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Coping With Adult ADHD the Natural Way, With or Without Medication

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A Note from the Editor

October is ADHD Awareness Month. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood, affecting over 6.1 million children in the United States. Adults can also struggle with ADHD, as our recent guest blog post What Adult ADHD Is Like for People at Midlife makes clear.

The purpose of ADHD Awareness Month is to raise awareness of ADHD, remove the stigma, and highlight the available supports that enable individuals and families to thrive with ADHD.

Jay Boll
Editor in Chief

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects adults as well as children. Moreover, 60-80% of youngsters affected by ADHD will have the condition in adulthood.

Adults with ADHD exhibit many of the same symptoms as children. These include:

  • short attention span
  • difficulty taking note of details
  • easily distractible
  • disorganization
  • procrastination
  • forgetfulness
  • failure to complete tasks
  • hyperactivity
  • rapid mood swings
  • impatience
  • anxiety
  • aggression

These symptoms may cause problems for adults with ADHD in their home life and relationships and at work.

There are a variety of drugs that are effective in treating ADHD. However, some people find the side effects objectionable, and medication might not be necessary to treat mild cases. Both mild and severe cases benefit from certain kinds of behavioral interventions.

Here are some natural adult ADHD coping tips:

Take Up a Sport

Physical activity is one of the most effective ways to wear off excess energy. Exercise also produces endorphins and other chemicals within the body that help reduce stress and anxiety, elevate mood, and prevent insomnia.

Some adults with ADHD may find that the social stimulation of team sports helps them maintain interest. Also, the strategic element of many team sports may improve organization and planning skills. Solitary sports like long-distance running, biking, and swimming may help improve concentration skills.

Spend Time in Nature

One of the simplest pastimes for adults with ADHD may be hiking and backpacking. There is growing evidence that spending time in a very green setting can reduce the symptoms of ADHD. Studies suggest that even spending time in a natural setting and watching can improve concentration, relieve anxiety and stress, and aid relaxation. Although it focuses on children, Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods provides a radical overview of the research on the treatment of ADHD with “nature therapy.”

Pristine natural settings provide the most significant relief, but even time spent in a bustling city park can be beneficial. The most important factor is the presence of green growing things. Oceans and lakes provide many of the same benefits.

If you have ADHD, spend the maximum amount of time outdoors as possible: gardening, hiking, strolling, or simply sitting on a bench. Indoors, you can decorate your home or apartment in relaxing earth tones like green, blue, and brown, and consider acquiring houseplants or wall art depicting natural settings. When possible, choose homes and apartments that provide views of natural environments.

Limit Media Consumption

There is strong evidence that large amounts of time spent watching television, playing video games, and surfing the net may shorten attention spans due to the high degree of visual and auditory stimulation. Loud music and blaring radio announcers may have the same effect.

If you’re an adult with ADHD, limit the amount of time you spend doing these activities and avoid leaving televisions, radios, and music players on for extended periods as background noise.

Instead, incorporate quiet activities that build attention and encourage concentration into your daily routine, such as reading, chess, crossword, or sudoku puzzles. Try to give yourself a minimum of an hour a day of quiet time, with no background signal and limited distractions.

If the amount of environmental noise in your neighborhood is high, consider investing in earplugs, a white noise machine, or other noise blocking aids. Thick carpets and wall hangings may reduce ground noise in homes or apartments.

Stick to a Diet

There is significant scientific evidence that diets high in sugar, caffeine, and processed foods worsen the symptoms of ADHD.

If you have ADHD, pay careful attention to your diet:

  • Eat a diet with lots of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, and prime quality meats, seafood, eggs, and dairy products.
  • Eat lots of Omega-3 fatty acids, which may be found in high quantities in vegetable oil, cold-water fish, grass-fed meat, eggs, dairy products, and other sources.
  • Limit consumption of refined sugars (including table sugar and high fructose corn syrup), refined grains, fried foods, caffeine, and alcohol.
  • Avoid processed foods as much as possible.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Eat organic produce and organic grass-fed animal products whenever possible. There’s some evidence that pesticide and hormone residues on food may worsen the symptoms of ADHD.


About the author: Alissa Zucker is a content writer working for Mcessay. She is interested in reading classic and psychological books which give her inspiration to write her own articles and short stories.

Photo by Tim Swaan on Unsplash

The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios only.

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