DEAR ALEX: How can I manage my ADHD better?

DISCLAIMER: The following letter was written by a Staff Member of the Lafayette Times that is not a medical professional. Any and all statements in a Dear Alex letter do not constitute medical advice and this is merely the opinion of one of our staff members, written for your entertainment. The Lafayette Times encourages readers to contact their Primary Care Physician or another qualified mental health professional for questions or advice regarding ADHD or other mental health concerns.

Dear Alex: How can I manage my ADHD better?


Dear Wondering,

Managing ADHD can be tough, but there are definitely things you can do to make it better for yourself. Here are a few things you can do to manage your ADHD.

Create structure. Make yourself a to-do list for the day. This will help to make sure that you are focused on getting everything done for the day. Do this everyday, no matter how long or short the list is. If creating a to-do list is not effective for you, then phone reminders might be the best option. Set yourself a reminder for everything that you need to do for the day. That way you get those reminders and you don’t forget to do those things.

Try to focus on the positives. A lot of people will look at ADHD and focus on all of the negative things that could happen. You should focus on the positives. Every little good thing that happens or every bit of progress that you make is something positive to focus on. Something positive like finding a new solution to get a task completed. One of the best ways for you to stay positive is by just simply knowing that things will be better for you in the long run. If you believe that things will be better for you ,and you will be able to perform basic tasks without them being interrupted by your ADHD, then that will keep you thinking positively and motivate you to make things better for yourself.

One of the most important things to help manage your ADHD is making sure that you consistently take any medication that you are supposed to. This one may sound pretty obvious but it might be one of the most important things that you can do to manage your ADHD.

Exercise. Exercising can give you something to do that is good for you to work out all that extra energy you might have. Whether it be running, riding a bike, or taking a hike, any form that takes will help to relieve your body of that extra energy and help you to focus. I know that while you are in school you can’t get that kind of exercise ,so maybe workout on the weekends, or join an after school club like the Outdoors Club. That way you can get some exercise and enjoy nature. This will also help you to not overstimulate your brain since you won’t have to focus on one particular thing.

Consistency is key. Making sure that you consistently do the things listed above to manage your ADHD better is the most important thing that you can do. If you can consistently manage your ADHD, then it will make everything so much easier. One strategy to keep some consistency in their lives is to make themselves reminders. Again, phone reminders would probably work the best since you really can’t ignore them.
Going to school everyday so that you can build up that habit of doing things consistently. And I would also say start small. Maybe focus on doing one thing at a time consistently so that you can build up that habit. Don’t try to do too much at once, and once you get the hang of doing things more consistently then you can start to add more things. Like maybe start out by making your bed every morning when you get up. Do that consistently for a few days then once you can do that, start to add more stuff like maybe making yourself breakfast more consistently or setting your alarm clock at night before you go to bed.

– Alex