- camilla coakley, LCSW
The Explorer Perspective ADD/ADHD
Updated: Feb 13, 2020
People with ADD/ADHD have a unique brain wiring which, in fact, makes them very unique and amazing people! One theory is that historically people with ADD/ADHD were the hunters/explorers versus being the farmers.
Those with ADD/ADHD traits would naturally seek new and novel stimulation leading to them to explore and make huge discoveries! I love this theory because it demonstrates that there is nothing inherently wrong with a person with ADHD, it just means they (we) have a different way of operating in the world. Not wrong, not pathological, just wonderfully different and perhaps, as this theory suggests, historically necessary.
The challenge there in lies in living successfully in our modern world with all the hoops to jump through - assignments to turn in, classes/meetings to sit through, lines to wait it, budgets to keep, appointments to be on time for, car keys to find.
When working with clients with ADD/ADHD, I help them find ways to keep their inner explorer satisfied while also succeeding in meeting the mundane day to day tasks and responsibilities.
Exercise is key. A moving body will help the most distracted of minds focus. I recommend first and foremost daily morning exercise, even just 15 mins will do wonders for helping a person with ADD/ADHD engage. I also recommend 2-3 mins of cardio burst through out the day. This activity is essentially helping to fill the inner explorer drive.
Proper nutrition is also imperative. It is not only about what foods you bring in (fresh fruits and veggies, protein, healthy fats) but also about what you take out (junk food, processed sugar, anything with food coloring, anything that will spike you blood sugar too fast).
Finally utilizing tips and trips tailored to each client. This be anything from having a swivel chair or a bouncy ball to sit on, having a rebounder to bounce on, using a visual timer, having a system where everything (i.e. car keys) has its home, making use of technologies and apps (i.e. tile), music to move you through a task you detest, diffusing essential oils to help calm down and help focus, to having an therapist/coach to help you stay accountable. All of these strategies take time to tease out. I help clients experiment with what works best for them and most importantly I work together with my clients to make it fun so they stick with it!
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