The ADHD Student: Self-Care


Taking care of yourself is taking care of your ADHD!

Self-Care is important for everyone and when it comes to ADHD, taking care of yourself means you’re taking care of your ADHD. 

Think about it, when you get a good night’s sleep vs only a couple of hours, how does this change the course of your day? 

If you eat junk food all day long, how does it make you feel? 

More likely than not, when you exercise, you feel good, there’s much more regret and guilt that comes from not exercising. 

Below, are a few ideas on how to incorporate more healthy habits in your life. 

Exercise - Ideally, it would be great to get 30 minutes of exercise daily, however, any movement is good movement. Walk or bike to class rather than taking the bus or driving. If you notice you’re getting distracted while studying, take a break and walk around, go outside if you can. Do some jumping jacks, anything to get your heart rate up. When you do this, you are increasing the dopamine in your body, which helps with  focus and energy. If you need more structure and don’t trust that you will get the exercise in on your own, take an exercise class at school! 

Nutrition - If you live on campus and go to a dining hall, the food may not be great, but they do have choices. It’s not enough, to have someone tell you to stop eating sugar or processed food. I encourage my students to learn about nutrition, do their own research and decide what changes they see themselves implementing. Even small changes, like switching chips for fruit can make a difference. I understand pizza and fast food may  not entirely go away, it’s all about awareness and balance. 

Sleep - Sleep is already a challenge for many of you, regardless if you are cramming for tomorrow’s test or you stayed too late at a party. Sleep is a key component to how loud your ADHD will be the next day, so please protect it. Just like nutrition, it’s all about awareness. Having a nightly routine will help with consistency, use alarms to remind you when to start your routine and when you should be in your bed. Think about your distractions to getting to bed, most likely it’s your phone, turn it off. 

Start with baby steps, every healthy choice is beneficial to your well being. 

Thank you for your time and attention!