If you have ADHD, you may want to consider therapy or counseling.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps patients change behavior by focusing on thought patterns as well as overcoming the obstacles of everyday life.
Behavior therapy isn’t a magical formula to make it all go away, but it will help you learn to change the negative messages to positive ones and to deal with the day-to-day problems that having ADHD can bring.
Counseling could also prove beneficial. Having ADHD isn’t just hard on us, it’s hard on the people who love us. Counseling can help us to improve our social skills to better benefit our professional and personal relationships.
Our relationships can suffer because of our impulsive actions and words. Misunderstandings at work and at home create a strained atmosphere. We can lose our jobs and our loved ones. Counseling can help us to save these relationships.
It may sound a little strange to call organization a lifestyle change, but for those of us affected by ADHD, organization of some sort has to become a way of life.
I don’t know anyone more disorganized than I am. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever find an organizational system that I can stick with, or if I am doomed to be lost in piles of paper clutter forever.
I can’t tell you how many important documents I have lost — for years I had no system at all. Right now I am looking at four distinct paper piles staring at me from around the room.
I have a box for papers that need to be shredded, an accordion file for temporary storage, and a crate with file folders for important papers, manuals, and receipts. I try to get the papers in the appropriate places before the piles get too big.
Organization isn’t just about paper clutter, either. Organization also entails keeping up with appointments, knowing where your belongings are, and managing time.
I still prefer to write things down, so I have a spiral-bound planner — I write down everything from appointments to when bills are due, and phone calls I need to make.
I use alarms on my phone for just about everything I need to do. I set them for appointments, for taking medicine, and simply leaving for work on time. Sometimes I use them to keep me on task during the day too.
I am slowly beginning to embrace productivity apps for ADHD. This has been a bit harder as I’m not as technologically-inclined as I would like, but I’m getting there.
Organization is always a work in progress for me, it seems. I am constantly reading articles on organization to find ideas to help me evolve.
Who hasn’t heard that we need to get rid of the stress in our lives? Stress can eat away at us, but it can also make our ADHD symptoms worse.
There is always going to be a certain amount of stress that goes with our daily lives, but we can’t let worry take over.
Being mindful can certainly help us deal with stress. Bringing yourself into the moment and concentrating on your breathing for even a minute or two can actually help.
Meditation can improve focus and help you beat stress. I try to practice a few minutes of meditation every day.
Sometimes my mind wanders, sometimes I fall asleep, but I still work on it. Spending a few minutes in mindfulness helps me feel renewed.
You can also try massage, acupuncture or acupressure to help you relax your body and mind.
Exercise is a great stress manager. Music or practicing a hobby can also help reduce stress. Working puzzles such as crossword puzzles or other word or number puzzles can increase concentration and they also stimulate the creation of new brain cells.
Take some time out for yourself. Learn to say no if you have to.
The ADHD mind is a whirlwind and it needs to relax and unwind. Spend a few minutes each day doing something you enjoy.
Taking care of yourself is as important as taking care of everyone else you love.
A Lifestyle You Enjoy
Creating a lifestyle that is ADHD-friendly is not impossible. With a little practice, you can learn to live a life you love that is not run by the racing thoughts of your ADHD brain.
Above all, be patient with yourself. You will try some things that will just seem to click, and other things may not.
I keep looking for tips and tricks I can use to help me manage my ADHD. Some things work for me, some things don’t. Some things work but I just don’t do them.
Lifestyle changes aren’t always easy, and sometimes you may even disregard all your own best advice. That’s okay.
Never stop learning — there is new information every day. There are communities out there full of people who know exactly what you are going through. We can learn from each other and we can support one another.
Perhaps one of the biggest lifestyle changes you can make is to actively learn to accept yourself, flaws and all. You may have spent a lifetime feeling like you didn’t fit in; you may have believed all the negative messages you received while growing up.
Know that you are an amazing, intelligent, and creative being. You deserve great things and you are capable of greatness.
Having ADHD may not always be easy, but it’s always interesting. Enjoy the things that make you unique.
Living with ADHD may require a few lifestyle changes, but they are all worth it!