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THE SOAR BLOG

Tips on How to Manage ADHD During COVID-19

by: Stan Clark

Photo by Tara Winstead from Pexels

 

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).

Photo by Vanessa Loring from Pexels

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:

  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • 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.

3.  Establish a Routine

When you develop a routine for individuals with ADHD, make sure that it balances flexibility and structure.

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.

 

Photo by Katerina Holmes from Pexels

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.


References

  1. Goldrich, C., (December 2018), Create Calm: It Really Matters!, retrieved from https://chadd.org/attention-article/create-calm-it-really-matters/
  2. The Mayo Clinic (n.d.), Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/adult-adhd/symptoms-causes/syc-20350878
  3. Ibid
  4. Ibid.
  5. From the Internet: Gingerich, C. P., (March 2019), Hyperhidrosis Associated with Higher Anxiety, Depression, ADD, retrieved from https://www.hcplive.com/view/hyperhidrosis-associated-with-higher-anxiety-depression-add
  6. Spinks-Franklin, A., (n.d.), ADHD & Learning During COVID-19, retrieved from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/ADHD-and-Learning-During-COVID-19.aspx
  7. Canadian Paediatric Society, (April 2020), When your child has ADHD: Coping during a Pandemic, retrieved from https://www.cps.ca/en/blog-blogue/when-your-child-has-adhd-coping-during-a-pandemic
  8. Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, (n.d.), ADHD and Covid-19, retrieved from https://chadd.org/adhd-and-covid-19/
  9. Canadian Paediatric Society, Op. Cit.
  10. Sleep Foundation, (n.d.), Sleep and ADHD, retrieved from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/mental-health/adhd-and-sleep
  11. Glanzman, M., (June 2012), What Should I Feed
  12. My Child with ADHD? , retrieved from https://d393uh8gb46l22.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ATTN_06_12_GLANZMAN.pdf
  13. Glanzman, M., Op. Cit.
  14. Ibid.

Author’s Bio: Stan Clark

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.