Sometimes, it feels like you can never really get going because ADHD and fatigue constantly get you down. While tiredness and exhaustion affect us all at one point or another, some of us suffer from prolonged fatigue. This prolonged tiredness goes beyond just a “case of the Mondays.” Instead of just feeling down or worn out one day of the week, we might even feel wiped out week after week.
While feeling tired all the time can cause enough problems, constant fatigue often comes with other issues such as headaches and loss of concentration. It can even develop into a medical condition known as chronic fatigue.
For someone with ADHD, who has issues with concentration to begin with, regular fatigue just makes things all the worse. Ultimately, having ADHD and fatigue can act as a one-two punch knocking you out for days and weeks at a time.
ADHD and fatigue share a connection as they both primarily affect your brain and executive functioning. They both can have their roots in how your brain is wired and ultimately operates. As a result, people with ADHD tend to be more prone towards developing cases of regular and chronic fatigue.
If you find yourself tired all the time, you need some strategies to help get your ADHD and fatigue in check. In this article, we want to discuss some of the primary drivers of ADHD and fatigue and how you can work to overcome these issues. Let’s talk through each one more in depth.
#1. Get Rid of Stress
To start with, both ADHD and fatigue thrive with stress present. To help fight back against fatigue, you need to find ways to limit the impact of stress in your life.
Overall, we know that stress has a number of negative impacts on health. For instance, stress can affect your moods and behavior. It can raise your blood pressure, add to heart disease, and cause obesity. It can also greatly impact your ADHD symptoms as well as affect your sleep patterns and cause regular fatigue.
If you find yourself exhausted day after day, you might find the source of the fatigue in stress. Start making a list of what causes you stress in your life. For some people, work plays a large role in causing anxiety. Other common sources can include social interactions, family, finances, and poor time management and organization. After identifying the main sources of stress in your life, you next need to find tools and strategies to combat against that stress.
If your job causes you undue stress, you might want to consider a career change. Perhaps, your current profession simply doesn’t fit with your personality and skillset. If so, you might consider some of the best jobs for ADHD minds. If you find yourself stressed over relationships or other situations in your life, you might consider getting help from a licensed counselor or therapist.
Whatever approach you take, you need to do something. We all deal with stress at some point in our lives. Having consistent stress, though, can keep you feeling fatigued and make it difficult for you to keep up with the things you need to get done.
#2. Get More Sleep
Secondly, not only does stress have a significant impact on ADHD and fatigue but so does sleep. Naturally, we would think that fatigue occurs as a lack of sleep. On any given day, this just makes sense. Perhaps you had trouble sleeping the night before, now you just can’t focus and just feel like dragging along at work. It’s just how things work.
When it comes to ongoing fatigue, though, the problem becomes much worse when you consistently get low amounts of sleep or poor sleep. The same is true for ADHD symptoms. The less mental and physical rest you regularly get, the worse your ADHD symptoms tend to manifest themselves. This means to fight back against the double-edged sword of ADHD and fatigue, you absolutely must look to your sleep patterns.
The first step in getting better sleep involves putting in place a healthy sleep routine. A sleep routine helps put boundaries and limits on when, where, and how sleep should regularly happen. This means setting a simple schedule of how and when you prepare to go to sleep at night. It also means making sure you get good quality sleep by eliminating screens and distractions right before bed.
In addition to having a sleep routine at night, you should also think over how your daily activities affect how well you sleep at night. If you take naps during the day, think of cutting these out or limiting them so you can sleep longer and better at night. Many things can affect your sleep, so be sure you look at your whole routine in order to make sure you preserve a healthy sleep regimen.
#3. Get More Exercise
Not only does sleep play a critical factor when it comes to ADHD and fatigue, but so does the amount of physical activity you get. Most of us, especially if we suffer from regular fatigue, feel that we have neither the time nor the energy to exercise. We then don’t exercise and continue to sit on the couch or lay and rest when we really need to get active.
Our bodies need to stay active to stay healthy. Prolonged periods of inactivity can cause serious health issues including weight gain, heart disease, depression, and even fatigue. Exercise helps our body burn energy as well as releases endorphins in our brain, which help us to focus better and help our bodies feel and function better overall. As a result, we tend to sleep better when we exercise, which also helps prevent fatigue.
No matter who you are, you really need to exercise, every day if you can. Not only that, no matter who you are and how busy you think you are, you can still make time for exercising. For many people, the mornings and evenings can make the best opportunities to exercise. You don’t need to go to the gym or do anything extravagant. Just a few short simple exercises each day can make the difference you need especially when it comes to ADHD and fatigue.
#4. Eat Better
If you don’t know already, you should understand that your diet impacts almost every aspect of your health. Diet plays such a pivotal role that it really can drive how your body responds to ADHD and fatigue. If you have a poor diet and put nothing but junk in your body, then you can expect your ADHD symptoms to get worse.
If you find that you deal with fatigue on a regular basis, one of the first questions should be what are you eating and when. Do you eat well-rounded meals with fruits and vegetables at regular intervals during the day? Or, do you eat fast food and sweets and drink sugary drinks just whenever you feel hungry or have a moment to spare? If you find yourself closer to the second one than the first, then you need to start addressing fatigue with a new diet.
Start planning out your meals in advance, at least a week at a time. You need to absolutely cut out the worst foods for ADHD at a minimum. Beyond that, you need to start incorporating smaller portion sizes with servings of fruits and vegetables at every meal. Start thinking through healthy breakfast meals and snacks and everything in between.
If you don’t get your diet right, you more than likely won’t find much success in improving other areas of your health. Getting ADHD and fatigue in check means considering your whole being. Make sure you eat well to learn to sleep well and to ultimately live better on a daily basis.
#5. Take Your Medication and Supplements
Have you taken an ADHD drug holiday and never returned? Or, do you just take your medication every now and then when you happen to remember it? Many of us who struggle with managing our ADHD symptoms can find that most of the problem starts with our medication and supplements. The same is most likely true for when ADHD and fatigue causes us problems.
If you have been prescribed medications by your doctor than you have them for a very important reason. That reason is to make sure you can keep your ADHD symptoms in check and maintain a regular daily rhythm. While any of us might take a short break from medication, any such break should stay short term.
Furthermore, any change in medication should only be made with consultation with your doctor. If you go off your medication without getting feedback from your doctor, the abrupt change can impact you far more than you think.
When our ADHD symptoms don’t stay in check, we can have trouble sleeping, have trouble with our thoughts and anxiety, and generally struggle with keeping focus. All of these issues can add up to create regular fatigue. Instead of letting your ADHD symptoms run rampant, you need to stick with your medication and supplements to stay on track.
If you struggle with fatigue, talk to your doctor about your current medication or supplements. Sometimes, you might just need a slight adjustment to your current regimen. If you have gone off your prescription, talk to your doctor about restarting and easing yourself back into your regular medication schedule. Any small change can make a significant impact in your effort to beat fatigue.
Finding a Long Term Solution to ADHD and Fatigue
Ultimately, most of us will have to address ADHD all of our lives. While some people show fewer symptoms as they get older or eventually show no symptoms at all, most people with ADHD have symptoms well into their adult years. This means that you might need to learn to manage your symptoms over a long period. While you need to maintain ADHD management, you shouldn’t necessarily have to constantly fight against feelings of fatigue.
Instead of being plagued by fatigue all the time, you need to identify simple solutions that add up to a long-term solution for ADHD and fatigue. All of the strategies in this article point to and concern your life as a whole. These tips and tools seek to encourage you to look at your life holistically and seek a balanced daily routine. For addressing ADHD and fatigue well, you really need to consider all parts of your life and routine.
We hope that in reading through this post, one or more of the above factors stood out to you. Maybe you don’t have an issue with your diet, but you can identify with stress in your life. Whichever category stands out most, start with addressing that area of your life first. After you have a good handle on that issue, move to another area until you feel you have a good management approach for all areas. While it might take time, you will find that with perseverance that you can get control of ADHD and fatigue and help manage your life overall.