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I’m assuming that you, like most Americans, like to watch TV.
And I’m also assuming that you, if you’re an adult with ADHD, are really bad at it.
If you’re anything like me, you need your hands to be doing something in order for you to have any hope of following the plot of whatever it is your friend/significant-other is making you watch.
Or maybe you’re watching something by choice. Even then, you probably still need your hands to be doing something.
Sometimes I’ll be watching something so good that I can magically sit there with my jaw hanging open, almost as if I’m a neurotypical American or something. But usually this is not the case.
Usually, what happens is I sit there and mindlessly shove food in my mouth. And when that food is gone, I’ll suddenly be unable to concentrate on what I’ve been watching so I’ll need to go grab more food. And then I get what I lovingly refer to as my TV Food Baby.
Nobody wants a Food Baby.
And ADHD brains are definitely prone to Binge Eating, which you may already know if you caught the article I wrote about it a while back. So that’s all the more reason to switch this habit to a healthier alternative.
So in my quest to find healthier ways to focus while watching TV, I’ve put together this handy dandy list of things that work the best for me and things that work the best for other ADHD brains too.
- Organize “Hot Spots”
Hot Spots are places in your home that typically grow into disorganized piles of junk. I got this term from one of my all-time favorite cleaning geniuses, Fly Lady. While you’re watching TV you could take out a dresser drawer, kitchen drawer, whatever spot tends towards chaos, and organize them one at a time.
- Crochet or do another crafty project
I personally enjoy painting or drawing while watching TV. This could even include mending the holes in that pair of socks you refuse to get rid of.
- Get the dishes done
If you can see the TV from your kitchen sink, this could be a great time to get your dishes done. I’ve been doing this recently and it feels really good to not have a pile of dirty dishes sitting there in the morning. Having the TV to focus on while I do it helps with the boredom I would normally feel while doing such a mundane task.
- Play with or Groom pets
They’ll probably enjoy the attention, and you won’t be shoving food in your mouth. Win-win!
- Clip Coupons
Save money on the groceries you won’t be shoving in your mouth!
- Stretch or do some yoga
I just started adding yoga back into my nightly routine recently. I’ve been doing it during our nightly TV time to help me wind down a bit before bed. It feels really nice and I end up getting better sleep.
- Give yourself a Mani/Pedi
Even if you’re a dude, you can still do this. Just soak your hands and feet in some nice warm water, trim and clean your nails, put some lotion on… Trust me, it will not diminish all that manliness you’ve got going on and you’ll feel amazing. As for the ladies out there, I don’t have to convince you. You already know how great it feels to pamper yourself.
- Clean out your purse and/or wallet
Finally get rid of all those gum wrappers, bits of litter you kindly picked up for your friend Mother Earth, and that massive hoard of loose change. Maybe you’ll find the earrings you lost 5 months ago? Who knows.
This is by far the smartest one in my opinion. Especially if you have trouble fitting exercise into your schedule or if you get bored too quickly while working out. You could challenge yourself to casually ride your exercise bike while binge watching something, or maybe lift weights, do some squats… whatever it is, it’ll be much better for you than mindlessly eating food.
- Play with Legos
Listen, I don’t care how old you are. Legos are probably the most amazing thing that exists. I got this idea the other night while watching TV. A kid in the show I was watching was building this awesome Lego house and I was suddenly hit with a giant dose of nostalgia. I used to have a huge tub of Legos when I was a kid and it was one of my favorite things to play with. And now I have to buy myself some Legos because I’ve got a nostalgia itch to scratch. If only I’d kept that huge tub of them…
What about you?
What’s something you do in front of the TV that isn’t food-related?
Let me know in the comments 🙂
Until Next Time,
Keep Calm and Grow On