My Adult ADHD Morning Routine: Could It Work for You?
I've found my new attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) morning routine beneficial to me. Morning routines can be helpful for both children and adults with ADHD. Falling asleep and waking up again is notoriously difficult for many ADHDers. I have been experimenting with morning routines, and I have actually come to enjoy them.
My ADHD Morning Routine
Here are a few parts of my morning:
- Medication: If I take my ADHD medication as soon as I wake up, it should kick in as I’m getting ready for work. This is probably the best time to take them in order to get me out of bed and out the door on time. Some people take medication before resting or going back to sleep for an hour.1
- Meditation: I use a meditation app on my phone to meditate for between two and 10 minutes. Though I am not as alert as perhaps I "should" be, and though one, in theory, could meditate for much longer, it is a nice, soothing way to wake up when I am still groggy and want to shut my eyes for a few more minutes.
- Yoga: Many sources state that exercising in the morning is a great way to start the day.2 Since this is not a strong motivator for me, I simply stretch or do some yoga in bed for about five minutes. Breathing deeply and getting the blood flowing has significantly improved my mornings. I feel more energized (especially if I get out of bed right after) and feel fewer aches and pains throughout the day.
- Breakfast: If I have time, I love a cup of tea with honey and milk alongside something more substantial. If not, I at least try to get a breakfast bar in me. Nowadays, I take a couple of vitamins with breakfast.
- Feeding the cat: I feed my cat in the morning and at night, so it’s easy to remember. If I have time while still lying in bed, I play with her using a laser pointer.
- Mundane but necessary things: Sometimes, I find it helpful to have a list of the most obvious things that need to be done, such as getting dressed, brushing my teeth, and packing my bag for the day. Checking off these small tasks makes me feel a little better and more prepared.
- Other, if I have time: I make my bed and reply to messages (not usually emails, which can be more time-consuming).
Other Suggestions for Morning ADHD Routines
A regular nighttime routine contributes to a comfortable morning routine.3 Before bed, I again feed the cat, note what I accomplished that day, and make a to-do list for the next day. I also make sure to have water and medication by my bed. Though most people, including myself, do not often have the luxury to set their own schedules, I have also found that a good time for me to wake up is at nine in the morning. It allows me to stay up fairly late while still getting some rest and enjoying half of the morning. This is helpful for me to know whether I have some control over my schedule or I have to adjust to a new one.
A morning routine has not solved all my problems, and I am still figuring out how to keep afloat. However, these morning habits make waking up so much easier, and I even look forward to the next morning, which is no small thing.
What do you to order to wake up? Are you a night owl or a morning person? Please let me know in the comments, and thank you for reading.
- FastBraiin Staff, “Tired of Morning Chaos? Build a Better ADHD Morning Routine”. FastBraiin, Aug. 2017.
- FastBraiin Staff, “The Tremendous Benefits of Having an ADHD Morning Exercise Routine”. FastBraiin, Sep. 2017.
- Lewis, Liz, “6 Reasons Why ADHD Adults Hate Mornings”. A Dose of Healthy Distraction, accessed Dec. 2018.
Matteson, N. (2018, December 11). My Adult ADHD Morning Routine: Could It Work for You?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, August 11 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/livingwithadultadhd/2018/12/my-adult-adhd-morning-routine-could-it-work-for-you
Author: Noelle Matteson
Hi Noelle, thanks for sharing! I really wish you would have stated the typical times that you start & finish each part of the routine. I have adhd and I often have to work for myself when i am not on a paid contract. For about 17 years I tried working from home and it is nearly impossible for me. The best solution I found is to rent an office space where I am uncomfortable enough to stay awake at my desk when I am working for myself. That said, it has been a tremendous challenge getting out of the apt at a decent hour. Often I arrive at my office (I work alone) by 2 or 3 pm. I would have loved to see how others make sure they stay on track and manage time.
Agreed. Yes it would be good to know what comes in what order, how long it takes etc.
Nice to read this. Thanks!
- It's important to eat protein food in the morning which will benefit you for hours, it's like a grease for your brain motor. It's also important for taking with the medication. If you don't feel hungry in the morning, start by taking a walnut or something small every morning, and soon you will automatically get hungry when you wake up.
- I had a few apps where I wrote my to-do. Beeps and flashes or reminders should have stimulated me. Well...
But now I found the BuJo. Look up 'Bullet Journal Tutorial' by Ryder Carroll on YouTube. In short: It's one place where you gather all your lists and notes. Ryder has got ADD himself.
Hey, rice crispies. Everyone's ADHD affects them differently and everyone has a different environment. Some have kids with ADHD, others kids without, others no kids. There are spouses with and without ADHD and no spouses, etc., etc. There are situations of great parenting, marital, financial, and/or work-related stress. I find it very helpful to read what has worked for other ADHDers. Will it all work for me? Definitely not. But I pick out what might work for me and leave the rest. And I appreciate that the other person took the time to share. I do hope things get better for you. My best.
Thank you for commenting, Lucky Mom! I definitely gleaned my morning routine from a wide variety of sources, including routines for parents, children, and neurotypical folk, hehe.
To me, your mornings sound like a trip to the park. You have no idea what an ADHD morning feels like. When you do, please write on it.
Hi, rice crispies. Believe me, these mornings are the goal! And they only happen on the very best days. It's taken me a long time to get there, but I've found it's been so helpful. I know everyone will have different strategies and different ways of managing their mornings, and I know it's usually quite chaotic. Thanks for reading.
I think its v challenging to get into the routine u r writing about. It must have taken a LOT of hard work to get there. Well done.