If you are an adult with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, then you know how challenging it can be to manage your symptoms. ADHD occurs in both children and adults, but the symptoms can be different in each group.
There are many different ways to treat ADHD, and not everyone needs medication. In this blog post, we will discuss 8 tips for managing ADHD without medication. We will also talk about ADHD treatment that can help individuals manage their symptoms effectively.
Common symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Some individuals were diagnosed with ADHD at a young age, however increased awareness around the condition has helped individuals understand that it is a condition that affects adults and not just school age children.
Some risk factors that are associated with the development of ADHD may include family history, being born premature, or exposure to environmental toxins. Adults with ADHD may have trouble focusing, be easily distracted, feel restless, or have difficulty following through with tasks.
Other ADHD symptoms may be having difficulty managing time, impulsivity, or struggling with decision making. These symptoms can interfere with work, school, and personal relationships. Other symptoms are not as easily observed and may include low self-esteem, chronic stress or anxiety.
Executive Functioning Skills
Adults with ADHD often have difficulty with executive functioning skills. These are the skills that help us plan, organize, and complete tasks. ADHD is a complex condition and it's not about the individual "just trying harder" or "becoming more motivated" since these are aspects that are impacted by ADHD.
It can be extremely helpful to evaluate one's environment, relationships, and patterns in behavior in a person's life to develop a comprehensive plan to support an adult with ADHD and support one's executive functioning.
In addition, many adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder also have co-morbid conditions, such as anxiety or depression. Up to 60 percent of people with ADHD also have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety can cause similar symptoms like restlessness, difficulty concentrating, or excessive worry.
When someone has both ADHD and anxiety, it can be difficult to manage both conditions. It's important to seek out support for treating ADHD and anxiety from a mental health professional who is familiar with treating both conditions.
Why some people want to treat ADHD naturally or without medication
There are many reasons why someone might want to manage their ADHD without medication. Some people are concerned about the potential side effects of medication, or they may not have responded well to previous medications. Others may want to try a more natural approach and are willing to make changes in their lifestyle and habits to benefit their mental well-being. Let's start to talk about a few lifestyle changes and treating ADHD without medication to help you manage your condition better.
8 Tips and Lifestyle changes to manage ADHD in adults
Exercise and Adults with ADHD
Exercise is one of the natural ADHD remedies that can be extremely helpful in a person's life when managing their condition without medication. Incorporating more exercise into your routine is a great way to relieve stress, improve your mood, and cope with ADHD symptoms.
Exercise can also help improve your focus and concentration. Adults with ADHD may find that they benefit from exercise, especially if they are struggling with symptoms of anxiety or depression.
It has been seen that 30 minutes of exercise can improve executive function performance. There are many different types of exercise that you can do, however the best exercise is the one that you enjoy doing so you can create sustainable lifestyle changes.
Create a routine:
One of the best things you can do to manage your ADHD is to create a daily routine. This will help you stay on track and avoid feeling overwhelmed by all the things you need to do. It's important to create a routine that works for you. A few ideas to get started are;
-Start by making a list of all the things you need to do in a day. This can include both big and small tasks.
-Next, order your tasks from most to least important.
-Then, break down each task into smaller steps that you can complete easily.
-Finally, decide how much time you will need to complete each task and add it to your schedule.
Self care and ADHD
Self-care is important for everyone, but it is especially important for people with ADHD. When you have ADHD, it is easy to become overwhelmed and stressed. This can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as using substances, excessive screen time, or alcohol. It is important to find healthy ways to cope with your symptoms. Some self-care activities that may be helpful for people with ADHD include:
-Journaling: Writing in a journal can help you process your thoughts and feelings. It can also be a helpful way to track your moods and how you are managing your ADHD symptoms.
-Relaxation Techniques: Relaxation techniques, such as meditation, can help you to reduce stress and focus on the present moment.
-Yoga: Yoga can help to calm the mind and body. It is also a great way to get in touch with your inner thoughts and feelings.
Eating a healthy diet for ADHD
High protein diet:
A high protein diet can help to improve focus and concentration. Foods that are high in protein include:
More complex carbohydrates
Complex carbohydrates can help to stabilize blood sugar levels. This can be helpful for people with ADHD who often experience highs and lows in energy. Foods that are high in complex carbohydrates include:
Omega-three fatty acids:
Omega-three fatty acids are found in fish and some plant oils. They are thought to be beneficial for brain health and have healthy fats. Foods that are high in omega-three fatty acids include:
Support Groups for Adults with ADHD
Another way to manage your ADHD without medication is by joining a support group. Support groups provide a safe space for people with ADHD to share their experiences and connect with others who understand what they are going through. ADDitude offers multiple supports and educational information for individuals with ADHD.
Support groups can also offer valuable resources and information about how to manage ADHD symptoms effectively. Support groups also provide a safe safe for brainstorming and problem solving regarding concerns you have regarding your condition. Also asking for support and communicating with family members regarding your experience and how it's impacting, can be beneficial.
Organization and Adults with ADHD
If you have ADHD, then you know it can be extremely hard to stay organized. This is because people with ADHD often have trouble focusing and keeping track of their belongings. However, there are some things that you can do to help make your life more organized. Some tips for organizing your life with ADHD include:
- Use a planner or calendar to keep track of your appointments and tasks.
- Break down tasks into smaller steps so that they are less overwhelming.
- Create a system for organizing your belongings, such as labeling storage bins or using dividers in your purse or backpack.
- Put away items as soon as you finish using them so that they don’t pile up
Practicing Mindfulness for ADHD
Mindfulness is a practice that can help you focus on the present moment and be more aware of your thoughts and feelings. It can also help you to better manage your ADHD symptoms and may be seen one of the more natural remedies to help adults with ADHD.
There are many different ways to practice mindfulness, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises. You can also try listening to mindfulness podcasts or reading books about mindfulness.
For many adults with ADHD, one major challenge is paying attention or experiencing attention fatigue, and thus mindfulness can help by slowing your thoughts so you can respond rather than react to situations.
In addition, mindfulness teaches us how to how to "ride the wave" of emotions instead of getting engulfed by them. Focusing on your breath and practicing grounding exercises can help you manage your condition while also helping to improve mood changes.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Adults with ADHD
Many adults find that talk and/or behavior therapy is a helpful way to manage their symptoms and treat ADHD without medication. In therapy, you can learn how to better cope with your ADHD symptoms. You can also learn how to set goals and how to better manage your time. ADHD treatment in therapy can also help you develop healthy coping mechanisms for when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
CBT, or cognitive behavioral therapy, is an effective treatment that can be helpful for adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. CBT focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors.
Behavioral therapy also allows you reflect on how ADHD is impacting your relationships, work, and self esteem. It can provide you with tools and perspectives to help you manage your symptoms in a more helpful way so you can live a life that is meaningful for you.
Difficulty with Self Esteem
It is common that adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder struggle with their self esteem since some individuals feel inadequate or that they're "not good enough". Difficulties with self esteem can also stem from past challenges with school or work. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help you process and work through these emotions.
Treating adult ADHD with therapy can also help provide accountability and motivation towards your goals. Through the treatment process, you may learn how to better communicate with your loved ones about your condition and how it affects you on a daily basis.
Even though you don't want to use medication to treat ADHD, when might be beneficial to consider:
If you have tried some of the tips above and you find that your symptoms are still impacting your life in a negative way, then it might be time to learn more about medication. Medication can be a helpful way to manage Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms for many people. One of the most common types of medications for ADHD is stimulant medications.
ADHD medications help to increase focus, concentration, and support brain function. Stimulant medication can also help to reduce impulsiveness and hyperactivity. Medication is not right for everyone, so it is important that you make an informed decision with your doctor.
it has been found that medication combined with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a very effective way to manage Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
You are not alone
If you are struggling with ADHD, then know that you are not alone. There are many resources available to help you manage your symptoms effectively. These tips can help get you started on your journey to managing your ADHD without medication. These are just a few of the many different ways that you can treat ADHD without medication.
If you find that your symptoms are affecting your quality of life, then it is important to seek professional help. A therapist who specializes in treating ADHD can help you develop a treatment plan that is right for you.
If you are interested in exploring Therapy for ADHD in San Jose, CA or Puerto RIco as a way to manage your ADHD, then please reach out to a professional. Kristin would be happy to discuss how therapy can help you manage your symptoms and live a happier, more grounded life.
***The ideas, concepts, and opinions expressed in all Living Openhearted posts are intended to be used for educational purposes only. The author and publisher are not rendering medical advice of any kind, nor are intended to replace medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury. Authors and publisher claim no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material.