ADHD routinesIn the last year I took a hard look at myself.  Literally, in a magnified mirror, with very bright lights.  I am not sure exactly when it happened, but I realized that my face had changed and in the busyness of life or in the shadow of the dim lights of my bathroom, I hadn’t noticed.

Taking a good honest look, I realized I was in uncharted territory and the current techniques, strategies and tools I had been using on my face were outdated…useful for an earlier time, but weren’t doing the job anymore. I noticed aging spots reflecting the past 15 years of living in a sunny climate, dark circles under my eyes that never seem to go away even with sleep, new patches of wrinkles, and hair where hair had never grown before!

But amazingly, the bane of my adolescence remained.  I still had oily skin.  My mother used to tell me that oily skin was a good thing.  She would tell me to consider that my oily skin would keep me looking young…just think about it…when I am 80, I will look only 75!!  I have always tried to hold onto that notion and hope I live to see that day.

However, now, in that mirror looking back at me was a new face that deserved an update.  I realized my skin and makeup routine at 35 was no longer going to cut it at 55.  I needed to explore and find out what would work for me now.  But it had been so long since I considered what that was, that my makeup and routines were outdated and stuck in the past.

So…what does my “aha” moment in the mirror have to do with your ADHD routines? 

Well, just like my skin type, ADHD doesn’t go away.  We learn how to manage it, minimize its symptoms over time.  Just like my realization that my current make-up  and skin care regime was not working anymore or getting the results I wanted, the ways we are managing our ADHD can get stuck in a rut.  For instance, maybe a strategy, system or tool that worked wonders years ago to help you stay organized might benefit from an honest look at how it can be updated.  In my search, I realized that applying a toner and makeup primer were not just for models, but really helped keep my make-up  on my oily face for more than two hours when I applied them first!  I was reminded that even people with oily skin need to use moisturizer…I know…it makes little sense, but it’s true.

So, what about you…is there a routine or habit you have gotten into that sort of kind of works…but could be enhanced or updated?  For instance, maybe in the past you were getting up in the morning to take a few precious minutes to plan your day…it worked…and then without realizing it that ritual faded away?

And what about tools?  Over time our brains and neurology, like our faces change and what worked years ago, now might not be the most effective for you.  In my quest, I learned which make-up brush is used for what step and the difference the right tool can create. Am I the only one who had not yet discovered the make-up blender egg shaped sponge?!  Similarly, the tools you use for managing your ADHD and reducing your symptoms, such as medication, or planners or reminder systems, might be due for a reevaluation to make sure that you are getting their full benefit.

Maybe it’s time to consider those things that “just don’t work for us anymore” or things we have been tolerating that prevent us from being our best.  If you are like me, taking the time to look and consider what is working and what is not is a rare, sometime only every other decade event.  Now is a good time to consider and reflect on new ways, more effective ways, new routines for managing your ADHD systems.

For each person with ADHD your challenges and routine solutions will be different.  It took time and lots of trial and error for me to find the specific product or technique that solved a particular challenge.  I think I was hoping to find a one size fits all beauty care solution.  But that’s not how it works.  In the make-up world or for people living with ADHD, it’s trial and error in spite of our characteristic impatience.  Maybe for you, it’s finally giving yourself permission to buy those softer sheets that will help you get a good night’s rest.  Or knowing how easily we can get bored, you might try changing it up a bit and splurge on a new bedside alarm to get you up and going for the day.  In other parts of our lives, it could be stepping out of our comfort zone and considering new technology.  Technical resources are updating constantly and perhaps there is an app, tool, or online resource that could enhance your current strategies.

Is it time for you to connect with new resources on ADHD?  It had been so long since I had changed my skin care or makeup routine that I knew I had to go to the “source” for answers.  I plunged into the Internet, googling everything from “skin-care for aging skin” (yikes when did that happen?) to watching celebrity impersonators transform their faces.  I perused the makeup isles of pharmacies, did the rounds at make-up  counters in the mall and checked with Amazon religiously for product ratings.  I discovered that YouTube has a plethora of videos about makeup and skin care…good to know for those 2am awakenings.

When was the last time you took a gander through the Internet?  Googled something like; “ADHD resources” or “New insights into ADHD”?  Attended a support group in person (if you are lucky enough to have one near you), a national conference on ADHD, or listened in to one of the many ADHD podcasts and telesummits hosted by truly passionate folks wanting to provide answers.  Is it time for you to connect with someone that really knows ADHD and find out if there might be any “new” ways to better manage your particular symptoms at this point in your life.  Really, it’s all about just being the best us we can be.  You may not be exactly sure what you are looking for, I wasn’t, however I knew from past experience that my diligence would reward me with answers.

Be prepared to invest. Anything worthwhile costs a bit of money.  I would like you to consider that you are worth it and the benefits would be priceless.  I would like to say I didn’t waste any money trying new products…I did.  Marketing is an amazing thing and I wanted that same result I saw others getting.  Sometimes the tool or product worked for me…sometimes it didn’t.  The trial and error and understanding my individual needs were necessary to find out what exactly worked for me.  And now, I have a special biscuit jar full of once used makeup products and brushes that I hope will be the holy grail for one of my girls, or my son’s girlfriends…well anyone really.  I like to think of it as paying it forward.

Now when I look in the mirror I still like what I see…including recognizing the signs of aging.  It really doesn’t bother me.  It’s part of the process and it means I am moving forward in my life.  The difference is that I am sure I am doing the best for who I am now.  Some of my routines have remained the same…like washing my face in the morning and at night and I have added a few more steps that seem to enhance the result.

What do you notice when you pause to consider what is working and what is not working in the routines you are currently using to manage your ADHD?  Are you up to date and utilizing the tools and routines that help you be the best you right now? What steps might need to be added or maybe even dropped because they are no longer working for you?

Routines are wonderful things.  They help us get things done with less effort.  However, we can get stuck in a rut, so every once in a while it’s useful to reflect and consider how or if they are still working for us and if not, explore adding routines that are better suited to us now.

What are some of your ADHD routines?  Which are working for you?  Which are you going to change?


P.S. Any make-up tips for oily skin appreciated 🙂



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