Essential Skills for Managing Adult ADD - Part 1:
Practicing Excellent Self-Care
By ADD Management Coach Jennifer Koretsky
Copyright 2004

As an adult with ADD and an ADD Coach, I have observed some skills
that I believe are essential for successful ADD management.  The
first of these skills is: Practice Excellent Self-Care.  There are
many components of self-care that one must pay attention to.  Sleep,
nutrition, and exercise are what immediately come to mind, but having
a good doctor, scheduling in regular "down time," and finding outlets
for self-expression are all import aspects of self-care, too. 

The Basics
On average, do you get the sleep, nutrients, and exercise that your
body requires?  Sometimes, too little sleep can make you sluggish,
but too much sleep can make you groggy.  Excess sugar and caffeine
can make you moody and speedy.  And too little or too much exercise
may leave you feeling tired.  It's difficult for most Americans (with
and without ADD) to balance proper sleep, nutrition, and exercise at
all times, but most people agree that the more time they spend paying
attention to healthy habits, the better they feel. 

Medical Care
Some people choose to take ADD medication, and some people don't. 
This aspect of self-care isn't about medication.  It's about your
doctors - from your general practitioner to your dentist!  Do you
like your doctors?  Do you feel at ease with them?  Do you feel
comfortable asking questions?  Doctors are experts in human care, and
in order to practice good self-care, you must have some great doctors
on your side.  This doesn't always come easy.  It can take some time
to find a doctor with whom you are comfortable, but it's worth the
effort.  You are worth the effort.

Mental Care: The Most Important Part
By now you may be thinking that while all of the above aspects of
self-care seem like common sense, they are a lot easier said than
done.  This is absolutely true for most people with ADD.  When you
live life feeling chronically overwhelmed, it's very difficult to
find the time to put these ideas into action.  Here's what you can do
to set yourself up for success: take time out.  Schedule in "down
time" every single day to help keep your batteries charged.  Retreat
from the chaos of daily life and allow yourself time to relax -
alone.  Even if you spend only five minutes a day meditating,
walking, or just sitting quietly, it will allow you to slow your
thoughts and will help you center yourself.  Then, when you feel
centered, take it a step further and express yourself!  Write, paint,
sing, talk to your plants, or do whatever it is that allows you to
express your feelings and emotions!  Keeping your feelings and
emotions bottled will weigh you down.  Finding healthy ways of self-
expression will help free your mind and allow you to spend more
energy focusing on the other aspects of self-care. 

When you practice excellent self-care, you allow yourself to function
at an optimal level.  When you operate on an optimal level, you'll
find yourself less overwhelmed, and more prepared to deal with your
ADD challenges, as well as the stresses of every day life.  Excellent
self-care is an essential skill for adult ADD management.

About The Author:
Jennifer Koretsky is a Professional ADD Management Coach who helps
adults manage their ADD and move forward in life. She encourages
clients to increase self-awareness, focus on strengths and talents,
and create realistic action plans. She offers a 90-day intensive
skill-building program, workshops, and private coaching. Her work has
been featured in numerous media, including The New York Times
Magazine and The Times (UK). To subscribe to Jennifer's free
newsletter, The ADD Management Guide, please visit




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