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ADHD Without Medication

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In 2016, I had finally started to get a handle on my ADHD when I decided to stop taking medication. While ADHD meds have a lot to do with my successful treatment, at the time I was trying to conceive. Then came pregnancy, then came nursing. I had to do all of this without my ADHD meds. While I 100% support the responsible use of ADHD medication, I also am a strong believer that for some it is possible to go without. Even though I prefer life on ADHD medication, I know that having to do without is now a viable option should I ever need to do it again. Here’s how to get through it.

Be Good To Your Body

All that stuff you read about self care is frustratingly spot-on. And I really do hate it when you’re too tired to move that somebody recommends exercise, but here’s the thing: it works. It absolutely 100% works. If I’ve been in a sedentary slump, I don’t shock my body by trying to train for a marathon. Instead, I aim for an easy 15 minutes of walking a day. Or an impromptu dance party in my bedroom if I’m feeling sassy. Hydration and proper nutrition, as always, are super critical. When I’ve had enough water and am not full of junk food,  I find that I’m more alert and think more clearly. And when I feel better I am more productive, which is way cooler than a Sourdough Jack.

Hone Those Strategies

Start embarking on that beautiful journey that is finding out what’s going to help you get through your day. Resist the temptation to be overwhelmed about all the tools out there, from habit planners to trackers. Just take it one challenge at a time, in order of priority. Try something that helps with that particular challenge. If it doesn’t work, iterate until you find something that’s good enough. Don’t strive for perfection. Then move onto the next priority. Also: when you find something that works prepare for the possibility that it may not always work. And that is okay!

Show Up When It Feels Right

I got really good at setting boundaries and saying “No” when I was first pregnant (and super, super tired). And good for me, because honestly it’s taken 30+ years. When I’m up for it, I still go above and beyond, like taking my kid on play dates or visiting family back home. But it’s intentional and I treat my time and energy like a precious commodity. Showing up can sometimes also means just getting through a task and being okay with “B work” aka “good enough.” Done needs to be the goal, not perfect.

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