Why is routine so important to someone with ADHD?

by Dorsey McFadden

To someone with ADHD, a daily routine can often mean the difference between success and failure. Routine provides an essential framework on which to build beneficial habits. These habits can benefit a person physically or mentally. Most typically we associate these routines with self-care but they can also be aligned with personal goals, relationship goals, or even professional goals.

You may not think you can keep a routine but I’d wager you already do in some way. Think about your self-care. What do you do in the morning? You get up, and then what? Brush your teeth, use the restroom, take a shower, or eat breakfast? That’s a routine.

Self-care routines are essential to physical and mental health. Diet, exercise, meditation, and even reading can all be a part of your self-care routine.

Routines also give us a framework for our long-term goals. It’s pretty typical for ADHD people not to think too much about long-term goals, but it is something we need to be intentional about doing.

Routines help to ensure we get stuff done and stay on track with achieving long-term goals. They also give us a sense of accomplishment, because life is hard, and small wins matter. If we don’t find ways to celebrate success where we can, then we’ll just beat ourselves up all the time. And while no other brain is better at that, it’s not healthy.

Do you have a routine? How do you organize your routine in a way that makes your life easier?

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