ADHD Awareness Week: Tips for the Home
It’s ADHD Awareness Week. In honor of the occasion, I thought I’d tackle a different topic each day this week.
Feng Shui for ADHD
Today, we’ll kick off by looking at how we can apply the ancient principles of Feng Shui (pronounced Fung Sh way) (I think) to our ADHD lives.
Having recently bought a house, I was curious to learn more about Feng Shui as I set up my new home. Besides, I’m always rearranging my furniture out of sheer boredom anyway, so I figured, why not?
When I consulted The Practical Encyclopedia of Feng Shui by Gill Hale (2002) I learned that Feng Shui has to do with energy flow and directing attention. Perfect! If I can just find the right place to put my couch and my indoor lawn gnomes, maybe I can give up the Concerta. You never know.
(Disappointingly, I found no reference whatsoever to help me determine where to put my lawn gnomes over the winter months.)
My Chi runneth amok
According to Hale’s book, the purpose of Feng Shui is to get Chi (life force) to flow gently though the house. Does that sound like your home? No? Me neither.
I’m sure my mom would have loved to have found a way to get my life force to stop from racing up and down the hall, sliding on the hardwood, and smashing into the opposite wall with a thud all afternoon. Maybe if she’d known about Feng Shui, I wouldn’t have spent so much time in my room, which doesn’t seem very Feng Shui-y to me.
So here for the benefit of you and your family, after painstakingly skimming through Hale’s book I’ve adapted a few of the principles to suit an ADHD lifestyle.
Feng Shui: new rules
Traditional Feng Shui Rule: Place furniture so chi flows around room
ADHD Adaptation: My Chi is already flowing in far too many directions at once; I’d suggest furniture placement to trap scattered, uncontrolled energy to put to good use.
Traditional: Straight path from street to house moves Chi too quickly, doesn’t allow enough time for transition
ADHD Adaptation: We need way longer for transitions than others. Create a winding path, but not too winding or you’ll get lost. Maybe get your kids to set up a lemonade or hot dog stand mid-way in case you need a snack on the way.
Traditional: Use small stones (dreamstones) in the garden to induce contemplation
ADHD Adaptation: Avoid if you’re already the dreamy type and hope to get the yard work done
Traditional: In a sitting room, use a round table to ensure that the conversation doesn’t get too serious
ADHD Adaptation: The only way I’d be doing that is if I put a divan right beside the table so I can go to sleep during the non-serious talk. Wake me up when the chit-chat’s over.
Traditional: Put a photo of your loved ones in the place designated as the “relationship” area of a room
ADHD Adaptation: Don’t use a digital photo display with ever-changing images of your past loves; this will definitely confuse your romance Chi and not bode well for the longevity of marriage number three
That should get you started.
If all else fails, thankfully, there is one sacred guiding principle in complete alignment with traditional Feng Shui: get rid of clutter!
Sadly, there is no philosophy or energy-moving system that will make that onerous, but necessary task, any easier. If only.
Kessler, Z. (2012). ADHD Awareness Week: Tips for the Home. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 21, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-zoe/2012/10/adhd-awareness-week-tips-for-the-home/