Updated: Mar 15
Living with ADHD can be a daily challenge, but it’s important to remember that it is possible to improve your well-being and lead a fulfilling life. ADHD is a complicated issue to face, and to be honest medication isn’t the only solution, nor is just therapy. For many people, it takes a lot of different aspects of lifestyle changes that help manage it from day to day. Working with me, you’ll learn the importance of setting boundaries, engaging in regular physical activity, and getting enough sleep. By putting just some of these skills in place you can manage your symptoms and improve your overall quality of life much easier.
One of the key elements of managing ADHD is setting boundaries - both with others and with yourself. According to the National Resource Center on ADHD, up to 80% of adults with ADHD report feeling overwhelmed by their responsibilities. By setting limits on your time and energy, communicating your needs, and taking breaks, you can ensure that you have the time and energy necessary to prioritize your own well-being.
Exercise is another essential aspect of managing ADHD. Regular physical activity can help reduce symptoms and improve overall well-being. According to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, regular exercise can lead to significant improvements in attention, impulse control, and hyperactivity in children with ADHD.
It’s also important to know that you don't have to stick to traditional forms of exercise like going to the gym. There are many other ways to be active that may be more enjoyable and engaging, such as hiking, exploring your city on foot or bike, dancing, rock-climbing, or swimming. The key to doing physical exercise is to find what works for you and that you can maintain, and have other things that you can do so you don't get burnt out!
Getting enough sleep is also crucial for managing ADHD. Lack of sleep can exacerbate symptoms. Not only that, our propensity to have issues with sleep is well documented. In a study published in 2016(1), researchers found that 80% of adults with ADHD have a likelihood of some sort of sleep disturbances, including insomnia, delayed sleep onset, and non-restorative sleep. The study also found that adults with ADHD have a high rate of delayed sleep phase syndrome and a high rate of sleep-disordered breathing.
By establishing a regular sleep routine and creating a comfortable sleep environment, you can improve the quality and quantity of your sleep.
But what if we can't? Many of us deal with a combined problem with racing thoughts, anxiety, and our natural tendency to be night owls. What do we do then? Well, this is where tools like journaling and mindfulness comes into play. But regardless of all of this, scheduling time with sleep specialists is often important as well.
However, in addition to exercise and sleep, therapy can also play a vital role in managing ADHD. According to the National Resource Center on ADHD, research has shown that therapy can help individuals with ADHD develop strategies for managing symptoms and improving their overall well-being. This is especially effective if your sleep is being made difficult by Anxiety or racing thoughts.
Another thing that you could learn from a therapist is mindfulness exercises.
Mindfulness practice can
be very helpful in managing many symptoms of ADHD, especially impulsivity and hyperactivity, and as we said above, can improve your sleep patterns.
As Dr. Ned Hallowell, a psychiatrist and leading expert on ADHD, said:
"ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects both children and adults, and it's a lifelong condition. It requires lifelong management."
We have to remember that ADHD is not a moral failing or lack of intelligence; it’s a issue that we face that requires understanding and support. We have to have some self-compassion for when we have setbacks putting in place the things above. Remember, the goal isn’t to be perfect; it is to do the best we can until we can do the things we need to do more often than not.
Managing ADHD requires a holistic approach that includes setting boundaries, engaging in regular physical activity, getting enough sleep, seeking support, practicing mindfulness and self-compassion. By making these strategies a part of your daily routine, you can improve your overall well-being and lead to a more fulfilling life.
I know these things are often easier said than done; I get it! I am a professional coach, and I still mess up. I still have bad days. However, it’s integral that we work to learn how to do these things. This is where working with a coach really helps to learn how to start working on these until they become habits you do more than often than not.
Remember, you are not alone in this journey, and there are resources and support available to help you. If you’re looking to take the next step in managing your ADHD, consider signing up for a free discovery session to explore how I can help you.