If you have been following this series of articles you have seen some of the aspects of how ADHD affects the lives of those with ADHD and their families and friends. Reducing the effects of ADHD requires a multi-faceted and focused approach. There are three primary practices that must work together to improve and stabilize the ADHD life style. Those practices combine healthy lifestyle interventions, skill development and practice and increasing self-knowledge and personal advocacy.
Making time to exercise vigorously and regularly helps many people with ADHD to burn off some of that extra energy in a healthy supportive fashion. The exercise program must be almost daily and provide a variety of activities to help keep a focus. Attention to dietary needs also helps to manage their ADHD symptoms. Certain foods seem to help reduce inattention issues, anxieties and stress. Some dietary supplements also seem to help balance their abilities effectively. There is much anecdotal evidence, however not much scientific research has been carried out as yet. You may have to do some research and cautiously try some of the ideas in your own life to determine their effects on you. Sleep and rest are also important to balancing your ADHD life. Many people with ADHD seem to be energizer bunnies and run full speed non-stop with seemingly no rest. However their performance is much improved when they are able to obtain adequate amounts of rest. Many people find that medications can also assist in balancing life needs with ADHD symptoms. Careful, thorough, and ongoing discussions with your healthcare givers are necessary to get the most effective benefits from the medications and should be combined with all these practices.
Learning about ADHD and specifically how it affects you is critical to improving and balancing one’s lifestyle. Knowing and recognizing how ADHD symptoms affect your total lifestyle is important. It does affect your work or school life in many ways, some to your advantage some that have negative effects. You need to find ways of managing both sides of the equation and maintain balance to be effective. The symptoms can also affect your social interactions with family, partners, friends, and co-workers. Once again finding healthy ways to improve your social interactions will help achieve balance in your life. ADHD can have an immense effect on your personal life as well. Often depression, anxiety, addiction issues, self-confidence, etc. can be outcomes of ADHD symptoms affecting the individual’s mental health.
Self-Advocacy can take the hidden secret of ADHD away and allow proactive measures to be implemented with others at work or school to obtain and utilize accommodations and supports, or for overall life issues. Knowing when and how to self-advocate or obtain supports to advocate where necessary is a fundamental skill and practice needed for life with ADHD. ADHD is not an excuse for behaviors but rather a way of developing skills and practices to lessen the effects of the condition. Advocacy and accommodation don’t mean lesser standards or expectations but rather a means of accomplishing the goals and expectations differently.
These practices can take a lifetime to learn, practice and apply effectively. The key is not to give up, but to be persistent (stubborn), be willing to experiment and try new things, and most of all learn to be patient and learn from your experiences. If you or a family member wants to improve skills living with ADHD you are invited to call LDAS Prince Albert Branch to meet with an ADHD coach to discuss how coaching new behaviors or skills can make life better. LDAS PA also offers an ADHD Support Group that meets every second Wednesday to help people put some of their ADHD issues into perspective with help from group members’ experiences. The group meets from 7:30 to 9:00 pm at the LDAS Center 1106 Central Ave. Please call 306-922-1071 to pre-register or to inquire into either service.
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