Zoë Kessler, Fighting ADHD Blahs in the Morning

Zoë Kessler, Fighting ADHD Blahs in the Morning

We all know that ADHD encompasses much more than the (un)holy trinity of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

These core challenges give birth to many lesser ADHD angels (or more accurately, demons) that plague us. These include dysthymia, low self-esteem, executive functioning problems, lack of self-confidence, exhaustion, lousy relationship skills, and so on.

If you’re suffering from generalized malaise; if you’re feeling low, uninspired, exhausted, unworthy, or unmotivated, you may be suffering from ADHD battle fatigue. It’s time to recharge from daily head-to-head combat with the ADHD army’s second battalion.

Here are some instant ideas to pep you up. Feel free to send in some of your own!

1 ) Suffering from Seasonal Blues?

Change the image on your computer screen. After days of overcast skies, and with the cold weather coming, I chose a photo of the first peonies I grew myself. Take that, winter!

2 ) Feeling lonely?

Post this line from Chilean poet and Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda where you’ll see it often:

“You are the cup that was waiting for the gifts of my life.” ~ from Neruda’s poem, Night on the Island

Imagine that the perfect partner for you is already in your life. Bonus: the line doubles as a self-esteem booster!

3 ) Feeling out of control?

Next time you’re at the grocery store, raise your hands towards the automatic sliding doors and say (powerfully and preferably with a booming voice), “Open Sesame.”


Pretend that your super-powers opened the door. Feel that surge of power and control. You’re awesome! (if nothing else, this should make you or others laugh).

4 ) Feeling insecure?

Struggling with low self-esteem? (especially common to women with ADHD). Summer: Place a fan next to your bed. First thing in the morning, swing your legs over the side of the bed. Remain seated as the fan blows your hair back from your face. Close your eyes and imagine you’re the bizarrely gorgeous hair model you secretly find attractive. WARNING: Don’t get too distracted and forget to go to work. Open your eyes, already!

Does your Pomeranian have ADHD? Now we know why she sticks her head out the window.

All-season alternative: Aim all vents in the car’s dash towards you and turn up the fan. Instantly become transformed into a beguiling creature, illiciting double-takes from fellow drivers. [SAFETY TIP: only for when stopped at red lights! Do NOT close your eyes. You’ll want to proceed when the light turns green, but this is even better because your beauty will be a fleeting tease. Added self-esteem points for titillation factor.]

Short-haired women: sorry, this probably won’t work for you. It will for your Pomeranian, however. Does your pommie have ADHD? Now we know why she sticks her head out the window.

5 ) Suffering from low self-esteem?

Sing love songs. To YOURSELF. Here are a few ideas to get you started: I Love Me, Ya, Ya, Ya

6 ) Procrastination got you down?

Try this: every time you finish something (for example, brushing your teeth) say, “The End.” There. You’ve finished something. Success begets success. (For more detailed instructions, see The End to Procrastination).

7 ) Weary and resentful of having ADHD?

Visualization fantasy: Imagine an inverse world where kids and teachers are medicated to keep up with the hyperactive kids; where everyone goes out together at recess to run around and play for hours; where the workday is unstructured, allowing you to arrive, leave, take breaks, or not show up at all whenever you like. [Warning: the transition from this one back to reality might be painful; but the temporary relief might be worthwhile. Your call.]

8 ) Worried about finances?

Re-frame it as a Zen experience. Pretend being broke is your way to practice letting go. Chant the following mantra (to yourself) repeatedly: “Money Flows Through Me. Money Flows Through Me…”  There. Doesn’t that feel better?

9 ) Feeling exhausted?

If I’m weary and need stamina, I glance at the cordless phone on my desk. In bold black letters, it projects this positive message: “Fully Charged” I pretend  it’s referring to me.

10 ) If all else fails, remember it’s Friday!

(unless it isn’t. If it isn’t, you’ll have to come up with #10 yourself. Please share it with us when you do.)

Feel better, hang in there, and don’t let ADHD get you down!


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