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Balancing Summer Fun and ADHD: A Guide to Smooth Transitions

Summer is upon us, and with it comes a shift from our structured routines to a more relaxed vibe, which can be challenging for those of us with ADHD. Changes in schedule mean adapting to new routines, which isn't always easy when you're juggling ADHD symptoms like difficulties with organization, flexible thinking, and working memory. Today, let's dive into why the summer season can be particularly tough for ADHDers and explore some practical tips and strategies to help manage these transitions smoothly.

Why Does Summer Feel Trickier for ADHDers?

Summer often means our normal schedules get thrown out the window, which can be pretty tough for those of us with ADHD. Here’s a quick rundown on why:

  • Flexible Thinking: Summer throws a lot at us—unexpected plans, last-minute trips, friends dropping by, and kids out of school. When flexible thinking isn’t our strongest suit, adapting to these changes can be really stressful.

  • Working Memory: With a looser schedule, there’s a lot more we need to keep in our heads. Remembering that today’s a pool day, tomorrow’s a BBQ, and oh, don’t forget the sunscreen, can start to feel like mental gymnastics.

  • Organization: Without the regular beat of school or work, our days can feel scattered. Keeping track of what’s what and who needs to be where can start to feel like herding cats.

Tips for Smoother Summer Transitions

1. Build a Semi-Routine

Even if summer means you can’t stick to your usual routine, try to have a few anchors each day. Maybe it’s a morning run, a specific time for meals, or a quiet hour in the evening for reading. These predictable moments can help keep the chaos at bay.

2. Lean on Tech and Tools

Let’s not try to keep it all in our heads. Use tools like reminders, apps, or even good old sticky notes to keep track of daily tasks and activities. Set alarms for things like medications or appointments to offload some of that mental load.

3. Ease Into Changes

Got changes coming up? Try to ease into them bit by bit. If you’ve got a trip planned, maybe start shifting your meal or sleep times a few days ahead to make the transition smoother.

4. Visual Calendars Are Your Friend

Pop a big calendar somewhere you’ll see it daily. Use colors to mark different types of activities or appointments—it makes it super easy to see what’s coming up at a glance and keeps you mentally prepped for the week ahead.

5. Check-In Weekly

Give yourself a weekly review. Sit down, see what’s working, what’s not, and tweak your plans. It’s a great way to feel more in control and less reactive as summer rolls on.

6. It’s Okay to Ask for Help

Remember, it’s totally fine to reach out for support. Chatting through what’s going on can help you manage better and even spark new ideas.

Incorporating Effective Methods from Our Workshop

In our recent summer transitions workshop, we introduced several effective methods to help manage these challenges:

Good, Better, Best Method

We taught members to set flexible daily goals using this method. It allows for adjusting expectations based on how the day is unfolding, which is perfect for the unpredictable nature of summer. 

Brain Dumping This technique involves writing down all tasks and thoughts that come to mind. It’s a great way to clear your mind and prioritize what’s important, especially when feeling overwhelmed.

The Eisenhower Matrix We used this tool to help members decide on and prioritize tasks based on their urgency and importance. It’s a fantastic way to visually organize your tasks and focus on what truly needs your attention first.

Summer doesn’t have to be a stress-fest, even for us ADHDers. With a bit of planning, some helpful strategies, and tools like the Good, Better, Best method, brain dumping, and the Eisenhower Matrix, we can make it through this season not just intact, but actually enjoying it. At Agave Health, we’re all about finding what works for each of us and making the most of it. So, here’s to a balanced, productive, and fun summer—let’s make the most of it!


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