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7 Tips for Handling Your ADHD

October is ADHD Awareness Month. This is a time to celebrate the progress made in ADHD education and advocacy as well as raise awareness about the importance of diagnosis and treatment.

People with ADHD often feel like they have a “short fuse” meaning that they are quick to anger. This tendency can sometimes put a strain on personal relationships and job performance because what starts out as a feeling of small annoyance can quickly turn into huge frustration. Here are ways to keep your cool when you have ADHD by using stress management techniques.

  1. The most simple strategy: breathe. Take 10 slow deep breaths before or during a stressful situation. Slowing your breathing can go a long way toward keeping your cool.
  2. Get up and move. Stretch for a few minutes or take a quick walk.
  3. Become more aware of time. Adults with ADHD often find it difficult to be on time, finish a task, or stay on track. Useful strategies to combat this include using a watch, timer, cell phone, or computer calendar that will buzz and alert you so you can check whether you are staying on task.
  4. Just say no. Don’t sabotage yourself by saying yes to everything asked of you and then overbook yourself and feel stressed out.
  5. Exercise regularly. People who are active are calmer. Psychologists think this is because exercise boosts the body’s capacity to respond to stress.
  6. Figure out what helps you stay calm. For example, does laying your next day’s clothes out the night before help you stay organized? Does adding extra time to get somewhere help you avoid being late? Keeping a journal that lists every time you react is likely to help you figure out why you react, and how to avoid it.
  7. Find a coach experienced in working with adults with ADHD. A coach can help you with almost every aspect of life with ADHD, including advising you on how to be more organized, get along with friends, relatives, and your spouse, and generally encourage you.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeri Rochman, JD, MS, is the Advance LA Director of Community Outreach, a Life Skills Coach, National Board Certified Counselor and Certified Parent Educator. Interested in learning more about Advance LA’s services? She can be reached at jrochman@thehelpgroup.org.