On My Way: Tackling ADHD Transitions
Last week in the morning ADHD Success Club we talked about ADHD transitions. This is an important concept for anyone trying to live an easier ADHD life. Transitions are often those times we move from one activity or place to another. They come in all shapes and sizes. Going to work, coming home from work, getting up in the morning, starting a new job. If you don’t handle them carefully, transitions are like ADHD quicksand. We get distracted, slowed, stopped in our tracks. Read on for Maya’s take on dealing with ADHD transitions. dr
ADHD transitions happen whether we ignore them, face them, or embrace them:
My students grumble, “It’s time for lunch.”
The bell rings and class ends whether I’ve done all that I need to do or not.
My husband calls me at dinner time, and I lie, “I’m on my way.”
My daughter calls out a third time, “Mom, come say goodnight.”
In the ADHD Success Club, Dana explains that If we’re not clear in what to do, we get nothing done or we get the wrong thing done. We need clarity to function.
As a teacher who has worked with quite a few ADHD adolescents over the years, I know what is needed–develop consistent routines, provide reminders and wrap up warnings, and build on what’s working. Yes, I, too, can and need to master this in my own world.
For people who generally go with the flow and embrace change, ADHDers struggle with changes that are imposed on them — transitions. We can get stuck in our thoughts in spite of what we know. Each week in the Success Club calls, I hear my voice in the voice of others:
It takes me longer to get things done.
I lie to myself about time.
I flounder because I know I can’t get done what I need to do get done in the time I have.
I set reminders but ignore them.
I can embrace the ADHD voice inside making excuses and defining me, or I can look beyond the obstacle and find clarity by reexamining and redefining my approach, so that change isn’t something that happens to me.
This means finding clarity by no longer looking at transitions as things that are stifling my moments but instead embracing these changes because they are what propels me forward. The big question is what do I need to do to create clarity, so I can function more consistently during times of transition. Dana offers many tools to help with challenging ADHD transitions: setting reminders, creating a launchpad (a place for things that you can’t miss), planning for transitions, and developing routines.
Right now I’m in a time of transition as summer turns to fall (yes, this happens early in Georgia), and my family and I begin a new school year. To prepare for early mornings of transitioning from getting dressed to making breakfast to leaving home, I have begun looking at how I can create a bit of clarity for me and the family during the hectic morning.
To make the morning transition from getting ready to leaving the house easier, I planned, packaged, and portioned my smoothie breakfast, freezing the fruits and veggies and putting the dry protein in small containers.
To tackle a troubling transition with my family, this week I will discuss the stress that often comes with leaving the house each morning. While we have a space for school stuff, a large area of the floor at the top of the stairs where we throw all our stuff each night and in the morning to eventually take to the cars, I know that reorganizing this area to give each family member his/her own space will prevent us from tripping over backpacks and smooth the morning angst that accompanies this transition. This will help us have a launchpad to propel us forward each day.
My hope is that I continue to simplify and streamline what I’m doing by examining the Success Club tools in my ADHD transition toolbox in order to create clarity for myself as well as the adults and children in my life. As I focus on giving the voice of the positive the power, I am truly “on my way” towards living more successfully with ADHD.