As an adult with ADHD, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what steps to take when it comes to effectively managing your diagnosis. Navigating your ADHD can be a tricky situation and that’s why this comprehensive guide is here to help. From understanding how ADHD affects work performance to the importance of self-care and seeking support, this guide provides everything you need to know in order to better manage your ADHD as an adult.
First and foremost, you need to understand what exactly ADHD is. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder that affects both children adults. People with ADHD have difficulty focusing, controlling impulsive behaviors, and regulating their emotions. It is important understand that everyone experiences ADHD differently and there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach.
If you’re an adult with ADHD, you may have been aware you have ADHD since you were a child, or you may only have been recently diagnosed. There are a growing number of adults being diagnosed with ADHD, because more is known about it compared to when they were children.
However long you have known about your ADHD, it is different navigating ADHD as an adult compared to being a child. Here are some of the things you need to be aware of, as well as some things that can help you.
Table of Contents
Work Performance and ADHD
Many people with ADHD struggle with the structure of the traditional workplace and can feel overwhelmed and discouraged. ADHD can cause issues with focus, attention, impulsivity, organization, and even motivation. It is important to be aware of your individual challenges and be proactive in finding strategies that can help you overcome them. It is also important to find support systems within the workplace, such as mentors, colleagues or supervisors who understand your situation and can help you. Although you’re not required to declare your ADHD to do most jobs, you might find it’s beneficial to tell the Human Resources team in your workplace about it. They are required to maintain confidentiality if that’s what you want, but they might also be able to help you secure the resources you need to better manage your condition at work.
Focus in Other Situations
ADHD can also affect your focus in other environments, such as the among friends, at home, and at any classes you may take. In order to better manage ADHD outside of work, it is important to be mindful of the strategies that work best for you. This could include setting up reminders, breaking down tasks into smaller parts, and finding ways to stay organized.
Some people also find that some supplements help them maintain focus and concentration. This includes omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and vitamin B. Research also shows that cannabis can help improve focus, and some ADHD sufferers use strains such as the cereal milk strain to help them manage their symptoms. It is important to discuss any supplements with your doctor, so they can advise you on the best option for your individual needs.
Many adults with ADHD can struggle with time management. Yet this is something that everyone needs to do to function in society, as time management is needed to keep a job, make it to medical appointments, and organize the logistics of having children. For adults with ADHD, it is important to find a system that works for you. This could mean breaking down tasks into smaller parts and focusing on one thing at a time or using timers and reminders to keep on track. Using lists and visible planners – such as a whiteboard in your kitchen – can also help.
Handling Life Admin
ADHD can make everyday tasks, such as paying bills and filing taxes, seem much more difficult. It is important to find a system that works for you and keep it as simple as possible. Automating some tasks, such as setting up direct debits or automatic payments, can help to reduce the effort needed to pay bills on time and avoid late fees. Additionally, enlisting help from a family member or friend can be helpful in ensuring all bills are paid on time and taxation paperwork is completed correctly. It’s also a good idea to handle any administrative tasks as and when they come in, rather than letting things pile up.
Sometimes adults with ADHD can struggle to prioritize tasks. This can be particularly difficult when it comes to managing work and home life, or dealing with a lot of different tasks at once. To help with this, breaking down tasks into smaller parts and focusing on just one thing is a good way to start. Additionally, assigning each task a priority can help to ensure that the most important tasks are done first. Finally, setting achievable goals and milestones can also help to get tasks done on time and in the right order.
Having ADHD can sometimes lead to feelings of being overwhelmed or stuck in a rut. To combat this, it is important to look for opportunities and actively think about how you can use your ADHD traits to create new opportunities. This could include finding jobs that appeal specifically to your unique skill set, joining support groups or attending classes, or finding ways to use your creativity to something new.
Self-Care and Seeking Support
Self-care is essential for managing ADHD symptoms, but it can be difficult to practice when you have so many tasks and responsibilities. However, there are a few simple things that you can do to help improve your focus and manage the symptoms. These include getting adequate sleep, exercising regularly, and following a healthy diet. Additionally, it is important to find ways to reduce stress in your life, such as through meditation or mindfulness practices.
Finally, it is important to seek support from people who understand what you’re going through. You’re not alone in this journey, and seeking out support can make all the difference.
Managing ADHD as an adult can be challenging, but there are things that you can do to help manage your symptoms and make life easier. Finding the right strategies for prioritizing tasks, handling admin, and managing time can help to make life more manageable – as well as creating new opportunities for yourself. Additionally, it is important to practice self-care and seek support when needed. With these strategies in place, managing ADHD as an adult can become much more do-able.