“Why Is My ADHD So Bad Today?” | Coping Tips For Better Days

Last Update on February 9, 2024 : Published on February 11, 2024

Living with ADHD can sometimes feel like “crossing the street after looking both ways and still getting hit by an airplane” – I feel like there is no other definition that describes ADHD the best other than this quote that I borrowed from a book. Some days, you feel on top of the world, hyper-focused, and ready to take on any project. And then other days, you can’t even make it out of your bed. 

These are the days when it feels like your brain is against you, making the simplest of tasks feel insurmountable. During these days, you can’t be clear about what made your ADHD worse. On some bad days, you’ll be able to pinpoint the exact causes, and on other days, you just can’t figure it out. 

A bad ADHD day is more than just feeling a bit absentminded or disorganized. These are the days when the symptoms of ADHD are too intense, making it hard for you to focus, stay organized, and control your impulses. It feels like trying to make it across a foggy maze without a map while being barefoot in a field of landmines – frustrating, exhausting, and overwhelming. 

Today, we’re exploring why your ADHD gets bad on some days, what causes bad ADHD days, and how you can cope and make them all better. 

What Do Bad ADHD Days Feel Like? 

ADHD in adulthood feels and looks different to each person. What is manageable for you might not be as manageable for someone else with ADHD. In any case, when the question pops into your head, “Why is my ADHD so bad today?” here’s what it might feel like; 

1. It Becomes Overwhelming:

When nothing seems to be going your way and your ADHD symptoms get worse as time goes on, everything feels overwhelming. It can feel like everything is happening all at once, and you can’t actually prioritize anything on your to-do list. 

2. You Forget Things:

Moreover, every important deadline, appointment, and task you’ve listed in your to-do list just slips through your mind. 

3. You Get Impulsive:

When bad ADHD days strike, you act on impulse without thinking through its consequences. You even get fidgety and restless, unable to focus, sit still, or concentrate. 

4. It Worsens Your Mood:

On bad ADHD days, your emotions can go through intense fluctuations, and you may get easily frustrated and irritable in one moment to feel incredible sadness and despair in the next. 

Various studies have also shown that people with ADHD experience difficulties in different areas of life – including work, relationships, and overall well-being. Simple tasks such as going grocery shopping or completing work can feel as overwhelming and difficult as climbing Mount Everest on ADHD bad days. 

What Worsens Bad ADHD Days? 

On any day, ADHD symptoms can be difficult to manage, but here are some things that can worsen your ADHD on those bad ADHD days; 

1. Lack of Organization:

When you are surrounded by clutter and disorganized, then it can worsen your ADHD symptoms. Having a structure and routine can prevent bad ADHD days from becoming worse. 

2. Stress:

High-pressure environments or situations can increase feelings of stress and make your already unmanageable symptoms of ADHD worse. 

3. Poor Sleep Quality:

Lack of quality sleep can also be another thing that can worsen those bad ADHD days. When you don’t get proper sleep, it can impair cognitive functions and worsen ADHD symptoms. 

4. Poor Diet:

Certain food groups and beverages such as sugary snacks, caffeine, and alcohol can negatively impact your focus and attention, making your symptoms worse from bad. 

5. Negative Self-Talk:

Even talking to yourself in a negative tone, constantly self-criticizing, and having self-doubt can also cause you to feel inadequate, worsening your symptoms of ADHD. 

6. Overlapping Symptoms:

Another thing that can worsen your ADHD bad day can be the overlapping of other mental health conditions. ADHD adults also experience symptoms of depression and anxiety, and if any of these symptoms overlap with your bad days, then it can also worsen your existing condition. 

Tips to Cope With Bad ADHD Days 

1. Write it Down 

It’ll be good to write it down whenever you have a bad ADHD day. It’ll help you keep a track of your triggers and symptoms. Moreover, you can also use a journal to write about your experiences. If it helps, you can also use calendars or planners to keep track of your important appointments. 

2. Seek Support

When bad ADHD days become overwhelming to handle, don’t hesitate to seek support from friends, family, or a therapist. Talking to a professional can help you figure out the source of your bad days and how to address them effectively. If your bad ADHD days worsen, then a professional can prescribe medications to help. 

3. Talk Positive With Yourself 

When you feel overwhelmed, it can become harder to work through the day. During those days, it’s good if you don’t overwhelm yourself more with negative thoughts and self-talk. Try to use an encouraging tone when you’re talking to yourself. This can reduce anxiety and reduce the chance of worsening your symptoms. 

4. Exercise 

Regulating your ADHD symptoms can also come in the form of exercise. You can engage in dancing, running, or simple ones such as mindfulness, deep breathing, or meditation to calm your racing mind and improve your focus. 

5. Manage Stress

Most of all, it’s imperative that you keep your stress levels in control, especially on those bad ADHD days. To do so, you can start by understanding how stress affects you and how to intervene before it takes control. It can help you to have a DIY stress management kit that you can use to quickly calm your body and brain. 

It’s OK to have bad ADHD days and because of its complexities, ADHD can be challenging to manage. During it all, remember to be kind to yourself, take everything at your own pace, and keep going, even when the days are the hardest to manage. 

Wrapping Up… 

Living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) comes with its set of challenges, but knowing that you’re not alone can help! Understanding what worsens ADHD symptoms and practicing coping strategies to manage them can help you move through the toughest of days with ease. 

When bad ADHD days hit, remember to be patient and kind to yourself, and don’t hesitate to seek support when you need it. You’ve got this, my friend! 

I hope this blog gave you hope that not all is lost on those bad ADHD days when everything seems to go downhill. Let me know what you think about this blog and the tips shared in the comments below. 

Take Care!

About The Author

Swarnakshi Sharma
Swarnakshi Sharma

Swarnakshi is a content writer at Calm sage, who believes in a healthier lifestyle for mind and body. A fighter and survivor of depression, she strives to reach and help spread awareness on ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues. A spiritual person at heart, she believes in destiny and the power of Self. She is an avid reader and writer and likes to spend her free time baking and learning about world cultures.

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