Adults who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder often struggle in various areas of life. Even completing daily tasks can be challenging. Although there is over the counter ADHD medication for adults, some find that there are non-medication options to help manage symptoms and to help them finish projects and reach goals.
One of the alternatives to anxiety medication may be simply to establish daily routines. This helps those whose anxiety stems from a busy, disorganized schedule. Some strategies to reduce anxiety, hyperactivity, and lack of focus include:
- Going to bed and waking up at basically the same time every day, even on weekends
- Scheduling all activities
- Eating at the same times every day
- Exercising and doing so at the same time of day
There are additional things that help you keep with your routine and reduce mental health symptoms. These include limiting your intake of alcohol and caffeine, staying connected with friends, contributing to the community, and using leisure time as a reward, not as a right.
Utilizing a Healthy Diet
What you eat can make a huge difference in your mental health, especially if you have ADHD. Certain foods, such as simple carbohydrates, sugar, preservatives, caffeine, allergens, and artificial additives, can exacerbate ADHD and anxiety symptoms. A better diet includes:
- Protein: meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and lentils
- Vitamins and minerals: vitamin D, iron, vitamin B-6, zinc, and magnesium
- Complex carbohydrates: vegetables, fruit, brown rice, and whole-grain pasta
- Omega-3 fatty acids: fatty fish, flax seeds, chia seeds, and cod liver oil
Ideally, you should use organic ingredients when possible, and cook the majority of your meals from scratch, so that you can control the ingredients.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is also extremely important for those with ADHD or other mental health issues. Sleep helps to calm the brain, and it is also when the body goes through a reset.
One of the issues, however, for those who have ADHD is they sometimes have issues with insomnia, circadian rhythm changes, and restless leg syndrome, which makes it difficult to get a good night of sleep.
One way to improve sleep is to have a consistent bedtime schedule and routine. Other ways to help with sleep include:
- Relaxing or meditating before bedtime
- Maintaining a dark, cool, and comfortable environment in the bedroom
- Avoiding eating a large meal close to bedtime
- Keeping televisions, cell phones, and tablets out of the bedroom
- Avoiding alcohol and caffeine a few hours before bedtime
Maintaining a consistent exercise routine may also help support better sleep.
Use Medication as Needed
For those whose ADHD is more severe, routines and lifestyle changes may not be enough. However, some may want to avoid ADHD prescription and Lexapro side effects, such as weight gain, nausea, headaches, restlessness, dry mouth, and insomnia. Fortunately, there are over the counter alternatives that are safe to take and are effective for managing symptoms.
Having ADHD as an adult is manageable when living mindfully and making choices that are healthy and known to help reduce symptoms.