11 Personal Hygiene Tips for People With ADHD


Ever feel like you start a task with gusto, only to get sidetracked by a squirrel outside your window moments later? If you have ADHD, this may sound all too familiar. ADHD can make sticking to routines, including personal hygiene tasks like showering, brushing your teeth and doing laundry, a constant battle.

The culprit behind this struggle often lies in the core challenges of ADHD:

  • Executive Function difficulties
  • Difficulty staying focused on a single task
  • Sensory sensitivities


The good news is that there are ways to overcome these challenges and make personal hygiene a more manageable part of your daily routine. This guide will explore some common challenges faced by people with ADHD when it comes to personal hygiene and offer some practical tips to help you conquer that to-do list and feel your best. 

Personal hygiene tips for the ADHD mind

Sometimes seemingly easy personal hygiene tasks like hopping in the shower, brushing your teeth or throwing a load of laundry in can feel like a chore and be all too easily bumped down the priority list in the whirlwind of your day. Some tips to make these challenges more manageable include:

  • Break it down — Big tasks can feel overwhelming, especially when you have ADHD. The key is to chunk things down into smaller, more manageable steps. Think of your morning routine: Instead of a vague goal of “getting ready,” create a checklist with specific steps like “brush teeth for two minutes,” “shower for 10 minutes” and “pick out clothes.” Completing each step can provide you with a sense of accomplishment and keep you moving forward.
  • Remember that time management is your friendTime management can feel like a superpower for people with ADHD. Something that can help you become better at managing time could be setting a timer. Set a timer for 25 minutes, focus on the task at hand (like showering), and then reward yourself with a short break when the timer goes off. Use this cycle to complete a task in a manageable chunk. You could use a timer on your phone or look into apps or other visual timers to help keep yourself on track. 
  • Make it fun (or at least tolerable) — Let’s be honest, some personal hygiene tasks aren’t exactly thrilling. But you can make them a little more enjoyable! Put on some upbeat music while you shower or get dressed. Invest in a fun, colorful toothbrush or a new bath product with a refreshing scent. Maybe even set a challenge for yourself to try a different hairstyle or experiment with a new skin care routine. A little creativity can go a long way in making these tasks feel less like a chore.
  • Harness the power of routines — Creating a consistent routine can be a game changer for people with ADHD. Schedule specific times for showering, brushing your teeth and doing laundry in your daily or weekly planner. Sticking to a routine helps train your brain to expect these tasks and makes them feel more automatic over time. 
  • Find an accountability buddy — Sometimes, all you need is a little nudge in the right direction. Enlist a friend, family member or roommate to be your accountability buddy. Check in with each other regularly and offer reminders or encouragement when needed. Knowing someone is looking out for you can make a huge difference in sticking to your personal hygiene goals.
  • Reward yourself — Positive reinforcement is a powerful motivator. Celebrate your successes! Did you complete your morning routine on time? Treat yourself to a delicious breakfast. Finished doing the laundry? Reward yourself with an episode of your favorite show. Acknowledging your progress in simple ways can help keep you motivated to maintain your personal hygiene routine. 
  • Accommodate sensory activities — For some people with ADHD, sensory sensitivities can make certain hygiene tasks unpleasant. If showering feels overwhelming due to the water temperature or sound, consider taking a bath instead. Explore different textures of washcloths and towels to find one that feels comfortable against your skin. Experiment with fragrance-free or low-scented products, or stick with a tried-and-true fragrance for toiletries to minimize irritation. Remember, personal hygiene is about making yourself feel good. Finding an approach that works best for you is key!


Free resource: On-demand webinar

BBS_LeadMagnetPreview_Template (1)Thriving at home with personal hygiene

Maybe you’re an ADHD stay-at-home parent, or you work from home and are tempted to let personal hygiene habits fall by the wayside. The hustle and bustle of leaving the house frequently might be missing, but it’s still important to keep up good hygiene. It helps you feel good and stay healthy and keeps your home environment fresh. In addition to the tips above, extra ways to keep up your personal hygiene at home include:

  • Make laundry day a breeze — Even if you are tempted to live in your comfiest clothes all the time, the laundry still piles up. It can pile up quickly when you’re spending more time at home and put it off. You can turn laundry day into a mini-event. Turn on your favorite playlist or podcast, fold clothes while catching up on a show, or even make it a social activity with roommates or family.
  • Don’t forget the invisible hygiene heroes — Showering and brushing your teeth are crucial. However, it’s important not to neglect the other little things that contribute to overall hygiene at home. Stay on top of washing your hands frequently, especially after touching common surfaces or before preparing food. Change your bedsheets regularly and keep shared living spaces clean to help minimize germs and allergens.
  • Embrace fresh air and movement — Staying cooped up inside can have a negative impact on your mood and energy levels. Take advantage of being home to incorporate short walks or exercises into your routine. A breath of fresh air and some physical activity can do wonders for your overall well-being. 
  • Listen to your body — While sticking to a routine is important, don’t be afraid to adjust it based on your needs. Think of it as a guideline, not something permanently set in stone. Feeling overwhelmed? Push back your shower by an hour. Feeling sluggish? A quick face wash and a change of clothes can do wonders for your mood. 


Why personal hygiene matters

Maintaining good personal hygiene is about more than just looking and feeling good. (Those are important too, though!) Here’s why prioritizing personal hygiene matters:

  • Improved confidence — When you feel good about how you look, it shows! Taking care of your personal hygiene can boost your confidence and self-esteem. It can also help you feel more prepared to tackle the day.
  • Reduced stress — Feeling stressed? Taking a relaxing shower or bath can be a great way to unwind and de-stress. Plus, good personal hygiene can help you avoid embarrassing situations, which can be a major stressor for people with ADHD. 
  • Physical health benefits — Proper hygiene practices can help prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. This can help keep you healthy and prevent illness. Brushing your teeth regularly also contributes to good oral health.
  • Social interaction — Good personal hygiene is essential for positive social interaction. It shows others that you care about yourself and your well-being, which can help make you more approachable and able to build stronger relationships.
  • A sense of control — With routines disrupted and schedules in flux, sticking to a personal hygiene routine can help provide you with a sense of normalcy and control over your day. 


Beyond BookSmart can help you learn skills you need to thrive in your life with ADHD

It can be easy to let your personal hygiene fall by the wayside when you’re overwhelmed by struggles with ADHD. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone and there are plenty of resources out there to help. Taking care of yourself is an important part of living a healthy and fulfilling life with ADHD. By incorporating these tips, you can transform your personal hygiene routine from a chore into an enjoyable self-care ritual.

Executive Dysfunction refers to cognitive, emotional and behavioral difficulties that can interfere with every facet of someone’s life, including their academic, professional and personal lives. While Executive Dysfunction can affect everyone, it impacts up to 90% of those with ADHD.

Executive Function skills are coachable, trainable and can be applied for success. At Beyond BookSmart, we have Executive Function coaching services that can help you develop and improve the skills you need to live your best life.

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an inquiry call.

Explore our solutions for students, adults and schools

for students
of all ages

Leaders in Executive Function coaching for students since 2006

WorkSmart (2)
for adults
in all walks of life

A Beyond BookSmart coaching company for adults

for schools
of all types

A Beyond BookSmart mentoring company for school classrooms

About the Author

Previous Post

Tips to Help Your Child Keep Their Bedroom Organized If They Have ADHD

Next Post

What Is Revenge Bedtime Procrastination?