If you suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, then you know just how difficult the symptoms can be. When you add the potential side effects of a pharmaceutical drug to the mix, life can feel disordered and out of control.
There are ways to manage your ADHD holistically, without drugs, if you can stay dedicated and be very kind to yourself.
1. Be Active
Exercise works wonders for the human body and brain. Walking, running, riding a bike, swimming, playing a sport, practicing yoga, or any other form of activity releases endorphins and neurotransmitters in your operating system that make you feel good and that bring balance to various parts of your brain naturally!
Dopamine, released from exercise, helps with concentration, paying attention, and overall restlessness. Think about how much easier a day would be with greater concentration and shorter periods of restlessness.
Can you add a morning jog or an after-work gym visit to your routine? Is there a yoga or Pilates class you’ve been wanting to try? Make it happen!
2. Be Rested
Just like exercise has extensive benefits for the whole you, sleep provides benefits that people forego to keep a job, to earn a promotion, to stay on top of school work, to raise a family, or to “have it all.” What this mentality can breed is sleep deprivation and the lack of various chemicals that are needed for healthy living.
Lack of sleep makes it difficult for anyone to concentrate and pay attention, so with the addition of ADHD, sleep is even more important.
Try adding a little bit of time to your rest each night, even if it starts with just 5 minute increments.
3. Be Structured
Your body and brain operate with greater ease when you are on a schedule. A regular eating and sleeping routine, that builds in time for exercise, socializing, relaxing, and participating in enjoyable activities is a great way to treat ADHD holistically.
Where can you add a little more discipline to your days, weeks, and months? Maybe when you notice that you stuck to the structure you’ve created, you can schedule in a massage, or something else to pamper and thank yourself for a job well done.
4. Be Healthy
What you put into your body makes a difference. Processed foods, with harmful chemicals, can stimulate your brain’s hyperactivity. Avoiding fake foods, refined foods, and sugar are great ways to regulate your ADHD symptoms without medication.
Can you add more whole foods to your diet? Are there substitutions you can make when you crave something sweet?
5. Be Experimental
While this may sound risky, it is quite the opposite, especially when compared to pharmaceutical drugs. Are you open to trying things like essential fatty acids that have shown to improve brain functioning and behavioral choices? What about flaxseed oil, Vitamin C, and magnesium that appear to help others who have ADHD?
Treating ADHD can be done holistically when you exercise in some way, get enough sleep, stick to a good daily routine, eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein, try alternative forms of healing, and treat yourself with kindness and compassion.
Congratulations on combating your ADHD without drugs!
Jared Friedman is a quality improvement manager who specializes in behavioral health treatment at Sovereign Health.
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