TRAVELLING? HOW TO ENJOY YOUR TRIP WITH YOUR ADHD

Home is a state of mind. It is that feeling of being grounded and at peace with yourself. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could create this feeling wherever you go even with your ADHD? It is possible read on and find out how you can do this with ease.

BEFORE YOU PACK…

  1. Before you pack gather all your dirty laundry from around your home and wash as much as you can so that you have as much clothes at your disposal when you pack.
  2. Throw all your lists away. Lists don’t work well for the ADHD brain. If you have ADHD, you will probably have a working memory deficit. Written lists don’t help, they just get you nervous.
  3. Less is more. Don’t fall into the trap of packing for every eventuality. This will only increase the chances of you leaving stuff behind…Trust that you will manage with the items you have packed in.
  4. You need to “write lists” according to how your brain processes best. For many people with ADHD written lists don’t work. This is because your brain doesn’t think so well in words. It thinks in pictures. Actions may motivate you more than words. Write your list the ADHD way. In your mind scan your body. What are you wearing at this moment? Picture yourself doing the activities that you plan to do. What clothes do you will need for those activities? Imagine you are doing a 3D imaging of your coming holiday activities. As you go through this in your mind, open your cupboards and drawers and pack what you will need.
  5. Talking loud to yourself as you do this keeps you grounded and focused.
  6. When travelling, the best time to pack is not weeks before as your friends may have advised you. This works for them, but not for your ADHD brain. The best time to pack is a couple of days before you travel. If you start earlier, your working memory will work against you. You will forget what you packed, and will find yourself rechecking and repacking, getting more and more anxious.
  7. Block off two days before you travel to pack. This will give you the time that you need to start packing and run out to the shops to get those last bits that you need.
  8. Take extra funds for the items that you will inevitably forget to pack. Don’t beat yourself up. If you have forgotten something, just go and buy it again at your holiday destination. It is ok t odo this, even if this is more expensive. You are human and part of being human is making mistakes…
  9. Humour is tragedy plus time. When you do forget to pack something, how well can you flexibilise your thinking to see the humour in your self-made crises? On my last family holiday, my husband had been telling me for 2 weeks to book the taxi for the return journey from a certain station. The year before we had travelled home from another station further down the train line, I misheard, and that is how I found myself stranded at the wrong station…with my 5 children.  My clients love this story…

WHEN YOU PACK…

If you are going on a week-long family beach trip, or a 2 day conference trip, here are some ideas that will enhance your travel experience, and keep you grounded. As with everything in life, you will need to invest some time and effort and possibly some funds so that you travel with the most ease and peace of mind.

  1. Banish all piles from your suitcase. With piles, you only see the top item because everything else is hidden underneath. “Out of sight, out of mind.” This taxes your working memory and makes you anxious and stressed. Research has proven that banishing all piles from your life reduces stress levels. 
  2. Instead of piling up your clothes, stack them vertically side-by-side. When you stack vertically, or roll, you can see everything at a glance. This is a great tool for the working memory deficit You need your stuff visible.
  1. Create zones, so that you keep like with like. Keep all your tee shirts together, all your trousers together etc.
  2. Store your belongings in see-through mesh packing cubes.  They are well worth the investment as they keep your items together. When you open your suitcase, you will have an instant visual menu of exactly what you have in one swoop. Anything you have that is hidden is out of sight. When it is out of sight, it is also out of mind…
  3. Use a colour scheme when you pack. Use simple colours, so that you can mix and match. Choose wrinkle-resistant fabrics. Wearing a few thin layers rather than a single thick layer saves space.
  4. Aim for 3 pairs of shoes per trip. Wear the bulkiest, and pack in 2 shoes, one for better wear and one for evening wear. Favour practicality over fashion. Avoid packing outfits that require you to wear a specific shoe. If you regularly travel, keep those items that you use each time inside your suitcase, such as travel toiletries, and the packing cubes. When you get back home, make sure to replenish any items that you have used up as soon as you can. This will make it much easier for you when you pack then next time around.

HOW TO FEEL LIKE YOU ARE AT HOME WHEN YOU ARE AWAY

  1. When you arrive at your hotel, unpack immediately, and find homes for your belongings. Establish a work station and toiletry station right away. This will help you feel more grounded, and focused away from home.
  2. Establish a simple morning and evening routine. Not more than 3 tasks for each one. Stick to it.
  3. Always store your important items in a handbag/rucksack and never ever have them just lying around your hotel room.
  4. Every night sort through your clutter. Go through any papers and leaflets that you have accumulated that day.

I LIKE WHAT I HAVE READ – WHAT DO I DO NOW?

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