Although ADHD is often thought to only affect children, this disorder can also follow patients into adulthood. Many adults in the U.S. are undiagnosed and are struggling with the challenges of adult ADHD every day. Difficulties with time management and inattention can affect their personal and professional lives.
Developing effective coping strategies can help adults manage their ADHD symptoms. Here are a few you can implement in your everyday life.
What is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that first appears during childhood. Although many children grow out of this condition, adolescents and adults can continue to struggle with executive functioning because of this disorder.
Symptoms of ADHD in adults manifest differently than in children. Some of the common symptoms include:
- Difficulties maintaining attention
- Trouble with time management
- Problems following instructions and completing tasks on time
- Mood swings and hot temperament
- Trouble coping with stress and frustration
Because of these symptoms, adults with ADHD often struggle with anxiety, depression, chronic boredom, low self-esteem, procrastination, impulsivity, and more. Its negative effects on mental health can also affect patients’ relationships with their friends and family members.
Coping strategies for those with adult ADHD
ADHD is usually treated with a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)and ADHD medication (like stimulants). However, coping strategies can also massively improve your everyday life as an adult with ADHD. Here are a few tips for managing impulsive behavior and disorganization.
Develop neat habits
Keeping your space organized is key to eliminating distractions. This applies to your workspace, living space, and digital environment. Remove unnecessary clutter and ensure what you need is actually at arm’s length. Consider scheduling cleaning sessions to maintain a neat environment and use color to organize your belongings if necessary.
Build an ADHD tool kit
You don’t have to fight ADHD alone. Today, numerous tools can make the battle easier for you. Some apps can help you organize your time or create to-do lists and reminders. You can also set yourself timers to maximize your productivity. Apps like Freedom allow you to manage your time on social media. At the same time, solutions like the text to audio program Speechify can help you focus on reading or studying.
Stay organized with a daily strategy
Adult ADHD is characterized by difficulties with executive functioning, which can interfere with the ability to organize one’s day and stay on schedule with tasks. Large projects can be particularly challenging for people with ADHD. This leads to procrastination, which can be detrimental not only to one’s school or work life but also their mental health. Use a planner or calendar to organize each day ahead of time and prioritize important tasks, so they don’t get pushed back.
Use effective time management strategies
Time management is another challenge of ADHD. To prevent running late, always leave yourself more time than you think you’ll need and plan to arrive early at your appointments. You can also utilize time management apps and set alarms to ensure you stay on track. Creating routines can also help with time management.
Adults with ADHD are often stressed, restless, anxious, or depressed. Physical activity is the most effective way to combat these symptoms. Exercising even just for a short amount of time will boost your mood and help you relax. Physical activity aids the brain in producing dopamine, a neurotransmitter ADHD patients tend to lack.
Focus on your self-esteem
The symptoms of ADHD can easily make one feel inadequate. Whether you’re struggling at work or lashing out at your partner because of mood swings, feeling like you can’t perform as well as others can lower your self-esteem. It’s important to address negative thoughts, so you don’t perpetuate them. Focus on your positive traits and put them down in a journal if you feel like it. Make promises to yourself and keep them. Remember that your productivity does not define you.
Take care of yourself
Personal wellness can be another difficult area for people with ADHD, as disorganization can lead you to neglect your well-being. Be compassionate with yourself and take a break when you need to. Find the stress-relieving strategies that work for you and prioritize self-care. Activities like mindfulness meditation can help you calm down and regain focus. The option to ask for help from a healthcare professional is always at your disposal.
Use Speechify text to speech to stay focused
Focusing on reading can be one of the greatest struggles of people with ADHD. Whether you’re reading for pleasure or there are study materials you need to get through, the words on the pages sometimes don’t grab your attention. In that case, text to speech tools can provide the help you need.
Speechify is an online text to speech solution that can read any text for you in various natural-sounding voices. Listening to a text with Speechify can boost reading comprehension and prevent you from getting distracted and wasting time, thanks to its active text highlighting feature.
The tool is available on all platforms, so you can listen to any text with the push of a button, whether on your PC, in your browser, or on your iOS or Android phone. You can try the tool for free to see if it works for you.
What helps people with ADHD calm down?
Taking a walk outside and exercising are some of the best ways to calm down when ADHD symptoms stress you out.
Can ADHD be overcome?
Although there is no cure for ADHD, patients can overcome the negative effect of its symptoms with the right coping strategies, psychotherapy, support groups, and stimulant meds.
How do I enjoy life with ADHD?
Adjusting your daily routine, keeping to-do lists, and seeing a mental health professional are just some ways you can live a fulfilled life with ADHD.
How can someone be creative with ADHD?
People with ADHD tend to be creative individuals. Taking a break and finding something new to grab your attention can help ignite your creative spark.
How can I stop my ADHD from affecting my relationships?
Communicate with your loved one about your condition and try to manage your emotions using the strategies mentioned above.