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Oct 07 2022

How to Cope With ADHD — 7 Effective Tips

An image showing the two sides of ADHD.

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a mental health disorder that affects brain function. It’s characterized by persistent issues like impulsive behavior, hyperactivity, and an inability to focus. And if not kept in check, these issues can significantly affect one’s life. 

ADHD has no cure, but thankfully, many strategies can help you manage it effectively. In this piece, you’ll learn how to cope with ADHD and live your best life regardless.

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a mental condition that affects brain function. People with ADHD experience higher levels of hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and difficulty with concentration than is “normal.”

Symptoms of ADHD are persistent and intense, so they can affect all aspects of one’s life. For instance, ADHD can lead to trouble maintaining relationships, poor work performance, and low self-esteem.  

Distracted young man stares into space and abandons the piles of book on his table.

Symptoms of ADHD

ADHD symptoms can be categorized into 2 types:

  • hyperactivity and impulsiveness
  • inattentiveness (difficulty with focus and concentration)

ADHD often occurs in childhood but can also be diagnosed in adulthood. However, symptoms of ADHD differ in adults and children. In the same vein, boys may experience different symptoms from girls. 

General symptoms of ADHD in adults include:

  • Poor time-management skills
  • Disorganization (of thoughts and items)
  • Anxiety
  • Frequent/excessive mood swings
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty paying attention to details
  • Trouble following instructions
  • Difficulty building and maintaining relationships
  • Procrastination
  • Restlessness
  • Poor self-image

In children, general ADHD symptoms include:

  • Anxiety and low self-esteem
  • Having a short attention span
  • Getting bored easily
  • Forgetfulness
  • Appearing to be unable to listen to/carry out instructions
  • Being unable to sit still, even in quiet or calm environments
  • Talkativeness
  • Little or no sense of danger
  • Acting without thinking
  • Difficulty learning or organizing new information

Photo of curly haired student keeps both fingers on temples, tries to gather thoughts,

How to Cope With ADHD

Everyone experiences moments of distraction, forgetfulness, and restlessness, but with ADHD, these symptoms can be intense and overwhelming. You can have a hard time paying attention to things that matter, experience bouts of energy that you can’t explain, or struggle to focus on anything.

However, knowing how to cope with ADHD will help you manage the symptoms and lessen their effects on your everyday life and productivity. Let’s get right into it.

Get a specific diagnosis and treatment plan from a mental health professional

ADHD has two main categories: hyperactivity and impulsiveness and inattentiveness (difficulty with focus and concentration)Each category has different symptoms and is treated in different ways.

So it’s best to figure out your specific symptoms. Then, you can work with your doctor to find tailor-made strategies to treat your ADHD. Also, ADHD can be treated with medication. Knowing your specific condition and symptoms will help your doctor find the ones most effective for you.

African american woman in eyeglasses and black protective face mask show pills.

Take prescribed medication to manage your symptoms

Medication can help to manage some symptoms of ADHD, so work with your doctor to find the ones that will work best for you. 

❤️ Before taking any drugs, talk to your doctor and make sure they’re safe for you.

❤️ Be completely honest with your doctor about your past medical history. Underlying health issues can be a huge factor in the type of drugs you’ll need.

❤️ Follow your prescriptions faithfully. Forgetfulness is a common symptom of ADHD, so you can liaise with a friend to remind you to take your drugs at intervals.

❤️ If you experience any side effects, inform your doctor immediately. You might have to change your drugs and find one that works better for you.

❤️ If you have a child, teen, friend, or partner with ADHD, make sure they take their drugs regularly so they can focus adequately at school/work.

Practising mindfulness is how to cope with ADHD. Black lady with closed eyes meditating at home, sitting on floor fitness mat in living room.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness exercises like meditation, deep breathing, and yoga can help to reduce ADHD symptoms like inattentiveness, difficulty with concentration, and anxiety.

 ❤️ Rhythmic deep breathing exercises help create a balance in the autonomic nervous system. This enables you to focus more, feel more relaxed, and focus better.

 ❤️ Take deep breaths and exhale like you’re blowing out a candle.

 ❤️ Practise for 10-20 minutes daily.

❤️ Indulge in mental focus exercises to improve your concentration.

❤️ Meditating enhances your brain’s dopamine, helps with impulse control, helps you plan and focus better, and helps you stay calm.

❤️ Meditation can take different forms, so try finding out different ways you can meditate and choose the one that helps you better.

Keep a planner to help you stay organized

Make your planner your best friend; write everything in it — your tasks, plans, goals, appointments, to-do lists, things you don’t want to forget, et cetera. 

Noting down your tasks will help you focus on them one after the other. And nothing beats the satisfaction of crossing an item off your to-do list! 


Always keep the planner in your line of sight or carry it around with you, so you don’t lose it. And if you’re a digital freak like me, use digital planners like Todoist, Habitify, Evernote, and Daybook.

Man with a pensive expression holding a planner he's jotting things in.

Prioritize your tasks

After writing down the tasks you need to do in your planner, decide which ones are more important. Then, create a to-do list in order of importance. 

For instance, doing homework is more important than ironing your dress for an outing in 2 days, so homework should come first. 

When you’ve identified all the important tasks, you can focus on doing them and crossing them off your list.

Avoid multitasking

Multitasking is not a healthy habit. Contrary to popular belief, multitasking doesn’t speed up things and get jobs down faster; instead, it slows down the work rate as you move from task to task and are not fully immersed in anything. In fact, multitasking puts you at risk of cognitive impairment.  

When you have ADHD, multitasking can be like trying to pass a camel through a needle’s eye. So, don’t try to multitask at all. Set small day-to-day goals and focus on one task at a time. This will help you be more productive.

Young handsome african man resting in bed sleeping or napping.

Cultivate and maintain a healthy lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle helps to keep the body in shape, the brain sharp, and the mind clear and free from distractions.

❤️ Invest in healthy food and minimize your intake of junk food. Also, reduce your alcohol intake and add foods like fish and fruits to your diet. This will help to boost your memory.

❤️ Sleep is essential for good physical and mental well-being, so ensure to get at least 7 hours of sleep every day. 

❤️ Exercise regularly. Exercising will keep your body active and fit.

❤️ Also, avoid stress. Stress is an enemy of the brain because physical exhaustion damages brain cells. This can worsen symptoms like forgetfulness and anxiety. So, get sufficient sleep daily and exercise regularly to relieve your body and brain of tension. 

Check out our article about how to manage stress: 8 Effective Ways To Manage Stress.

Key Takeaway

A flier that reads: October is ADHD Awareness Month.

It’s ADHD awareness month!

If you have ADHD, know this: ADHD is not a death sentence. Its symptoms can be intense and overwhelming, but if you know how to cope with ADHD, you can live a happy, healthy, and rewarding life!

Be patient with yourself and reach out for help when you need it. Also, liaise with a mental health professional to determine treatments that suit your needs. If you need help finding the right therapist, can help you connect with one!

Many people have the wrong idea about what ADHD entails, so they may make light of your experiences or treat you badly. Don’t let them get to you. Adopt a positive mindset. Surround yourself with positive people and affirmation items that’ll boost your confidence and self-esteem.

And if you have any questions or comments about ADHD, drop a comment in the comment box.

ADHD or not, you matter, your feelings are valid, and you deserve all the goodness of life! ❤️


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