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ADHD Adults

Weekend anxiety

The work week is hard to get through, but at least I know that from Sunday night to Friday afternoon, my priority is getting to work, being prepared to go to work, and working. I usually have to scale down my focus to just these things in order to successfully do them. If I concentrate too much on personal business, housework, socializing, fitness, or even just relaxing or spending time with my boyfriend, during the week, it can really mess up my attempts to be successful at the work related priorities.

Thus, I am wreck of anxiety on the weekends. I don’t know what my priorities are, I don’t know what is the “right thing” to do with weekends. I have tried and tried again to resolve myself to making some kind of fun plans for the weekend during the week, but I always forget (even with reminders). It’s too difficult to focus on both weekends and the work week at the same time.

By Friday night or Saturday morning, I find myself suddenly having to completely shift gears, and I’m always unprepared for it. I look around the house and there’s a ton of housework to do, but I don’t want to spend the day inside and alone. I feel like I should go to the gym, but I don’t like the gym on the weekends. I know I’m not going to go to the gym on weekends, and yet I still spend my whole morning trying to convince myself to. I usually have personal business to attend to, like rolling over my 401ks or online shopping for clothes, but it doesn’t feel right to spend a nice Saturday doing those things either. I feel like I should be doing something fun, with friends or outdoors, but I don’t have many friends around anymore and I can never think of anything that would be fun to do on my own. I feel like I should visit my parents, but when I go up to visit them I end up sitting around all day and feeling guilty that I’m not doing chores or errands at home, even though it really doesn’t feel right to be doing those things either.

As a result, I end up doing nothing and then feeling extremely guilty. I get depressed on top of it because I feel old and boring and like I have no friends and no life (I’m 36, live with my boyfriend, and have no kids). Long weekends are the worst, because I always feel like I should either be “away” or taking advantage of the extra day to clean and organize the closets or something, but I don’t know which is right and I never plan ahead in time to do either.

I can’t talk to anyone about this—everyone basically says I don’t have the right to be anxious or depressed about having weekends totally free to do whatever I want. But I don’t feel like I do, it feels more like I’m not free at all because everything is telling me to enjoy life AND do all the boring adult things at the same time, and because I don’t really have friends around and my boyfriend never wants do anything with me and is even less prepared for weekends than I am, I feel like I don’t have opportunities to do anything fun.

Does anyone have any suggestions here or can anyone even relate? I feel like I’m wasting my life and taking years off from the anxiety at the same time. I’ve looked into scheduled stuff like taking a tennis clinic or whatever, but everything like that seems to be so impossibly expensive. I really want a dog and I feel like if I had one I could get up on Saturdays and take it for a hike at a local reserve or whatever, and it would just get me up and out and motivate me, but I’ve not yet been successful at getting my boyfriend on board with the dog thing (ironically he says it will tie us down too much on the weekends!).

Anyway, any help is much appreciated.


I stick with a “three things” to-do list. No more, No less. I would suggest not going to the gym if you don’t like to go. Find one thing you and you s.o. enjoy doing together each season and spend half a day doing that. The rest of the weekend work on getting your “three things” done…And do not forget to relax….deep breath…ahhhh.

Posted by Baldy on Aug 27, 2014 at 11:39pm

If having a schedule works for you during the week, create a weekend schedule—routine and defined expectations are paramount for an individual with ADHD (

Schedule your “fun time” and schedule your “chores.” Come up with something fun you like to do and schedule it for the first Saturday of every month. Spend the 2nd Saturdays with your boyfriend, and the 3rd Saturdays visiting your parents. Or something like that.

I think it’s important to also adjust your expectations. It’s okay to just relax and unwind on weekends—you don’t constantly have to be “doing” something.

ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Aug 28, 2014 at 12:41pm

You might benefit from checkng out There are routines for getting things done etc. the best part I think is everything is done in baby steps. You will end up with a plan for everything and everything in its place. Fun day scheduling becomes easier without all the other hanging over your head. I suffered from anxiety and overwhelm and would just do nothing and avoid everything. This system helped me one baby step at a time! You can do anything for 15 minutes!

Posted by Counting Blessings on Aug 29, 2014 at 5:45pm

I can’t thank you enough.  I just struggled through Labor Day weekend.  I should be doing something “fun” on a holiday weekend.  Yet, I too am working, running the house, and don’t really have friends—or even a boyfriend.  I know how to work, but am not a “fun” generator.  I can’t plan a day at the lake, food, sunscreen, where we are going without that seeming like so much to coordinate—I don’t even know where to start. Like you, I have to be busy.  I’d rather pull my eyelashes out than “sit” around a bonfire.  What are we supposed to be doing?  I’m thinking of the things I could be doing or should be doing.  I’m sorry, Penny, but if I could schedule or get a routine, I wouldn’t be ADHD.  I understand your feeling like you should be doing something fun, so you go to your parents.  I’ve just opted for not being fun, doing all kids of work and projects.  I have many going so I can make a little progress when the mood strikes.  So, I didn’t have fun.  At least I didn’t have to force the fun, which seems like everyone else feels is relaxing, but I struggle to do.  I just feel like I read my life (I’m 41 - not too far off from you…)

Posted by 123Liz on Sep 02, 2014 at 2:35pm

Free ideas are book clubs, volunteering at the senior center & letting them teach you how to play bridge, which is a really good ADHD mind game, because it’s so many elements at one time.  The paper has free learning - at tree nursery or nature center.  I went out to watch this guy at the nature center show people how to do beekeeping.  If you are like me, your brain is a sponge and you want to learn something in order to have fun, your mind has to be engaged.  Also - some co-ed volleyball is usually very inexpensive.  And even though most are older than me, I like water exercise classes, because the senior ladies chat as they exercise and usually think I’m AMAZING for being young and they like to hear about my life, because their life is quite mundane…

Posted by 123Liz on Sep 02, 2014 at 2:39pm

Everyone has some good ideas, thank you.

With respect to scheduling in advance, however, I think the inability to schedule in advance for weekends is exactly what is causing the problem. My boyfriend plans absolutely nothing in advance—even if he has an event planned with family friends he forgets to tell me until an hour before. He’s usually busy doing his own but one day he’ll suddenly be free and want to do something. He would not respond well to me scheduling weekends for the month, and if I did schedule things like that he would just cancel on me. It’s the same with my parents, I couldn’t exactly ask them to schedule their month in accordance with mine. My dad usually just calls on weekends and asks me to come up because he’s bored and he likes having his kids in the house.

Posted by LLB827 on Sep 02, 2014 at 6:25pm

Well its sorta but not the same.  Since I spend all working week in work gear. Following schedules,  working my to do list, responding to bells reminders. Atending the needs of my co workers and society.  Basically feel like a stringpuppet in order to function like other people do. I keep it up until thursay. Then function at work is my only priority so drop doing the dishes and other house work. I simply can not keep that pace. On saturday the ball drops big time and I sleep. Then manage to get some groceries done and laundry or so. And Sunday my inner todler stomps with its feet because we never do anything fun. And I give in. But should be finishing housework and prepare meals and plan my comming work week. Again the stringpuppet.  Basically I am all work and no play too long and when I finally play I deliberately take full advantage of it because $#@ @@! I deserve it. But it always bites me in the ass.

But hey I am single and have bills to pay.  Including the commute I am 10 hours a day from home to work. Go to bed at 22 to get up at 6. And an hour before bed I spend getting ready for the next day.  Leaves me with little time to be anything else than in work mode.  Every bleeding hour is scheduled with a must. My inner toddler is soooo right. We never do anything fun.

Posted by DebsterM on Sep 02, 2014 at 8:50pm

I’m sorry to hear your boyfriend doesn’t understand how ADHD impacts your life and isn’t more sensitive to your needs. One of my biggest challenges has been self-esteem—believing that i am worthy of respect.

For much of my life, I thought of a schedule as a kind of straight jacket. Having gained some insight into my different ability (ADHD), I’ve learned that (without being selfish) I have to organize my life in a way that works for me. Otherwise my self-worth just stays in the toilet. If I wait for everyone to accommodate me, I’ll never climb out of that stinky place.

I strive to have a “board meeting” with my wife weekly. We make our relationship and our family a priority. I’ve tried to persuade her that, if I’m going to be the kind of man she wants—- more available to her, and a more effective and loving husband and father—I need her to plan ahead with me. She doesn’t always remember, but she knows it’s important that she add family events to our family calendar *in advance*.

As I have become more in charge of my life, I find my self-esteem improves as do other’s respect for me.  So if your boyfriend loves you as I’m sure he does, maybe you can help him understand the impact ADHD has on your life and why you need his support with a little bit of planning ahead.  I bet he’ll love you more when you take the steps to love yourself more.

Posted by wattitude on Sep 08, 2014 at 1:58am

LLB - did you post this on your birthday?

I realize this thread is a little old - but it’s one of the posts on this site that really hit home for me. Like you, work weeks are filled with more of the routine and things you HAVE to do bc it provides the basic need for everything else: money.

I never had a problem focusing / being interested at work (well w my new job/field - the past was a different story) and actually primarily started taking vyvanse for my weekends which I felt were becoming so wasteful and stressful. The way you described it all with the cycles of wanting to enjoy your weekend, taking care of necessary chores (put not so necessary that you can almost put them off indefinitely) and the odd stress involved with what should be leisure activities, doing what YOU want and yet not doing them. Then the work week comes back around and you regret wasting your weekend.

Trust me, I’ve been there (that was actually a primary driver for me getting diagnosed recently) and am still struggling with trying to get it ‘figured out.’ All I can say is that I feel that I am only about 20% of the way there but the point is simply incremental progress. Start with having a goal of getting ONE thing done on your weekend (no matter how big or small) and then try to get that snowball rolling to the next weekend. It will help with the guilt that you are constantly putting on yourself. I disagree with some of the advice here about setting up a weekend routine - that’s not what weekends are for IMO.

One revelation I had on this topic was by reading a book called ‘The Busy Person’s Guide to the Done List: The Science of Small Wins’ that I think I got from amazon (ebook) for free or $0.99. It’s a very short, quality read that explains why to do lists are often self defeating and how important it is to do the opposite - create a done list. I can’t really explain it but it has to do with the psychology of gratefulness and focusing on the positive emotions associated with what you did accomplish, rather than the negative emotions of a to do list. Also we as modern creatures evolved to focus on the negative (as a survival tactic; ie it would serve you better to remember the poisonous snake you encountered rather than that beautiful flower) much more than the positive. ADHD exacerbates that to an extent as well I believe.

I’m sure I’m rambling now but hopefully you’ll read my post and be able to reply. It’s been a few months and hopefully you haven’t been stuck in the same rut since August! And if you have, don’t feel bad - know that you are way ahead of the game by being aware of what’s going on and know that solutions won’t always present themselves immediately (something that most of us can’t deal with). Just writing this post was supportive to me and hopefully it is to you as well as helpful by reading it.

Posted by johnnyboi1016 on Dec 05, 2014 at 1:03am

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