In my last post ("Is ADHD "Overdiagnosed"?") I gave you some information on signs of ADHD in adults, and I hope you found them useful. But what if you already know you have ADHD and have found yourself still struggling despite this knowledge and any treatments you’ve decided to pursue. What should you do then?
Great question! Regardless of treatment choice (or choice not to pursue treatment), living with ADHD comes with lifelong challenges in a wide range of areas known as “executive functioning skills.” (more about this in a future email). For now, we've compiled some of our favorite tips and tricks for adults dealing with ADHD for you to consider:
- Do use a calendar/planner - write down deadlines, meetings, social engagements, birthdays, and anything else you would feel terrible forgetting. Yes we know this is so painful to do for someone with ADHD, but the feedback you will get from significant others will make this well worth your while!
- And make lists- instead of trying to remember things and then feeling down on yourself when things get forgotten, write it down! Break challenging or lengthy tasks down into steps and check them off one at a time. Each check mark will feel so rewarding!
- Plus, write down your goals - add to the list over time, and cross off goals you've met! Keep yourself directed toward meaningful activities.
- Do your best to avoid overload- ever heard the phrase "work smarter, not harder"? Pushing yourself to do more than you can handle will only result in mental exhaustion and decreased quality of work. Instead, break things up, ask for help, or spread things out throughout your day/week/month.
- And take breaks to “refuel” your brain – The ADHD brain burns “brain fuel” at a much higher rate than a non-ADHD brain. So build in breaks when working and try something active (e.g. a workout) or creative (e.g. doodling or coloring). Even something as simple as grabbing a protein snack, going for a short walk, or drinking a glass of water will help.
- Most importantly, listen to yourself - is a treatment or a tip everyone swears by not working for you? Don't keep trying something that does not work for you. Research new techniques, treatments, and activities until you find the ones that "click". Then write down what works for you so you can circle back to it when you get overwhelmed.
These are just a few of the tips I've found to be particularly helpful, and the best part is most of these don't cost a dime! Thanks for reading.