Readers Speak: Coping Tips for the Daily ADHD Struggle

Life can go off the rails as you try to attend to symptoms and hold down a job. ADDitude readers tell us how they keep on keepin' on.

Coffee, God, orange-cream-flavored omega-3s, and vitamin B.

-Kimberly, Tennessee

ADDitude asked: "How do you keep your energy up while managing ADHD symptoms?"

> I try to allow myself long periods of free time, as much as I can. Now that I am in grad school, though, I have to get my work done on time, so everything else slides. -Patricia, Massachusetts

> I manage it with a healthy diet -- walnuts, sardines, fish oil, veggies, and some caffeine. -Patricia, Connecticut

> I get up early to meditate and spend sacred time alone before my family rises and starts needing 10,000 things from me. I take daily walks in the woods to reconnect with all that is beautiful and peaceful. I use music to amp up the fun, or to inspire me when I'm down. -An ADDitude Reader

> A 20-minute siesta around noon does the trick. -Ahmed, Scotland

> I make a list of daily goals and mark them off as I go. Each achieved goal boosts my energy and stamina to tackle another one on my list. -D.S., Arkansas

> I try not to think about my energy levels and move 150 miles per hour until 9 in the evening, when I allow myself to stop. At that point I am exhausted and need to "zone out" in front of the TV. -Andrea, New York

> Exercise, even if it's just for 15 or 20 minutes, helps energize me. Restorative yoga in the afternoon, even for a few minutes, also reboots my energy levels. -An ADDitude Reader

> When the stress of the day gets to me, I take a ride to a quiet place out in the country where I can take a deep breath -- or I at least go there in my mind before carrying on with what I am doing. -Julie, Illinois

> I turn to God for peace, wisdom, direction, stability, strength, and rest. -Ruth, Florida

> I can't lie -- I drink lots of coffee. I also need lots of sleep -- at least eight hours a night. -Leslie, Ohio

> Music is a great way to manage ADHD symptoms. Feeling exhausted or overwhelmed? Listen to some upbeat dance music. Need to focus? Go for something instrumental or classical. Depressed? Go to the music you listened to most in high school (or whenever it was that you felt like you were invincible). -Brendan, Massachusetts

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This article appears in the Fall issue of ADDitude.
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