Forget Meditation: Simplifying My Life Is the Best Way of Reducing ADHD Stress
My family and home are my number one priorities now, so I have eradicated every other obligation that isn’t necessary from my life.
I have been a bit quiet on the blogging front, because I am undergoing a bit of a personal revolution. I guess that’s a slightly dramatic statement, but periods of personal growth are significant and necessary. Part of this process of personal growth has been making my life smaller. Much smaller.
I decided that taking care of my home, my household, and my family is my number one priority. In support of that goal, I have eradicated every obligation that isn’t necessary, from my life. Currently, the only obligation that I have retained outside of my home is my “day job.” I need my job to pay my bills, so it’s not negotiable. I even sold my event production business and curtailed work on my clothing design business. I thought that I would hate this, but I’ve noticed that having fewer obligations means that I also have less stress. I realize that this relationship should be logical, but for me, it wasn’t obvious. My ADHD mind doesn’t always make the obvious connections immediately.
I’ve always needed the charge of being busy. In some ways, I think it was a form of self-medication. However, now that I have had a treatment plan in place for several years, including medication and regular visits with my therapist, I seem to need less excitement to keep me feeling alive and focused.
With a clear schedule, I began envisioning my life and my home in a new way. To start, I calculated the amount of hours needed to maintain my home in good working order and to keep clutter at bay. For my home, that’s about 25 hours/week. I can’t afford a housekeeper, so that’s a part-time job’s worth of time that either me or someone else living in my household needs to spend on things like laundry, dishes, vacuuming, mopping, cleaning bathrooms, de-cluttering common areas, taking care of pets, and other household tasks, like my husband’s outdoor work. I also threw in a little time each week for “surprises” that every homeowner knows arise.
Calculating this was an eye-opening moment for me. It wasn’t as horrifying for me as it might be for people who hate cleaning more than I do, but it was still a stunning number. It gave me important information. One valuable nugget: I realized I wouldn’t be able to do this alone. I needed to engage my family in this process of caring for the house each week. My husband and kids were already participating in these activities, but none of us were doing it on a schedule.
Hence: I made a schedule. But I’ll come back to that, in another post. Stay tuned.
For now, I’d like to dwell on how weird this process has been for me. I’ve always known how to do household tasks, individually. But I have never organized a system for home maintenance. I never had to look at it this way before. It’s pretty cool, actually, to realize that there are ways to de-clutter and simplify every corner of my home, if I’m willing to make it a priority and put in the time.
I had gotten so tired of my life feeling out of control all the time. I want my home to feel organized, clean, welcoming. I want to be able to invite friends over without having to spend five hours cleaning first.
But cleaning is just the tip of this iceberg. Once I started organizing my home, I realized that many other aspects of my life needed to be organized. I will be blogging about them. But at the moment, I need to go home and cook dinner.