One of the frustrating things about ADHD is the way it changes on you. Some days are pretty good and others are anything but.
You know how sometimes you get a cold and it just knocks you on your butt for weeks? And then sometimes you get a cold and it’s just a case of the sniffles.
ADHD is like that, except that changes can happen in an instant – one minute you’ve got the sniffles and 5 minutes later, you’ve got a monster of a cold (except, you know, it isn’t a cold, it’s ADD).
Your ADHD symptoms can be affected by so many things, it’s no wonder we have trouble paying attention.
Diet, sleep or lack of it, medications of any kind, the weather (especially in allergy season), your emotions and stress level – all of these and more can affect your symptoms.
Don’t give up yet, though. There are things you can do to help.
First, learn to stop and check in with yourself now and then – maybe every hour or so. Just take a minute to stop and take stock. Are you stressed? Tired? Not thinking clearly? Are your symptoms under control or not?
Once you’ve made that assessment, think about the last few hours. Did you get enough sleep? When was the last time you drank a glass of water? Is there an outside issue that’s distracting you?
Once you’ve figured those things out, you can do what you can to make things better. You can’t control lack of sleep, but you can control dehydration. Upset by something in your personal life? You probably can’t control that much either, at the moment, but you can learn more effective ways to handle it. Learn to meditate, for instance, and spend 5 minutes doing that. Schedule some time for yourself when you get home to think about the issue and see what you can do.
On your worst days, try to do things that can survive a mistake or two.
And remember, with ADHD, things could change in an instant. Go with the flow and wait for things to improve.