How to Manage ADHD or ADD Without Drugs
Because drugs are a temporary solution to a permanent problem.
Most of "us," the diagnosed, are told before we even hit 15 years old. We are expected to remember to take this pill prescribed every day, although that's the problem in the first place: remembering.
We are told we are not normal-functioning humans, and that we must supplement our minds in order to be efficient.
I kicked the drugs shortly after starting sixth grade, because I hated the way it made me feel, and struggled in school to focus on anything I didn't want to do, and keep in my seat. I liked to stand in the back of the classroom to keep my blood flowing, or I'd get bored and fall asleep. I procrastinated on everything, and thus, was stressed the majority of the time. Someone could tell me something, and I'd forget it seconds later.
Over the years, I'd started to develop my career, which is extremely deep focus-oriented, so I've had to adjust accordingly. You can do it too, but as a disclaimer, you have to want to.
I know, I know—Everyone starts with this. The best time to meditate is in the morning, so adding it to your morning routine (start one, if you don't have one already; that's another point further in this article). I like to find manifestation meditations on YouTube, ranging from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on how much time I have, and try my best. You don't have to meditate perfectly, in order to begin building your ability to meditate. I tend to anger or frustrate easily at times, causing stress and disorganized thoughts. Those are also times I'll step away, where ever I can have some privacy—typically my car—and bring myself back to a calm and collected vibration.
It is important to sleep well, and to sleep long enough. Everyone knows that. If you struggle with falling asleep like I do, you should test a few solutions. Typically, what the problem seems to be for most is the silence, causing your thoughts to scurry. I like to listen to The Office, because I've seen it enough that I can recite nearly every episode, so I don't mind abandoning it, for I'll know what happens. Some people like white noise makers or fans, or even gentle music. The best music is obviously tailored to your preferences, but typically, instrumental will get the job done well, as words aren't stimulating your brain. It's also good to have a wind-down routine: staying away from your phone after a certain hour, eating at least three hours before you'd like to sleep, maybe a stretch or yoga routine to slow your blood, etc.
3. Morning routines:
Having a morning routine is vital to setting your vibration, waking yourself up enough to show up as your best self, and sharing precious alone time with yourself or family. You must practice discipline, which I am super aware is the whole problem with ADHD or ADD, but trust me when I say that self discipline is a muscle you can nurture. You will find your own natural routine, but let me tell you now that running out the door after throwing on some clothes is an easy way to ruin most of your day. Make your morning precious by giving yourself all the time you need, to be able to have a nice chunk of time to do what you want and need to do.
An example of a morning routine—mine—that YES, I'm still working on making a constant:
I get up at six, drink a glass of water, meditate, and head straight to the gym for an hour or half of one. Honestly, I am proud of myself when I get there, so I don't stress much about for how long. I come back home, shower, in which I cleanse my body and spirit with incense. I like to listen to Jeff Kaale while getting ready, because it's of high vibration and makes me feel enlightened. I'm listening to his music now, to focus on writing. Then, I'll make a cup of coffee and get ready, and pop a podcast on for my commute to work. I'm a modern hippie, so I typically listen to motivational speeches or talks on the spirit.
You develop things you'd like to do in the morning, to start your day right. I'd really love to take a bath in the morning when I move into my new house; we just don't have one in the place I'm in now, sadly.
4. Cutting your work into segments:
As a bench jeweler, I have to focus very hard for long amounts of time, and my brain never truly clashed with the passion of my work for a very long time, until I would lose my drive. In these moments, I've found it difficult to focus, so I developed a system for myself. You have to study yourself for a bit, figuring when your energy moves, and how to raise it if needed. Experiencing your highest energy is when work comes easily, so work until your energy feels depleted. In my work, I have steps to each project that actually permit for perfect stopping points, so I'll take a 20-minute break every two hours or so, to relieve myself, grab coffee, chat with customers or coworkers, or meditate. This keeps my efficiency and focus up. When experiencing lower energy levels, a few solutions would be to pause and meditate, drink a few good gulps of ice cold water, eat some fruit, or go for a quick walk. You want to stimulate the mind and body without a crash. It's best to avoid added sugars at this time especially, because of the crash; you'll end up feeling more tired, and even worse than when you reached for it.
For most people, instrumental music is great for working. I prefer lo-fi hip hop, like Jeff Kaale, or classical. It stimulates the mind enough to almost permit time to flow effortlessly and forgetfully, and it helps you zone in. Try all different genres, and figure out what helps you work painlessly. I had a coworker once that looked sweet as hell, but listened to terrifying metal while working.
I'm going to tell you right now that gluten and dairy are harder and more harmful to digest, so they are very obviously going to make you feel tired. If possible, avoid gluten and dairy for lunch and breakfast to be more on-point during the day, and leave it as a treat for dinner. This will make it easier to focus during daylight, and easier to sleep. You know all the other dietary rules you've been told about, in a triangle, since childhood. You get the gist. Find out what makes your body tick efficiently, and follow that as best as you can. Make rules and treats for yourself. That is one easy thing to follow during the day, to be proud about each night.
7. Cut distractions:
Buy AirPods to listen to music, so you can keep your phone a room away from you while working, and getting it would be too much of an effort. Block websites during work hours using parental controls to make it more difficult, and thus not worth the effort. There are so many simple step you can take, to make it easy for you to focus when you need to; you just have to make it more difficult to be distracted. Some people prefer being in coffee shops or airports to work, but I'm always too uncomfortable to focus, and tend to start people-watching by mistake. Yes, I'd stare at you with no shame and wave when you notice.
8. Work out:
Whatever way you can. I know with my crazy mind, it can be hard to even focus while lifting weights, and next thing I know, I'm watching a cat vomit viciously on Instagram instead. Find a workout or a few that you like, and create a plan. I find it easiest to have a calendar and classes I have to go to, in order to get my workout in. I'll schedule weight lifting, cardio in a few different ways, and yoga, all throughout the week, and self-accountability from my past self guilts my future self into doing it. Figure out if you prefer it right in the morning, or at night. A lot of people like it right in the morning to get things started, and to feel more awake.
So there you have it, I have reached the end of my work chunk ability, and will now end this article.
If anyone has any other helpful tips, please leave a comment.