Resume Normalcy in Life with ADHD Management
Living with ADHD presents a set of challenges that are difficult for many to understand. This is particularly so if you haven’t personally experienced the symptoms and circumstances surrounding the condition. Parents, students, instructors, professionals, athletes and people from many other walks of life live with ADHD each day. They become overwhelmed with daily life tasks such as paying bills, organizing family schedules and interacting with social circles.
It is possible to effectively manage ADHD symptoms and regain control of the tasks that easily frustrate or overwhelm you. Psychiatric care can be extremely beneficial in managing ADHD. Targeted use of medication can be very helpful in normalizing brain pathways responsible for focus and productivity. Medications include stimulant and non-stimulant options. It is also wise to practice self-help techniques for efficiency in managing the condition. Not only do these techniques help you feel better, they also help improve the way you feel about yourself overall.
There are skills you can implement into daily habits that will assist in controlling the symptoms. Your habits will become improved, strengths recognized, and it will become easier to interact with other people at home, work or life in general. Self-help techniques also involve educating those around you to give them a better perspective of what you are experiencing.
I describe a number of techniques below. In my practice, I offer ADHD treatment in Baltimore, and I would be helping you design strategies for being successful with these approaches, and discussing a number of others approaches to customize the best plan. Note that you may have tried some of these techniques but found them frustrating to implement without the medication piece. This is why the combination of medication and behavioral strategies represents the best approach – medication can allow you to more successfully employ these approaches.
Maintain structure and neatness – get organized by creating a space for things in your home, office, car and anywhere else you frequently occupy. Sort objects into a category to specify what is used often or daily and what is seldom used. Arrange those objects that you rarely use into a space that is easily accessible but out of the way. Most importantly, declutter. If you don’t use it, get rid of it. Designate a space for bills, keys, writing utensils and similar objects.
Planning Apps – utilize your smartphone’s calendar or personal app to record appointments or important tasks that need to be remembered. This is a great way to help remember deadlines, especially when the reminders are utilized. You can also use the daily planners to write important events or tasks if you prefer those over the digital apps. Sometime plain-old pen and paper is the best reminder – like putting a note on the front door to not forget something when you leave in the morning.
Face Tasks Head-On – the easiest way to avoid clutter or forgetfulness is by taking care of these things as they arise. File important papers when you receive them. This is referred to as the “OHIO” rule – Only Handle It Once. Return important phone calls ASAP. Things that only require a couple of minutes of your time could turn into something more if put off until later.
Prioritize – many people living with ADHD have challenges with impulse control and sometimes navigate from one subject to another. It can be difficult to complete one task before starting another and the mention of a large project can be extremely antagonizing. Consider these points to help you prioritize:
• Complete the most important tasks first
• One step at a time is the key to completing large tasks
• Don’t become sidetracked (utilize a timer if necessary)
One of the biggest issues associated with prioritizing is that most people who have ADHD don’t know how to just say no to certain things or people. It is easy to accept too many social engagements, projects or tasks. This can leave you feeling overwhelmed with things to do, which can have an impact on the quality of your input or work. It’s okay to turn things down, which will allow you to give your best towards those activities or appointments.
Financial Management – it is essential to budget and plan as part of the organization plan to reduce stress with ADHD. Find a simple management plan that doesn’t require too much attention to detail. It may be necessary to create one of your own that is easy to manage. Doing so helps to prevent spending more than your budget allows, late payment on bills and penalties for late payments.
Eliminate Distractions – it is important to remain focused and attentive to the task at hand. This has tremendous effect on the quality of the result of your work. Consider working in an empty space, away from people or things that may distract you. It is likely that while working, the biggest and best ideas enter your head. Write those down and consider them later. Don’t allow these ideas to become a distraction, which will prevent you from completing the task at hand. Also, try to limit time surfing the web.
Failure to have or implement effective management tools can quickly lead to a setback or cause a negative impact on your self-esteem. Interject an active and effective strategy to deter the possibility of feeling down, anxious, irritable or frustrated, or not completing a task.
ADHD may enter your life, but it doesn’t have to consume your life. Regain control of your life immediately! Schedule a consultation with Dr. Neal Ranen, your Baltimore Psychiatrist, today.
This article was originally posted on drnealranenbaltimorepsychiatrist.com January 2018
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