Every now and again I stumble onto something that really works for me. Pretty amazing. In terms of ADHD management I’ve made these discoveries so far:
1) Exercise is king!
Nothing works as well as exercise does. It doesn’t really matter what type of exercise, as long as I do it. Actually it does, I’ve never really managed to make yoga work. It just balances things out, and it’s vital in stress management, and other benefits include a toned body, physical fitness, not getting sick as fast, having more energy -and channelling it- and the only real downside is the risk of injury.
2) Nutrition is queen
Well, duh, you might say. But this genius discovery didn’t come for free. Anorexia worked like a charm in terms of ADHD management, but the side effects included trying to climb a mountain whilst being more than a bit underweight and suffering from symptomatic anaemia. I’ve discovered that sugar makes me feel off, and has a potential to freak me out. Especially refined sugars. What works best in terms of getting what I need is to make sure I get my veg, fruit and protein, making sure that I get some source of calcium… and then bothering about carbs. Sadly, I’m still not very good at this, and I tend to grab junk when I feel hungry because I still am not very fond of food. Recently I’ve started implementing meal plans again, and it does have a positive effect on how healthy I eat. I probably should go stand in the corner for doing this because I gained a pound; but then again, there are reasons why this is the weight I’m maintaining.
3) More than beauty sleep!
I need my sleep. I am more sensitive to things like shift work and jetlag than most people. ADHD symptoms get a lot worse when I’m sleep deprived, leading to more stress, leading to more exhaustion, leading to depression. Something very important I discovered is that despite my naturally lagged sleep cycle, I need to get to bed before midnight preferably, because then I am better rested. Dull, I know. I’ve also discovered that melatonin DOES actually help, more so in summer than in winter. Plus, sleep makes you prettier.
4) Write it down
Sometimes things can go all crazy in my head, and it helps to write them out, or type them out. Just think twice before leaving the crazy for others to see!
5) Keep the list somewhere ELSE than in your mind!
I’m talking to-do lists, shopping lists and the like. I have a to-do list on my phone. I have a shopping list app. I have a whiteboard for random notes, such as bills I need to pay or certain ideas. At some point I had the amount of time needed for certain chores on it – I should do that again as it helped me actually do stuff. I have a birthday calendar.
6) Keep your environment clean and tidy.
I hate housework. I hate tidying and cleaning. But it’s neccessary! Else my mind gets even more chaotic than it’s normal self, and that is NOT a good thing. It’s just easier to get everything else right when you can actually find your stuff!! Also, this has a positive side effect on losing things and having to replace them.
7) Paper obsession
Or, online, if you please. This is actually something that I tried just to keep my spending in check, and it’s working. Pinterest and sites like that are great too. Just those millions of ideas, tampered. For example: I love fashion and make up and the like, it’s my morning playtime. And I tend to go overboard when shopping. This season I got myself a stack of magazines and an empty A4 notebook. And scissors and tape. Actually, this idea started out as my mood-book for decorating my new home. But, it works. Now I have ideas, and then I can select the best ones and not spend my money on whims.
I need positive people around me who accept me for who I am. We all do. But when you have a little something out of the ordinary, you need them even more. You need relationships. Personally, I am becoming more and more convinced that I/we need God.
9) Oh, the pills.
Important! Like reading glasses. It just helps.
ADHD means never really growing up in some sense, so remember to play as much as possible. That’s where the genius comes from!
Right. Certain obvious things get easier if they become part of a ritual. This I learned from ADHD coaching. Really no-brainer things really; bedtime ritual means drinking something, relaxing WITHOUT the computer and then going to bed. Makes sleep easier. Checking the next day and packing your bag before doing that saves trouble in the morning. Linking things to already existing rituals work too: putting your contraceptive next to your toothbrush and making the link between pill and brush, for example.
12) Oh, planner
How could I forget this? This is usually the first thing ADHD coaching teaches. I do tend to remember appointments and such, just not really very well. And I’ve had several accounts of double planning… write everything down. And don’t lose it, like I have now…
That’s about what I can think of now… I’m not ‘good’ at any of it yet, but some positive effects have started to show.