garbage bags. Or, if it doesn’t fit in a box/garbage bag, lay it in a pile next to that respective box/garbage bag.

When I got done purging I performed a deep clean of all my newly exposed surfaces in my space. Dusting, vacuuming, and wiping them down with cleaner.

After purging and cleaning I got rid of the “throw away”/”recycle” and “donate” boxes; and then I poured the contents of my “keep” box on the floor. I then sorted it into different piles for each section of my room. For instance, in my bedroom I divided the main pile into such sub-piles as “closet,” “bookshelf,” and “night stand.” After that I moved the “belongs somewhere else” box out of that room to be dealt with later. I would be dividing that box up into sub-piles by room.

More to Come

THIS IS THE FIRST PART in organizing a space to make it ADHD-friendly. It took me a long time to complete this just for my bedroom. So maybe you might want to start now and divide the task up over a few days. Or set aside an entire day to complete it.

Or you may want to wait for my other posts about the next steps in the process of ADHD organization. These posts will be published weekly, so be on the look out for them!

And remember to leave a comment! Are you thinking about buying the book? Where are you going to start purging first? And did you find this post helpful in any way? Let me know!

REFERENCES
Pinsky, Susan C. Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD: Tips and Tools to Help You Take Charge of Your Life and Get Organized. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press, 2012.