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Managing your ADHD

If you are diagnosed with ADHD, here are some strategies to manage ADHD effectively

Educate yourself

  • Learn more about ADHD, its symptoms, and how it affects your life. Understanding the condition can empower you to manage it affectively and develop effective coping mechanisms.

Explore treatment options

Speak to your healthcare provider about your treatment options.

  • Medication – Medication is sometimes needed to reduce symptoms of ADHD and should be prescribed by a psychiatrist or a doctor who specialises in treating ADHD.
  • Therapy – Behavioural therapy, particularly cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), can help individuals with ADHD develop coping strategies, improve organisational and time management skills. Therapy can also address emotional challenges, such as low self-esteem or anxiety, that often coexist with ADHD.

Modify the environment

  • Create a designated work/study space that minimises distractions and supports focus

Coping strategies

  • Establish structured routines.
  • Use schedules/planners/calendars/digital tools/apps to schedule tasks, appointments, reminders, and deadlines to stay organised and manage your time effectively.
  • Break larger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps, scheduling in rewarding activities once these tasks are completed.

Healthy lifestyle habits

  • Exercise improves focus, attention, and mood.
  • Sufficient sleep supports brain function and emotional regulation.
  • Eating nutritious meals and drinking enough water helps your brain.
  • Mindfulness and relaxation exercises, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce stress, improve concentration, and regulate emotions.

Establish a support network

It makes a big difference if your family and friends understand ADHD and how it impacts you, so that you can receive empathy, encouragement and support when needed. It also helps to connect with others who have ADHD, who can relate to your experience and share valuable insights around coping with it.

Self-advocacy and special requests

At times, especially in academic/work settings, you may need to disclose your ADHD diagnosis to the school/teacher/employer, and communicate your needs, to support your success. For example, requesting extended time for writing exams or breaks during long meetings. A parent or psychologist could also assist with this.