As the current lockdown situation continues, many of you will be continuing to balance homeschooling alongside your other responsibilities, such as working from home and day to day chores. This balancing act is not an easy one, but if you or someone within your household has ADHD this can be even more of a challenge for all involved. In order to help you to manage more effectively during this current time, we have put together a few helpful suggestions below.
Plan in advance
Where possible plan out your working week in advance, taking into account, homeschooling, chores, exercise and much needed rest time. Although this might seem like common sense, it is important to consider the different types of activities and when they are happening. For example, if you have a conference call on a Tuesday morning, then you are going to want to ensure your kids have got something they can be completing independently. Whereas, at the times where you are working on that report, they can be doing something that you can support them with, as and when they need it, as it doesn’t matter so much if they do come and interrupt you, as it’s something you can continue with afterwards.
Review your routine
Reflecting on your routine, can also be a useful exercise, especially if particular parts of the day are more challenging than others. For example, maybe the kids are a nightmare in the mornings, which is resulting in you being 10 minutes late for that morning meeting each week. Consider why that is. Have they still been following a routine during lockdown, or has this lapsed a bit since the schools have closed? If the routine has gone out the window then it might be worth reintroducing one for Monday to Friday. Something as simple as having a set bedtime could help with the morning struggle, and even just knowing what is expected could help the whole household’s mindset.
Set up a designated workspace
When working from home, it’s important that you can still distinguish between work and home. Setting up a designated workspace can be a really effective way of doing this, and this applies to both you and your children. It can help with implementing a structure, organisation and also mindset. This space can be anywhere, but ideally somewhere quiet and free from distractions.
Take a break
Be sure to plan regular breaks too. ADHD can mean that it is more difficult to focus and therefore breaks are a key strategy in managing your focus and attention. Your mind needs time to rest and reset in between tasks in order to be most productive. Breaks could include going for a walk as part of your daily exercise routine, stopping for some food or simply just spending a set amount of time away from your workspace.
Share the responsibility where possible
If you are not the only adult in the household, then why not work together to see if you can share the homeschooling responsibility. Allowing you both to do your required work, but also ensure your children are continued to be educated and cared for. This will break up the day for you and your kids, and ensure you all get some individual time too.
If you do not have another adult in your household to share the responsibility with, then this can obviously be more of a challenge. However, one strategy that can be effective is introducing age-appropriate independence. Setting up some tasks and activities that are able to be completed without your support. For example you could have a box with a selection of these activities in, that they can access themselves. You could also involve your child in this whole process, to enable them to take ownership of it too.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Try not to be too hard on yourself if things don’t go as planned. There will be days where things are more challenging than normal. ADHD can mean that overwhelm and frustration can be more apparent, so it is important to be aware of how you are feeling. Make sure you check in with others regularly and look after yourself, to avoid burnout.
If you would like some further guidance and support please contact us at the ADHD Centre on 0800 061 4276 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can visit our website for further information and resources.