Life with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is nothing if not unpredictable. Some days—some hours—are drastically different from others. Of course, ADHD can feel very different for different people, but all would agree that bad ADHD days happen.

On such a day, you may find yourself in an escalating cycle of worry. You fall into a procrastination rut or take forever to complete simple tasks. Perhaps most frustrating is when you realize something very important has slipped your mind. It can be quite a relief to learn what causes these peaks and valleys—and how to navigate them.

What May Be Aggravating Your ADHD

Before we get to the list, it is important to point out that ADHD can co-occur with other mental health conditions. If you are aware of such conditions, it may be helpful to not automatically blame ADHD.

“Bad days” can have many causes and/or a combination of causes. You may wish to speak with a counselor about this possibility.


Nobody likes to be turned down. For those struggling with ADHD, rejection can be particularly challenging thanks to Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD). It can cause a wave of emotions to overtake your mind.


Some form of daily exercise is essential for everyone. People with ADHD have been found to enjoy many specific benefits from physical activity, e.g.

  • Being better able to focus
  • An increase in motivation
  • A decrease in mood swings
  • Higher levels of energy


Women with ADHD may face this obstacle during their periods. Hormonal shifts can result in what is called “brain fog.” Some of the signs of brain fog include:

  • Irritability
  • Impaired short-term memory
  • Exaggerated fears
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling very distracted to the point of not getting anything done

Day-to-Day Stress

High levels of stress impact brain function. If you’re already dealing with ADHD, this is obviously bad news. Stress can cause some of the same outcomes listed above in the hormones section.

How to Turn Things Around on Bad ADHD Days

To begin, let’s reference the list of causes I just provided.


If it is hormones causing a bad day, it’s useful for women to prepare in advance as their period approaches. It can be a source of solace to know when and why a few bad days will hit.

Keeping a journal can be quite helpful. You can track physical and psychological symptoms from month and month to be as prepared as possible.


Stress is unavoidable, but can be managed through the practice of stress management and relaxation techniques. The more you can soothe yourself, the less impactful the bad days will be. Some examples of relaxation techniques are:

  • Yoga
  • Mediation
  • Mindfulness
  • Breathing exercises
  • Aromatherapy


This is pretty straightforward. There are many reasons to start an exercise regimen. The fact that it reduces the intensity and frequency of bad ADHD days is an added bonus.

Consult with your physician or a fitness professional to learn what you need to know. Then… get busy and reap the rewards.


You may want to combine this process with your stress management. You will need to do some inner work to stay in tune with your worthiness and remind yourself that you are loved.

At the moment of rejection, you can ease the sting by performing some kind of sensory distraction. Aromatherapy is a fine example of this.

Consult With a Mental Health Professional

Self-education and self-help are vital components of your ADHD skill set. Even so, you will need to work with a therapist to stay on track. I’ve worked with many clients to help ease the frustration of bad ADHD days. I’d love to do the same for you. Let’s connect to help you see how ADHD Counseling can be beneficial.