When ADHD Symptoms Are Out of Control

It was shaping up to be a bad ADHD symptom kind of day: lazy and unproductive.
ADHD Coach Blog | posted by Beth Main

I was starting to feel guilty for being so unproductive. It was shaping up to be an ADHD kind of day.

Beth Main, ADHD Coach Blog

It was dark and rainy outside. I was cranky. Almost 10 a.m. and I hadn't gotten anything done yet. The CD I play to help me focus better (Bach's "Lute Suites") was on its second time through but wasn't helping any. I was starting to feel guilty for being so unproductive. It was shaping up to be an ADHD kind of day.

Exercise would help, but I didn't feel like it. What do you do when you know what you should do, but you just don't wanna? It's sooooo hard to get started.

I went over to the spot where I usually stretch and apathetically did a half sun salutation, my favorite yoga movement. I stopped and looked out the window. Still raining. Then I looked back at my computer, thinking about all the things that had to be done.

The phone rang. It was a client, checking in. She says she's accomplished most of what she committed to and feels on track. Then she commented offhandedly, "I went for a walk yesterday. I think that's a big part of why I did so well." I expressed full agreement, being a huge proponent of exercise, diet and sleep to manage ADHD symptoms.

She went on to say, "It's always hard for me to exercise. I feel like I'm wasting time. There are so many things I should be doing instead."

I asked her about her productivity before and after the walk. "Oh, I got a lot more done after the walk. It totally rejuvenated me."

"Mmm hmm," I replied. "I'm not surprised. Exercise is like that. It's like medicine. It helps you focus and stay on task." I went on to help her reframe it as an investment.

As I made the connection between exercise and productivity for my client, I immediately felt more motivated myself. Sometimes the best way to get motivated is to resonate with how great you will feel when it's done. Don't just think "I should" -- actually recall the clearheadedness, the limberness, the energy.

Although I still wasn't completely ready to exercise (did I mention it was dark and rainy out?), I was ready to take the next step. I pulled out the yoga mat. This is one of my favorite anti-procrastination strategies: literally, physically touch the thing you are avoiding.

I was in the right state of mind, the mat was out, and I got moving. And sure enough, I was soon feeling better. By 10:30 I was thinking, this is shaping up to be quite a productive day.

Has yoga or another form of exercise helped you overcome your worst ADHD symptom days? Share your ADHD home cures in a comment below and join the conversation on our ADHD forums.

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