Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has a consequential impact on the performance and behavior of an individual(1). It often starts during childhood and may continue to adulthood(2).
ADHD is characterized by impulsiveness, difficulty paying attention, and hyperactivity(3). This disorder is associated with restlessness, low frustration tolerance, and trouble coping with stress(4).
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating is also linked to attention deficit disorder (ADD)(5).
Now, more than ever, performing activities effectively, regulating emotions, and managing ADHD symptoms are made more challenging by the pandemic(6).
Read on to understand how ADHD can best be managed during COVID-19.
Management of ADHD During the Pandemic
Coping with ADHD symptoms can be manageable with simple lifestyle changes and strategies. Listed here are some tips on how you can handle ADHD at home(7-8).
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1. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Individuals with ADHD, especially children, may feel cranky if they don’t get enough sleep(9). Sleep problems with individuals with ADHD may worsen as they grow old(10).
People with ADHD may experience difficulty waking up, restlessness, or daytime sleepiness because of lack of sleep.
Moreover, eating junk food may contribute to the hyperactivity of kids with ADHD. It is best to give them a balanced diet with regular physical activity to help in self-regulation and manage mood changes(11).
Healthy food that may be included in an ADHDer’s diet are the following:
● Vitamins and Minerals
These nutrients may support chemical reactions in your body and brain. Minerals and vitamins recommended for ADHDers include:
Polyunsaturated fatty acids
Reports say that products high in these vitamins and minerals have beneficial effects on ADHDers’ mood and cognitive and antisocial behavior.
● Protein and Carbohydrate
Protein from eggs, fish, dairy, meats, nuts, and seeds contains amino acids which induce communication in your brain chemicals.
Proteins combined with carbohydrates may help sustain cognitive performance for several hours(12).
● Omega-3 and Omega-6
These fatty acids are often found in flaxseeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, leafy greens, and salmon. Omega-6 is abundant in eggs, vegetable oils, and dairy products.
A recommended ideal dietary ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 is 4:1, respectively(13).
2. Promote Behavioral Strategies
Behavioral strategies, such as simplifying tasks and repeating instructions, help manage ADHD at home(14). You may also use token economies or positive reinforcements for older people and reward systems for younger kids with ADHD.
Some of these reward systems include sticker charts to motivate them to do schoolwork or chores at home.
When you utilize these strategies, make sure that you use them consistently to develop a habit.
Too rigid structured patterns may lead to conflicts due to the impulsive breaking of rules. On the other hand, too-flexible routines may lead to endless hours of doing unhealthy things, like too much screen time.
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4. Establish Social Screen Time
Spending time on the computer and gadgets, especially during this pandemic, is unavoidable. Schools are online, and most of the communication platforms are through cell phones or iPads.
Make sure to regulate screen time and ensure the healthy use of the internet. Instead of playing online games, encourage reading books or using social media to connect with friends and family.
Limiting screen time while introducing physical activities can also be helpful.
Stanley Clark is a community development volunteer and writer. He has worked on several commercials, events, and campaigns. Recently, he has moved to write in the area of natural health and wellness, contributing regularly to CBDClinicals.com & W-radiology.com. Stan has a particular interest in reviewing CBD brands for their safety and legitimacy. His primary reason for working is to break the taboo about cannabis. Stanley believes in CBD’s potential for helping people and communities with their health and wellness concerns.
By the end of high school, I was unsure of what I wanted to do. I wanted to go to college, but I was unsure of what major to choose. I did not want to make a rash decision and throw myself to chase something that I may not want to do. My mom found a GAP Year Program called SOAR. It was completely out of my comfort zone at the time. The program consisted of learning essential skills like finance, professionalism, social skills, and leadership in Wyoming while exploring the experience of the great outdoors. I took a chance on the GAP Year, and it became one of the best decisions of my life. I accomplished a lot during my gap year. Some of these achievements included a Summiting Mountaineer trip three weeks total, with two of those weeks being back to back. I earned the chance to lead the last expedition, and I gained confidence, leadership skills, and learned how to effectively work with a team.
I later used what I learned at SOAR to gain some valuable professional experience. I worked in the sports industry with FC Tucson, a professional soccer club, during my time at the University of Arizona. However, despite the successes at Tucson, it was not the right fit for me due to the school being big. I decided to transfer to Notre Dame College, a smaller school that was more suited to my liking. I gained a wide range of friends. My current project before I graduate in a year and a half is to launch the college podcast station. Looking back, I contribute the increase of my confidence to SOAR. In turn, it has allowed me to believe that a GAP Year Program like SOAR can change a person’s perspective on life if they are willing to follow the guidelines.
If you know someone with ADHD, you are probably familiar with the struggles of making good financial decisions while managing ADHD-driven impulses. This is especially true for young people. Navigating new and heavy information like finances can be intimidating.
Fortunately, with a bit of help, and a lot of planning, teens and young adults can learn practical financial habits for the future and set themselves up for success later in life. Here are five ways to do just that.
Ask for Help
The most important thing to remember when tackling new challenges is that you are not alone. There is always someone to turn to for help with any aspect of your ADHD. SOAR is an excellent resource for finding dedicated ADHD coaches who can advise young people on life management skills, including finance and independence, as they transition into adults.
In addition to ADHD coaches, you can also turn to your parents or another trusted adult, and even therapists. Any of these people can set a positive example, share tips and habits that work for them, and help you figure out how to implement them in ways that work for you. Working with a therapist can help you address any financial trauma or hesitancy and combat the negative impulses associated with ADHD.
Name Your Financial Goals
Once you’ve got a good team of support and financial educators, it’s time to start identifying what you want to do with money. What are your short-term and long-term goals? These can include saving up for a new phone, buying your first car, or attending one of the SOAR Summer Camps. Naming your financial goals will help create a solid connection between your wishes and your finances.
If you’re 18 or older, it’s time to start building your credit so that you can eventually take out a mortgage or apply for a business loan. A secured credit card is a smart way to start. Though it requires an upfront deposit to guarantee the card, properly using it and paying it off is a safe and guided way to establish credit. And, with lower spending limits, the risk of impulse buying is already reduced. If you’re younger than 18, ask your parents if they’d be willing to add you as an authorized user to a card. This will start building your credit while your parents remain responsible for all of the purchases.
Identify Where You Struggle
ADHD affects everyone differently. So it’s important to know how your specific symptoms may impact your personal finances. For many people, impulsivity can become impulse spending. For others, a lack of organization can turn into a mountain of receipts and make tracking spending almost impossible.
Your existing control methods can be modified to work with your finances as well. Organize your financial tasks, like balancing your bank account or paying bills, into daily, weekly, and monthly checklists. If you have a debit card, put a special sticker on the card to remind you of your daily budget. Keep a picture of your money goal in your wallet or phone.
Research, Research, Research
The unfortunate truth about being responsible with your finances is this: It requires a lot of research. Don’t worry, though. Turn to your support group, and seek out ADHD-specific resources and advisors at high school and college.
You should also look for tools designed to address your specific concerns. There are actually financial education resources dedicated to people with ADHD. Though it can be challenging, acting mature with your finances is a huge first step in financial freedom and security.
Additionally, knowing how much things cost will help you properly budget. It will also teach you to take care of your belongings. When you get a car, research maintenance and repair costs. While budgeting up to $100 every few months for an oil change may seem costly, it can prevent engine damage that will cost much more. When you move into your first home, do the same. Knowing that even something as minor as a window replacement costs as much as $1,800 will likely encourage you to toss that baseball outdoors.
Technology Is Your Best Financial Friend
If you’re old enough to have a banking account, look for one with an intuitive website to help you track your monthly purchases and payments. Once you start paying bills — like your monthly Spotify subscription — you will have real-time insight into your monthly money habits. Using online banking also comes with the benefit of setting up automatic transfers to savings accounts and making automatic payments.
There are also apps that can help you track spending and saving by creating visual representations of where your money is going. These are fantastic tools to ensure you know how much you’ll need to save per day to reach your savings goals.
While people with ADHD may face unique challenges when it comes to money management, it’s nothing that can’t be overcome. And getting a head start on being responsible with money will be a huge boon when it comes time for you to become independent. Your future self will thank you!
About the Author
Ann Lloyd is a newly enrolled MBA grad student. Currently, she is getting her degree online and working as a marketing intern on the side. In her spare time, she’s hard at work on the Student Savings Guide, her blog about living a budget-conscious life. The guide caters to students and recent grads, but anyone can use these tips to get by!
SOAR is an authorized permittee of the National Park Service and the National Forest Service. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in its programs on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.