While ADHD is often associated with hyperactive children who cannot stay focused, this condition carries on into adulthood. While challenging at any age, it can be particularly difficult for adults as they have various responsibilities and other important things to deal with. There are ways to minimize the negative impact your symptoms can have on your daily life if you are willing to put in a little effort and commit to making changes in your life that will benefit you.
Make Stress Management a Priority
High levels of stress are bad for everyone, ADHD or not. But, if you have this condition, stress can be particularly problematic. Aspects of your condition, such as trouble sleeping and erratic moods, can lead to higher levels of stress. Struggling with ADHD itself and the problems it presents for you in your life can be stressful as well, exacerbating symptoms. Finding ways to manage stress effectively can do wonders for your condition and help you deal with it more constructively. Meditation may be particularly beneficial. It has been shown to reduce stress and increase concentration.
Develop Strategies for Keeping Organized
The more proactive you are in keeping organized, the less your symptoms, such as inattention and being easily distracted, will negatively impact your day to day living. Writing things down is an incredibly easy and powerful way to stay on top of things; moving things out of your mind into the concrete in the form of to-do lists, day planners and calendars helps bring things into focus. Keep your belongings organized as best you can. Stow away things that you do not need frequently to clear up clutter and reduce distraction.
Learn to Keep Track of Time Better
If you have ADHD, your perception of time can be skewed; poor time management is a problem for many but it may be especially so in this case. Setting alarms and timers when tackling tasks can be a good way to keep track of the time so you fit in everything that needs to get done for the day.
Establish Routines for Mundane Tasks
Set aside a certain amount of time each day to attend to routine tasks such as paying bills, doing chores and going through the mail—ideally it will be the same time every day.
Prioritize and Take Baby Steps
Because you may be more prone to forgetfulness, trouble completing tasks and staying on top of things, it is important to assess your daily tasks in order of priority so you can stay focused and you get done what needs to get done. Remember to take things one step at a time or break bigger tasks down into smaller chunks to prevent feeling overwhelmed and abandoning them altogether.
Exercise is one of the best things you can do to manage your ADHD; it will reduce stress, help clear your head and contribute to a good night’s sleep. You do not have to go crazy to reap the benefits—as little as 30 minutes a day is all you need for optimal health and the production of mood-boosting chemicals.
Sleep Enough and the Right Way
Lack of sleep can impact your condition majorly in a very bad way. Besides getting at least 7 to 8 hours, establish routines that will help you get to sleep every night. Avoid exercising at least one hour before your planned bedtime. Establish some sort of ritual to prepare yourself for bed so you can prime your mind for getting a good night’s rest. Get up and go to bed around the same time every day and yes, this means weekends too.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating right can take us a long way in improving our overall health and feeling better, no matter what mental or physical ailment we suffer. Keep sugar to a minimum. A high-protein diet may help you feel better and mitigate symptoms. Avoiding foods made with artificial food dyes and preservatives may also help.
The tendency to be impulsive may lead you to saying yes to every favor, project and social event that comes your way; it seems like a great idea at the time and you do not hesitate to offer your time. But, filling up your plate too much will lead to increased stress and anxiety and can negatively impact the quality of your work among other things.
Remember You Can Do This
It can seem like you have no control over your condition at times, but positive self-talk affirming you do can go a long way in getting you through the rough patches. You will also make more of a commitment to being proactive and managing your condition when you really drill it into your head that you can.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who specializes in health and wellness content. Visit AdultADHD.net for more information on atomoxetine hydrochloride for adults and other information for coping with this condition.
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