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A morning routine for ADHD
Pick ONE thing (not a million) and you'll probably stick to it
You may have noticed this newsletter looks a bit different. Skip down to the Moving to Substack section for more information on this!
Morning routines are essential for managing ADHD.
Especially if you're going down the drug-free route.
Doing so brings a certain equilibrium to your mental state. Putting you back in control. Removing some of the noise from your head. Cleaning out any anxieties you've woken up with. And giving you a sense of positivity first thing in the morning.
This is why our mother's told us to make our bed in the morning – it really matters.
Unfortunately, most people don't have a morning routine.
I think it's partly due to the over-glorification of morning routines in hustle culture. Every success guru teaches them. And every follower inflates their ego by shouting about it on social media.
This is a shame.
I've personally noticed that morning routines help me to manage my ADHD, drug-free, with a sense of control over my own condition.
But hustle culture isn't the only reason you're not trying it
You don't know what works best
You don't know where to start
You've tried to start, but got overwhelmed
You feel like you don't have the time
I understand all of those reasons. I've been through all of them myself.
Over the past five years, I've come to realise that there's a way to make morning routines work for almost anyone.
Here's how, step by step:
Step 1: Understand what is possible
I've spoken before about setting your intention for managing ADHD. This is no different.
This is setting your intention for what you want to get out of having a morning routine.
You know your own ADHD better than anyone. What do you struggle with?
I struggle to get going in the morning.
If I'm not careful I can slip into a YouTube frenzy and not come out until lunchtime. To stop that from happening, I set the intention that I WILL NOT WATCH YOUTUBE.
So what is your intention, not just for the day, but for the morning routine?
Step 2: Do ONE thing only
Everyone gets this part wrong.
You don't need to do it all. Not at the beginning.
I know you could do meditation and yoga and running and cold exposure and breathwork. But this will 100% lead to failure.
Your morning routine can include multiple activities. But please wait until you've built the habit of doing ONE thing first.
Ok, so this is where it gets more fun. Now you get to decide what you're going to do.
Here are some examples to get you started:
Running, Weightlifting, HIIT training
Walk (without headphones - listen to nature)
Walk the dog
Brew your own coffee
Brew loose leaf tea
Read a book
Write a book
Play a musical instrument
The list could go on (but you get the point).
Pick something you already know how to do. Now is not the time to learn a musical instrument. It's time to do something you're fairly comfortable with. So if you know how to meditate, do that. Love to write? Do that.
It's that simple. Don't overcomplicate it!
Step 3: Stick to your ONE thing for 30 days
This is harder than it seems.
But once you do 30 consecutive days, you'll be hooked.
Plus, after 30 days, you get the dopamine boost of adding something new to your routine.
At this point, please notice how you're feeling.
- What has changed since the beginning?
- How is it affecting your day?
- Are you able to get more done with less distraction?
I made many mistakes at first. Trying to do too much at once was the biggest.
We all try to do way too much. So this isn't going to be easy for you. But please fight through to the end as that's where all the benefits are.
I've been doing this for many years now. So my morning routine has grown into something more advanced.
But it all started by picking and sticking to ONE thing.
Soon enough you'll notice how doing this will improve your relationship with ADHD.
Moving to Substack
I’ve moved to Substack as my provider which adds a load of cool features that I’m very excited about:
Public archive of posts
It will still be delivered to your email as before, and you can still reply to me privately, but paid members will now be able to comment and engage directly with me in the app. Which means I’ll answer any questions you have about managing your ADHD with skills (not pills).
Mobile App & Archive
Substack has a native mobile app you can download, for even more convenient access to the Drug Free ADHD newsletter.
It’s really good.
And Substack is littered with wonderful writers across 100s of subjects. The app makes it easy to find and engage with them.
People often ask me to post the archive of all past newsletter editions. That’s kind of a pain to do. But not with Substack. Soon you’ll be able to go back through old editions.
I never wanted to sell advertising to cover costs.
But the newsletter was getting expensive to run.
I love writing this newsletter and hearing the powerful, inspiring, and often emotional stories you share with me.
So I’m going to try an optional paid subscription/support model.
This will not change the weekly Drug Free ADHD newsletter, which will always be free!
The primary benefit for paid subscribers is to help support this newsletter and the other ADHD work I do. 🧠
Here are the benefits you unlock with a paid subscription:
⚡️ Subscriber-only posts
🎙️ Occasional Q&A's / AMA's
Those subscriber only posts will be deep dives into the Toolkit I use to manage my ADHD with skills (not pills).
Breathwork for ADHD guide
Step-by-step process for meditation with ADHD
You get the idea.
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