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From online therapy to magical kitchen appliances, there are plenty of ways to enhance your lifestyle while living with ADHD. Here are a few of my top wellness picks.
One of the most important things that helped me through coping with my ADHD and concurring depression and anxiety is speaking to a therapist. In my case, I completely lucked out one night while frantically wafting through a sea of directory listings from my insurance provider. It was after business hours, but I was working a 9-5 at the time and this was the first chance I had to try to find somebody … and I needed somebody NOW. Luckily for me, somebody answered. I’m talking to her more than a decade later.
Not everybody is that lucky. Sometimes you need to go through a dud or two before you find something that really works. In the era od COVID-19, it’s even more important to have access to this person remotely and regardless of whether you have health insurance. That’s why I have been recommending BetterHelp (aff) to our community, and I’ve been hearing great feedback so far.
Here are some reasons to consider BetterHelp:
- Professional – All counselors are licensed, accredited professionals. BetterHelp allows you to connect with them in a safe and private online environment. Anything you share is confidential.
- Affordable – Counseling doesn’t have to be expensive. Monthly subscription access instead of a pay per session model equals savings!
- Convenient – Do it at your own time and at your own pace. Communicate with your therapist as often as you want and whenever you feel it’s needed via text, talk, phone, & video. Help is available at your time and your place.
Here’s how to get started: 1. Complete the questionnaire. 2. They’ll match you with your counselor. 3. Review your counselor’s profile. 4. Send your first message. 5. Schedule a video or phone session.
You are a magnificent goddess no matter what the scale says. This recommendation is for those (like myself) who struggle with self-medicating with food and/or impulse control, and there is a well-documented link between ADHD and weight issues. Sadly, I have been at the weight loss game since 11. I joined Weight Watchers for the first time when I was 16. However, my recommendation goes a little bit off of the well-beaten path: These days, I only use WW as a 2-week booster. My lifestyle of choice is intermittent fasting (more about that here). To get started with IF, I highly recommend Delay Don’t Deny (aff) by Gin Stephens.
Sometimes I stray from the IF lifestyle, and WW has been the only thing that can reel me back in. But I know that I don’t want to track for the rest of my life. Hell, I barely have the headspace to do it long enough to lose the weight. But it can help me get back on track when done in tiny spurts, which is how I use it. Here’s an example:
- Recently, I gained 5 lbs at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Feeling very out of control one night, I joined WW for a couple of weeks, dropped 5 lbs and re-acquainted myself with reasonable eating again.
- Two weeks is just long enough for me to get sick of tracking, but I didn’t want to slip back into my old ways. So, I went back to intermittent fasting (16:8 for all you IF’ers out there).
The Instant Pot
Why I love the Instant Pot (aff) is simple: When you have no idea what’s going to appeal to you from one meal to the next … yet when it’s time to make something, if it doesn’t excite you, it’s harder to get motivated to make it. This is probably true for a lot of people, but I would venture to guess it’s amplified for us ADHD’ers. And you can’t keep your fridge empty until hunger strikes or you’ll be totally screwed.
My No. 1 reason for loving the Instant Pot: Freezing all the meats, then being able to take them from frozen to cooked at a moment’s notice. Even the most kitchen-challenged person can pair said meat with steamer bags of veggies and a steamer bag of grains to have a magnificent meal. Best part? It’s healthy, affordable and super easy.
I discovered the Instant Pot a few years back and it has since rocked my world. Originating in Canada, it has since taken the U.S. by storm with its multi-function design that combines a slow cooker, rice cooker, pressure cooker, and more into one device. Before the Instant Pot came into my life, I was very hard-pressed to make meals at home. Part of it was meal planning, but the execution had a lot to do with it too. I wore myself out mentally just trying to figure it all out. Today? Even as a working mom with a young child, making a wholesome meal is no longer a special event – it’s normal.
Sleep/Anxiety: Weighted Blankets
I have a soft spot for Mosaic Weighted Blankets (aff), based in Austin, Texas – right down the road from me in San Antonio. Weighted blankets like Mosiac use deep touch pressure to help you relax and sleep better. The weight within the blanket lowers stress and cortisol, and creates a calm feeling by raising serotonin levels in the brain.
Mosiac’s USA-made blankets are created with non-toxic materials and are just gorgeous. My favorite one is this Organic Cotton Weighted Blanket And Duvet. Mosaic Weighted Blankets was created when founder, Laura LeMond, discovered that adding weight to her feet at night helped her sleep. This was eventually incorporated into a blanket that would provide the same amount of weight all over. Adding weight and pressure to the muscles relaxes, calms and causes a secure feeling. Weighted blankets provide a way to help calm down and truly relax people. From anxiety to insomnia, there are many ways ADHD women can utilize this weighted blanket as a treatment tool.
While the research on the effectiveness of vitamins, minerals and herbs can be mixed, if you are trying to avoid prescription medication it might be worth giving it a try. I personally take prescription medication and supplements, just to cover all of my bases. Not sure what you need? A good place to start is care/of (aff), which takes you through a quiz to determine your nutritional needs, as well as to identify any herbal solutions that may help with brain function, sleep, stress, and more.
For example, I take the following every day:
- a multivitamin to cover me in case I don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables
- fish oil for cognitive function
- B complex for energy
- magnesium and melatonin for sleep
- rhodiola for cognitive function, energy and stress
- ashwagandha for cognitive function and stress