Learning How to Cope with ADHD in Recovery
ADHD impacts millions of people worldwide. Although it's often considered a childhood condition, research shows that nearly 3% of adults have ADHD. The prevalence may be even higher- many people do not report or understand their symptoms, and many more do not receive the treatment they need.
Learning how to manage ADHD in recovery can be especially challenging. You may need to reconsider or reevaluate your medication choices. At the same time, you need to learn how to cope with distressing symptoms without drinking or using drugs. Let's get into some helpful, action-focused tips.
ADHD can make following basic tasks feel impossible. Many people with ADHD struggle with concentration, attentiveness, and procrastination. You may feel so overwhelmed that you don't know where to start. Or, you might be in the middle of doing something important only to become quickly distracted by something else.
Having a solid organizational system in place is crucial for staying on top of your ADHD and your recovery. This system should be simple and easy to remember.
Write down everything in a calendar: Note all meetings, events, and appointments- even if you're positive you will remember them. Life gets busy, and forgetfulness goes hand-in-hand with ADHD. Keep the calendar in a visible place or use an app on your phone.
Make to-do lists: Every morning, write down what you MUST get done that day. Then, check the items off as you complete them. It's okay to add a few other tasks, but make sure you focus on the non-negotiable, high-priority ones first.
Set timers: Time how often you engage in certain tasks. If you struggle with procrastination, set a timer for five or ten minutes to devote to that activity. You might be surprised at how much you accomplish (or how you feel motivated to keep going!).
Keep your space clean: A clean, inviting environment sets the foundation for productivity. On the contrary, if the room is scattered and messy, you will probably feel frazzled and anxious. Commit to decluttering often. You can start by spending five minutes each day cleaning up your work area. Then, devote an hour each week to engaging in deep cleaning.
Practice Restraint and Impulse Control
These concepts require discipline, but they are paramount when it comes to having a successful recovery. Moreover, they can mitigate moderate or severe ADHD symptoms. Finally, by adopting a more stoic mindset, you will feel more empowered in daily living.
Stop letting your triggers define your behavior: If you struggle with chronic relapse, you must start taking ownership over your triggers. For instance, if you tend to spend too much money when you shop, leave your credit card at home and only bring cash. Or, if you experience high alcohol cravings when you go to a certain restaurant, avoid going there and instead cook with friends at home.
Create healthy reward systems: Reinforce positive behavior by celebrating milestones with pleasurable rewards. Rewards should be enticing enough to motivate you to achieve them, but they should not be so indulgent that they derail you from your growth.
Pause and breathe: When you notice yourself feeling that itch to engage in a destructive behavior, commit to pausing. Reflect on how you feel. Consider what other triggers might be impacting you. Then, take a few deep breaths and practice a positive mantra like, this will pass.
Commit to Physical and Emotional Wellness
Recovery offers a wonderful opportunity for you to reflect on your life goals and self-esteem. Chances are, you probably weren't taking great care of yourself before this time. Now it's time to honor this important relationship you share with yourself.
Stay connected to professional support: Keep meeting with your therapist, psychiatrist, and doctor. Talk about any medication issues that concern you. Be honest about symptoms as they emerge. In other words, reach out for help. And even if everything is "going well," it can still be beneficial to touch base about what's going on in your life.
Move your body: Exercise is important for releasing excess stress and feel-good endorphins. It can also boost better sleep and nutrition while fighting off disease. Commit to devoting at least 20-30 minutes a day to exercise.
Find a hobby: It's important to spend time challenging and engaging yourself with the world. In addition, learning a new skill or practicing a hobby can have profound benefits on your mental health.
Final Thoughts on Managing ADHD in Recovery
While ADHD symptoms can be frustrating, they are manageable and treatable. In addition, by focusing on integrating mind-body wellness, you can feel more confident and productive in your daily routine and recovery.
Remember that it's essential to receive comprehensive care when coping with co-occurring disorders. If you only target one issue, you are at a greater risk for relapse or emotional decompensation. However, if you address all your mental health needs, you can adhere to an appropriate, effective treatment plan.
At The Resurface Group, we prioritize comprehensive assessment and treatment for our clients. We are here for you! Contact us today to learn more.