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How to Create Your Own Dopamenu

What is a Dopamenu? A Dopamenu (Dopamine + Menu = Dopamenu) is a personalized list of options that help boost your dopamine levels.  Think of it as a menu of fun and rewarding activities, coping strategies, or tools that can lift your mood, improve your focus, and make your day-to-day life a bit easier.



Ready to make your own Dopamenu?

First, a Dopamenu is divided into five sections that mirror a menu you’d see in a restaurant:

  • Starters/appetizers

  • Entrees

  • Sides

  • Specials

  • Desserts


Each part of the menu is used for different needs which gives you the flexibility to have different dopamine options throughout your day. Let's dive in.


Starters:

Quick activities that you can do that won’t get you distracted and will give you dopamine to help you move into tasks. A great time for these is when you are having a hard time kick-starting work.

Examples:

  • Special snack

  • Fun drink

  • short exercise: jumping jacks, dancing to a song

  • Hugging your pet


Entrees:

These activities take more time. They get you excited or make you feel grounded, and are typically more accessible day-to-day or week-to-week.

Examples:

  • Walking your dog

  • Playing an instrument

  • Playing sports

  • Practicing your hobby


Sides:

The key with sides is that they are activities or tasks that you do alongside another activity that might be a boring task. This can also be close to habit stacking.

Examples:

  • Folding laundry? Listen to a new podcast

  • Working through a training, use a fidget to help you focus

  • Body doubling with a colleague to get work done


Specials:

Think of ‘specials’ as occasional activities or items that could take more time to plan, be expensive ($), or something you logistically can’t do often

Examples:

  • Planning future travel

  • Having a night out with close friends

  • Repainting a room

  • Have a ‘hooky’ day from work


Desserts:

The focus here is that dessert menu items are all about moderation. These activities you might already reach for because sometimes they are too accessible.

Example

  • Social scrolling

  • Wikipedia rabbit holes

  • Sugar!

  • Caffeine

  • Shopping online


Practical Tips and Strategies
  • Keep the menu accessible: Visual reminders can be super helpful. Think sticky notes, a whiteboard, or a colorful chart or on your phone screen for when you grab your phone seeking dopamine!

  • Stay Casual and Flexible: Your Dopamenu should feel like a fun tool, not a strict schedule. Keep the tone light and playful. You can always update it as well, it isn’t a static tool! Update it when the menu items no longer serve you.


Creating a Dopamenu is a fun and practical way to manage and support your ADHD symptoms. It helps you boost your dopamine levels through engaging and rewarding activities, making your day brighter and more productive. So, why not give it a try? Start building your Dopamenu today and see how it can make a difference in your life!


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