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Morning Routine for ADHD

If you have ADHD, establishing and maintaining a morning routine can feel like an uphill battle. We hear from our ADHD clients that getting their morning routine down is one of the most challenging tasks… and this happens before their day even gets started.

I have trouble waking up in the mornings

Did you know that 75% of people with ADHD report that waking up in the morning is difficult? This is because a common symptom is delayed carcadain rhythm phase. Many claim that they are “night owls”. This can even cause issues with feeling the ability to be productive in the mornings.

Limit Caffeine

Dr Amen has published thousands of documents, articles, videos, and blogs over the decades he has been one of America’s most beloved Psychiatrist. He reports that caffeine can be one of the most helpful habits for someone with ADHD to kick. So, switching to decaf coffee or tea will be a helpful step in improving your routine.

Restless Leg Syndrome

One more interesting fact is that over 40% of people with ADHD have Restless Leg Syndrome. This difficulty can add to the quality and quantity of sleep that people with ADHD are experiencing.

a man with trouble sleeping lying down
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Tips for Morning Routines

One of the specific ways we collaborate with our ADHD clients is by helping each person learn to understand their unique ADHD experience. It’s hard to function in a neurotypical world when you’re living with ADHD. Your bosses, coworkers, friends and family may not understand why you’re chronically late or constantly forgetting things. They might take it personally when you don’t show up to events and think you don’t care. After a while, this can lead to shame, guilt, and low self-esteem. You might think of yourself as a failure instead of recognizing the fact that you’re genuinely struggling.

 Here are 3 specific ways we can help with your morning routine:

  • Create Hygiene Checklists: We often help our clients come up with checklists for their morning routines. You would be surprised how often clients report that they forget to brush their teeth in the mornings because they “got distracted” while getting ready. By creating a list of hygiene steps we can make sure you bring your best smile with you to school, work, or Target.
  • Give yourself more time: Clients often report that they believe it only takes them 30-45 minutes to get ready in the morning; however, when they go through the steps from the first alarm in the morning until they are at their office or school they begin to realize that they need to manage their time better. People with ADHD commonly under estimate the amount of time needed to perform their morning tasks.
  • Understand your specific ADHD symptoms: Much like superheroes that we watch on TV, every person with ADHD has specific superpowers that needs to be understood, practiced, and mastered. Not everyone has Superman’s speed nor does everyone have Wonder Woman’s fantastic reflexes and agility. Your specific ADHD superpowers can be discovered and mastered with the help of one of our trained professional counselors.
woman wearing wonder woman costume
Photo by Roy Reyna on

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