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5 Lifestyle Habits to Help You Manage ADHD

5 Lifestyle Habits to Help You Manage ADHD

Nearly one in 10 children in the United States has a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and an estimated one in 20 American adults also struggles with this disorder. Medication may make it easier to focus, but changing lifestyle habits to support mental health can also help.

Do you suspect that you or your child is struggling with ADHD? We can help.

As a board-certified psychiatrist, Dr. Ifeanyi Olele of Genesis Psychiatric Solutions treats both anxiety disorders and ADHD. We have offices in Fairfax and Alexandria, Virginia, as well as Washington, DC, Los Angeles, California and Boca Raton, Florida. We also offer telehealth appointments.

To help you understand this disorder, we put together some background information about ADHD and how lifestyle habits can help you manage ADHD.

ADHD brains are different

Researchers have concluded that ADHD brains typically have dysfunction in what is known as the default mode network. This means that people with ADHD connect and communicate differently than people with neurotypical brains do. 

This can make it difficult to study, work, socialize, or even simply enjoy your favorite activities. Many people with diagnosed or undiagnosed ADHD also end up suffering from anxiety and other mental health issues.

ADHD symptoms

Since every brain is different, not every person with ADHD displays identical symptoms, but there are many overlapping symptoms that a majority of ADHD patients may have in common. 

If you or your child has several of these symptoms, you might want to seek a consultation and evaluation for ADHD.

If you also experience anxiety, depression, obsessive behaviors, social awkwardness, panic attacks, or other mental health issues, you may end up with multiple diagnoses in order to receive the help you need.

Lifestyle habits to manage ADHD

ADHD gets worse when you have no routine or expectations, but excessive or demanding goal-setting can result in paralysis and an inability to achieve anything. 

Instead of a path that demands constant progress, gently change your daily habits to manage your ADHD symptoms without additional stress.

Sleep habits

A regular bedtime can work wonders for both children and adults who need a solid eight-plus hours of sleep. Start by making a rule that electronics go off an hour before lights out. Change a scrolling or video-watching habit to reading a book instead.

Eating habits

Good nutrition helps your brain stay healthy and on track. Make a daily cutoff for sugary drinks so water becomes the default when thirst sets in. Try to eat meals at around the same time every day, and don’t leave dinner so late that you lie down right after you finish eating.

Activity habits

Children and adults who aren’t active enough can experience more severe ADHD symptoms. Look for activities that get blood pumping but also require some focus. Biking, rock climbing, swimming, and team sports all qualify.

Using systems

A good habit is using systems to help manage ADHD. This can be a calendar with notifications for every daily activity, including reminders to eat, drink water, take care of daily hygiene, and turn off electronics before bed.

Positive reinforcement

Include positive reinforcement as part of the daily routine. For children, this could mean a prize at the end of the day. For adults, this could mean a special treat at a favorite cafe.

Do you suspect ADHD? Are you seeking ways to manage symptoms naturally? To schedule a consultation, call our location closest to you or request an appointment online.

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