Happy Healthy Habits
Back in November, I started on meds for my ADHD and anxiety. Going on meds hasn't fixed everything for me. However, I have seen major improvements in my life. From even before being diagnosed with ADHD, I have been working on building happy healthy habits to improve my life. Being on meds has made this so much easier. This post isn't just about habits for people with ADHD or anxiety but also for everyone. I have talked about some of these habits in previous posts but wanted to reiterate their importance. Also, I know I have some new readers who may not be completely caught up on my posts and wanted to use this as a guide.
I haven't done a dedicated post about the importance of sleep for your mental health and studying. Whenever I meet with my psychiatrist to talk about my meds, one of the first things I am always asked is about if I'm getting enough sleep. Prior to being on meds, I had a hard time falling asleep because I felt as if I couldn't shut off my mind. I also had a really hard time staying asleep. Sleep problems are very common with ADHD and anxiety. ( Article about sleep problems and ADHD for more info). Besides meds, turning your electronics off before bed can help (I know this is not always the most realistic option) and doing a before bed meditation also helps (my fav pre-bed meditation). When you don't get enough sleep, your thinking has a harder time being at its best and can make ADHD symptoms worse (Amazing article by Harvard Health Publishing on Sleep and Mental Health). It's also so important getting a good night's sleep while studying. When I rewrite out all my notes and then sleep on the material, I am able to recall the information so much better and for much longer (Article on sleep and studying).
I have been incorporating meditation into my daily schedule since a bit before I wrote my dedicated post on meditation in February. It is something that has had such an effect on my life. Even if I'm not in the mood to do it, I always feel so much better after I complete a guided meditation. If I'm having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning before school, I try to do a quick morning meditation, and it truly is such a good way to start your day. I almost always do a 5 minute guided meditation before bed. It helps me to go to bed so much easier as I talked about above. It is also so beneficial for dealing with ADHD. Link to my dedicated blog post on meditation
Exercising is another great habit for your mind. It helps keep your mind young and improve your focus. Until more recently, I always hated working out/exercising. However, it has been something I have really grown to love. I have been pushing myself to do harder and longer workouts. I always feel so good and so proud of myself when I'm done. Working out while listening to music I like really motivates me to do it. My blog about exercise is my most viewed blog and is one of my favorite posts I have ever written. It is definitely one worth reading. Link to my blog post on exercise. I also really like this podcast episode on the effect of exercise on your mind by Dr. Hallowell. Link to podcast
A good diet can also have a huge effect on your mind and how you think. Getting into good food habits can improve your mood, well-being, and focus. One habit I get into that really helps me is trying not to eat anything too sugary in the morning. If I eat really sugar pancakes for breakfast, I feel more tired and distracted throughout the day. Link to my blog post on how food affects your mind.
OTHER GOOD HABITS FOR YOUR MIND
Taking sometime outside (going for walks, hanging out outside, etc)
Listening to music
Taking screen breaks