Does Perfectionism Sabotage Your ADHD Self-Care?

A while back I wrote a post about how perfectionism gets in our way. The idea of having things perfect can be a major roadblock to getting started with projects, as we tend to compare ourselves with others and wonder if it will be good enough. This line of thinking can sabotage your ADHD self-care. 

If you were to really look at what perfectionism is or means to you, you will start to see how it can negatively affect you. Perfectionism can easily turn into an all or nothing mentality. If it’s not perfect or exactly the way you planned, then it’s not working and you throw in the towel. 

For example, meditation may be on your list of things to do, however a few days go by and you aren't meditating, it's easy to think, "well I guess this isn't for me". Same goes with exercise, just because you didn't have as many workout sessions as you planned, doesn't mean you should give it up entirely. 

I recently had a conversation about how this all or nothing mentality can creep up with healthy eating. For this particular person, they noticed that during the regular week, they could keep a pretty healthy diet, but when it came to a holiday or vacation, all bets were off. It’s all or nothing. They didn’t particularly like this pattern of behavior because just coming off of the holidays; it made it really hard to get back into the regular routine. This all or nothing mind set was sabotaging their healthy eating plan. 

It doesn’t even happen on big events like the holidays, one bad food choice at breakfast can convince you that you the whole day is ruined. You may think “What difference does it make if I eat take out for lunch? I already screwed up.” Then the next day comes and you beat yourself up over having a whole day where you made poor food choices.  

What can you do to prevent perfectionism and this all or nothing mindset from consuming you? 

Well let’s look into what we learned about Mindfulness on our show with special guest, Casey Dixon. Being mindful is paying attention to what’s happening right now. So I say, pay attention to the choice that lies in front of you. Not what you chose yesterday or even what you chose for breakfast this morning. What can you do right now, in this moment, to make a better choice, something that supports your healthy living. It could be as simple as drinking water instead of soda or ordering a salad instead of the burger and fries. Or maybe it’s adding five minutes to your walk. Do something that will make you feel good and move your forward in a healthy manner. See what’s happening here? You’re getting unstuck. 

When it comes to vacation and holidays, I’ll be first one to say, “enjoy and live life to the fullest!” But do it in a way that you can still feel good about yourself and with a little planning and preparation, you can be successful. Prior to going on your vacation, make a deal with yourself that even though your eating or activity may not be on track, you’re still going to have at least one healthy meal a day and get some exercise. Do what works for you and be kind to yourself. The point is to still enjoy yourself, but not torture yourself when you come back to reality. 

What about you? What do you do to get back on track after coming home from vacation or a holiday? What tools or strategies have you used to prevent perfectionism from sabotaging your efforts? 

Until Next Time,

Nikki