I didn’t discover that I had ADHD until my mid-thirties, but the clues had been there. At school, teachers saw a noisy space cadet who failed to wait her turn or stand in line. I struggled in a number of different areas as well, especially writing and homework. “Fails to meet expectations” was always the first comment on my report cards.
College and young adulthood brought additional responsibilities and more opportunities to fail. With marriage and children, my ability to manage my life effectively was marked by dumb mistakes and last-minute efforts that remained incomplete as often as not. None of my earlier “foibles” had been resolved and managing and maintaining a house while keeping myself on track was beyond my ability. I began to search for answers.
Through pure luck, I found a local support group with monthly speakers and a growing library of books, audio, and videotapes. The director of the group, Cynthia Hammer, MSW provided inspiration and help with her handout The ADD Journey: Help for the Road Ahead. Cynthia outlined 4 steps to the process – from first realizing there may be a problem through what holistic treatment for ADHD can do for you or your family. It’s a long article but covers what it means to find success with ADHD quite well.
- Discovery and Diagnosis
- Increasing Awareness
For many of us, hallmarks of ADHD are Chronic Disorganization of our environment, a lack of awareness of time, and problems with starting and finishing tasks. Medication and other treatments help. For more on that, see A PHYSICIAN’S PERSPECTIVE on ADHD Medications by Dr. Ted Mandelcorn. But additional strategies to manage your life effectively are necessary. The rest of the Newsletter provides more specific strategies for restructuring your life and environment. You CAN live a better life with ADHD, but as the saying goes, “Pills don’t teach skills.”
At the age of 62, I’ve tried a number of ideas on how to keep my life and household on track. Some worked, but many were not very useful with ADHD symptoms confusing the issue. My feature article this month is a collection of resources I’ve collected that ARE suited to the way the ADHD mind works.
Manage your Life, House, and Home with ADHD – What I know now that I wish I knew then. –I’ve included ideas for Planning, To-do lists, De-cluttering, Developing Systems, Creating Habits, and building Routines. I’ve also included pertinent Pinterest Boards and a few videos. Many of the ideas, but not all, deal with keeping your house, home and family under control.
You might also like these Unusual ADHD Coping Strategies You Haven’t Tried. It includes 80 ADHD strategies for living a better life with ADHD from ADDitude Magazine readers. Adults and parents devised, modified, and refined these ideas themselves to work for them. They also recommend a few APPs.
- Best tips for adults: For Disorganization, impulsive moments, and getting things done.
- For parents: Discipline tips, getting teachers on your team, and tips for getting kids to sleep.
- APPs 4 U: To do more each day, calm down, and to manage time.
The best strategies build on your natural interests and skills. Coach Linda Walker writes on the importance of strengths and self-advocacy for both adults and children. Don’t miss her Twelve Great Strategies that Help ADHDers Thrive.
Cultivating Habits of the Heart (3-minutes) “Focusing on our inner values and strengths is another way to approach finding our purpose in life.”
“Too often being productive is the only measure by which we judge a man. But success can come in many forms…. “Who you are and your associated self-worth is not based on how well you do things…Learn how to focus on what’s important, so you don’t get emotionally hijacked by the expectations of inconsistent performance.” ~ ADHD coach David Giwirec
Enjoy ADDA’s TADD Talks (Talking about ADD) They are like TED Talks, only shorter, with presenters from the conference speaking. Two of my favorites each run about 8 to 10-minutes.
“ADHD Meds – Use Your Brain All Day!” with Dr. John Bailey and “From shame to compassion: Internal Family Systems and ADHD” with Michel Fitos, AAC
That’s it for now. Until next month,
Joan Riley Jager
(Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhoto.net) Modified on Canva