BY MELISSA SGAMBELLURI
Have you ever fallen asleep in your makeup or skipped a day of showering? If so, you are not alone. Most women have reported missing out on essential self-care due to the gruelling cognitive fatigue that comes with having ADHD (English, 2021). However, you (yes, you) are completely capable of overcoming this lack of inhibition to take control of your awesome life again… even when it doesn’t seem possible. If you’re wondering how you’ve stumbled upon the perfect issue of DiverseMinds Magazine! Here are our top Self-Care Tips for Women With ADHD.
Understanding the Why
First, it is important that we begin by providing some context. For people with ADHD, it is
the initiation of a task that can become difficult due to the unique neurobiological factors that accompany the condition, such as cognitive impairment (English, 2021). Although ADHDers know that they need to begin a task in order to complete it, they often cannot bring themselves to start it, and therefore end up skipping out on crucial duties such as basic self-care. This in turn leads to further consequences, such as a downward spiral in one’s mental state, because we MUST show ourselves compassion in order to be happy. So, how can women with ADHD approach self-care in a way that is proactive and consistent to ensure optimal mental wellness?
Nourishing Yourself With Morning Care
For people with ADHD, one transformative tip to consider is to perform the bulk of your self-care routine in the morning. This is because this is the time of day that your motivation and energy levels are at their all-time high, so take advantage! Grab your favourite cleansing balm, toner, moisturizer and makeup products, and get started! When the sun is bright and early, do some self-nourishing yoga, hop in a warm shower, take a peaceful walk, and read a long novel. Remember, making the most out of these fine luxuries of life do NOT define you as selfish or high maintenance. Rather, it is absolutely vital for you to do anything and everything that will put you in a state of relaxation, so that you can feel fierce enough to conquer the long day ahead of you. Self-compassion is essential to lifting your wellbeing, and it is only when you begin caring for yourself that you will feel the difference. So, ease your mind and balance your hectic lifestyle simply by taking some time in the morning for YOU. You’re worth it.
Striking a Balance With Comfort Objects
As a person with ADHD, you may find it difficult to strike a balance with your everyday tasks. For you, this may mean that you cannot bring yourself to either begin or finish a particular task, or perhaps you either cook too much food or far too little. Put simply, you experience life in extremes - there’s no in between! This concept is known as the state of all-or-nothing in people with ADHD, and can be explained by perfectionist tendencies. However, fear no more… Comfort objects are the remedy for the lack of balance that you’ve been struggling with! Indeed, comfort objects have been proven to have a tremendous soothing effect on the mental health of individuals with ADHD.. This is because they work to put you in the calmest state of mind, easing any anxious thoughts you may have surrounding perfectionism and idealism. Whether your preferred object is a weighted wristband, heavy blanket, liquid timer or ankle bands, comfort toys are an absolute essential component of your self-care routine (Rodgers and Kalyn, 2017). They’re completely affordable, too! So, if you weren’t aware of comfort objects until encountering this article, take a visit to your local dollar store, or even Amazon, and purchase some goodies that you suspect will put your mind at ease. Test out what works best. You will not regret it!
Saying Goodbye to People-Pleasing & Hello to Boundaries
Saying ‘yes’ to plans that you’re unsure of following up on. Being there for others when you need a mental break. Putting in extra hours of work for your boss even when you’re beyond exhausted. Do these scenarios sound familiar to you? If so, it is officially time to say goodbye to your people-pleasing behaviours. As somebody with ADHD, you often do what it takes to make others happy and, while this is all sweet and dandy, you must learn to establish healthy boundaries to put your needs first and foremost. This is the primary step in learning to care for yourself! What will happen if you don’t establish healthy boundaries? Well, not only will you teach others that they can rely on you for favours to the point of exploitation, but you will also teach yourself that you are not your own priority. Therefore, if you have even the smallest thought that tells you ‘no’, avoid saying ‘yes’ when somebody asks you for a favour. It is likely a sign that you need time for YOU (time to unwind, recharge, resolve your own inner conflicts, or perhaps get some of your own work done). You will not be disliked for showing others that you come first - if you are, you don't need those people in your life, ayway. Remember, every individual is responsible for their own happiness, just as you are your own. You’ve been there for you when nobody else has, so you owe it to yourself to consider you a priority, even at the expense of other individuals. You must stand your ground this time around. You got it, girl!
Loving Yourself for All That You Are
The last and final self-care tip worth noting is to take pride in your condition. Having ADHD is what makes you a unique, innovative, and creative human being, and this is never a bad thing. Although you might struggle sometimes, your condition provides you with undeniable strengths that make you an inspiring woman to many. So, take care of yourself and own your individuality. Remember, you deserve all the incredible things that this world has to offer and more. You’re the one in control now.