Happy Monday: This is your reminder to work on your impulse control!

Cyber Monday sales are coming! Get your impulse control skills ready!


Good morning and happy Monday to my fellow ADHD folks!

I don’t know if you know this (I didn’t), but today is the start of the Cyber Monday madness. Meaning that from now until the start of December, you’ll need an extra helping of impulse control. Which, let’s be honest, most of us are struggling with a lot.

I actually wrote a post about handling Black Friday when you have no impulse control┬álast year, so you can check that out if you need more details. But, since I know that reading isn’t all that easy, and I’m in fact having quite a bit of trouble with on screen reading myself at the moment, I’ll do a quick, bite sized post on what to do now that there are “great” deals everywhere, so you’ll be okay in the coming weeks.

Okay. So. Impulse control. As you probably know, lacking impulse control is one of the three diagnostic criteria for ADHD. Which means that we all have this problem. It’s a basic part of having ADHD. It’s also the reason that some ADHD people (*cough* my mom *cough*) can find it difficult to withstand the targeted marketing around Cyber Monday and Black Friday deals. This often leads to impulse buys, aka spending money you may or may not have on things you probably (really) don’t need.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging anyone for this (okay, maybe some people, a little bit…), because I, like all of us, have been there. I remember when I was newely moved in with the boyfriend, and I felt like I needed to make sure I took advantage of all the household and kitchen deals I could. Which, spoiler alert, was a terrible idea.

The thing is, I’ve actually managed to get a pretty good grip on my spending habits around this time of year. Admittedly, part of that is that I grew up being shamed for a lot of what I spent my money on (shoes, for example), which isn’t a good or healthy way to approach this problem. But the biggest part, to me, is setting strong boundaries for myself, and enforcing them.

There. That’s something to look into. Because, you see, you’re an ADHD adult now, which means you’re the adult that needs to keep your behaviour in check. Your brain is the toddler throwing a tantrum because you won’t buy the strategically placed bubble gum from the “pester power item” shelf by the checkout line (which in German is ironically also called an “impulse item shelf”… go figure). Which, ya know, sucks. But that’s what life is like with an ADHD brain. You’re the adult, your brain is the kid, at least when it comes to impulse control.

So, how do you do this boundary thing?

First of all, limit the amount of exposure you put yourself through as much as possible. Which means no browsing online store sale categories. Keep away from anything that’s related to these sales as much as possible.

Another important boundary is deciding what you can and cannot buy. For example, it’s perfectly okay if you look through the deals for some item you’ve been waiting for to go on sale to buy (in fact, kudos to you for pulling that off!!!), but it’s probably not a good idea to browse all items in the tech category to see if there’s something you could gift someone for Christmas (believe me, I’ve been there). It’s also okay to look through certain categories, if you know you need stuff from there that might be on sale. Just make sure you have a very clear image of what exactely that is. There’s a difference between just looking for anything you might need, and looking for a blow dryer on sale, because your old one is making strange noises and smells burnt, if you know what I mean.

One more thing to keep in mind, is that most of the stuff you can buy on sale during Cyber Monday, is on sale for a reason. That reason being: It’s not really worth your money.

Remember when I told you above, about how I fell into the Cyber Monday trap after I moved in with the boyfriend? One thing I purchased, because I was certain I needed it, was a diffuser for essential oils. Yeah. That thing has been sitting in it’s box for one and three quarters of the two years I’ve owned it. Because essential oils are expensive, the boyfriend hates them, these diffusers are a health risk if not cleaned meticulously (and I’m the person who hasn’t cleaned her bathroom in two weeks because of zero motivation), and the essential oils made my throat scratchy. So. That was a classic impulse purchase, and I’ve made sure something like that doesn’t happen again, by reminding myself that most things that sell easily, because they are worth the money, aren’t put on sale for Cyber Monday.

And money spent is money spent, even if you payd less than you usually would have (aka, if you buy something you don’t need for a lower price than regular, you didn’t save money, you spent money you would otherwise still have).

Also, make sure you put up a mental stop sign at checkout. Before you place any order, take a good look at what’s in your cart, and delete anything you don’t actually, really need. Anything that creates a nice image in your head of how great your life will be once you’ve bought it, should probably go. And never buy something “just in case” (save for fire extinguishers and the likes, obviously), because if you buy it “just in case” that basically means you don’t need and will never use it. No matter what your brain is trying to tell you, this is an established fact, so don’t do it!

To sum this up:

  1. Limit temptation by staying away from “deals”.
  2. Set some clear boundaries for yourself about what you can and cannot buy.
  3. Have a clear idea of what you actually need.
  4. Remember that most “deals” aren’t worth your money, no matter how much you’d “save”.
  5. And remove any items you don’t actually need from your cart before checkout.

If you follow these rules, you should be okay throughout the coming weeks. But also, remember not to beat yourself up if an impulse buy does happen. You’re not perfect, and not following impulses is really freaking hard when you’re lacking impulse control. So if you can manage to keep any impulse buys to a minimum, you’re already doing a solid job.

Alright, so what else is new?

I had my first week back at work after my knee incident, and it thankfully went okay. I had a few scary moments, where I forgot to be careful with my knee, but it worked out in the end. I also had an amazing conversation with a colleague at a facility I worked at last week, about another collueague who made some basically inacceptable comments about ADHD and Autism the last time I was there. This colleague listened and took everything I said very seriously, so I’m hoping that the person we were talking about will have some consequences coming their way soon.

I’m also still struggling with low energy and motivation, so I didn’t do a whole lot of stuff last week. I am, however, hoping that this week will be better. Things have to get better at some point, right? So I’d really like it if that point was now. Please and thank you.

I have a pretty full list of things I need to do today, so I’m guessing I’ll get to test my energy and motivation levels right away. I need to get my prescription refilled, write some emails, do some bullet journal setup, run some errands and do some chores. We’ll see how much of that actually happens today. At least I’m almost done with writing for the day, so that’s good. Yay me!

I’m wishing everyone a great start into this new week! Remember to work on your impulse control!

Image by Artem Bali