ADHD and resilience coaching
Do you have ADHD? Or suspect you have if you could only get a diagnosis? If so, you’re not alone as there has been a 400% increase in adults seeking a diagnosis since 2020. For many people learning about the impact of ADHD is when everything starts to make sense. It can be a pivotal, and brilliant, moment. But what do you do after that - what’s useful when it comes to living well with ADHD?
One of the big changes I’ve noticed recently has been the number of people with ADHD who come for (and benefit from) resilience coaching. One of the main reasons is the way that resilience coaching helps to make the overwhelming emotional symptoms of ADHD more manageable.
While many standard treatments for ADHD can get pulled into purely focusing on the challenges of inattention, there’s less out there to help with the big feelings that can come with this kind of neurodiversity, from irritability to sensitivity and sudden shifts in mood. If you have ADHD and you’ve found that the emotional side of this is still a struggle, building up emotional resilience through coaching could make all the difference.
How does resilience coaching support ADHD?
It can help you put tools and strategies in place to cope with emotional dysregulation. Being emotionally dysregulated isn’t something that is exclusive to ADHD but it certainly plays a big role in the experience of having it. Being able to move out of a mode where you’re constantly feeling overwhelmed by it can be a big shift.
There are a lot of theories about why emotional dysregulation shows up so much in ADHD, from the fact that executive function deficits in areas like inhibition make emotional regulation less likely, to the way that ADHD can create mixed-up internal signals that mean responses are sometimes mismatched to a situation. I know how turbulent this can make life - and what a difference it can make to have tools to better manage this - and change any unhelpful habits you’ve fallen into over the years while trying to survive it.
Where does resilience coaching make a difference?
Self-awareness puts the power in your hands
Resilience coaching starts with the awareness you have of yourself - what triggers you, what brings you down, lifts you up, what works to inspire or soothe and how your life so far has influenced this. Even the relief and clarity that an ADHD diagnosis can bring still requires the self-awareness to know how this affects you specifically. It’s vital to have a clear picture of yourself - and to break beyond the cognitive distortions we create about who we are - if you’re going to be able to live the life you want to, going forward.
Maintaining mental effort, organisation and time management
These can be a real challenge for ADHD and they are even harder if your mindset isn’t supportive. Resilience coaching is a process that keeps you accountable and which can be used to help develop very practical strategies. We break goals down into milestones and actions, for example. It’s also about dismantling an inner voice that might be highly critical, shaming or fearful - calling you lazy or incapable - and replacing this with a compassionate version that is truly motivating.
Identifying the basics for positive emotional health
Sometimes the starting point is simply to establish habits and routines that will support better brain and emotional health. For some of my clients that has been a new approach to food or sleep - or reviewing the role that alcohol plays in their lives. Because coaching takes place over two to three months there is plenty of time to experiment with what is going to work best and create a concrete plan going forward.
Reevaluating relationships and connections
Part of building resilience is looking at how we connect to other people. We do this from the perspective of our own actions and behaviours and also the impact that the relationships in our lives have on us. If you often feel at the mercy of your emotions then relationships can feel like you’re walking on a knife edge - especially if you’re not sure if the way you do things is ‘normal.’
Part of the work we do in resilience coaching is establishing stronger self-esteem so that you have more clarity about what works for you and what doesn’t. And, after that, looking at who you want to be, how you want to show up for others and determining the kind of people you want in your life. Which relationships are healthy and supportive? What behaviours could be changed? How can you explore different ways of connecting and enjoying social contact?
More resilience means being able to better handle stress - for everyone. If you’ve got ADHD then extra sensitivity to stress might make situations that are manageable for other people feel overwhelming for you. Part of the process of resilience coaching is to look at existing coping skills and open up new options that are more effective.
There’s a big element of learning to self-soothe here. This is one of the most powerful tools anyone can have because it means you can deactivate your nervous system when it starts to take off, panic or go into fight or flight mode. It’s incredibly empowering to be able to deal differently with situations where you are under pressure. That might be something as simple as having fewer emotional outbursts - or learning how to lessen anxiety.
What else can you do with resilience coaching?
If you’ve got ADHD, resilience coaching will help you with:
- planning and management skills
- a healthy, supportive mindset
- healthier self-esteem and relationships
- clearer judgement
- more self-motivation
- better time management skills
- a greater sense of self-efficacy and empowerment
Resilience coaching provides something different for everyone - here’s how one of my recent clients experienced it:
“I came to Alex aware that my ADHD was having a negative effect on my life, but my sessions with her helped me enormously with the heavy self-judgement I was prone to when failing to achieve ‘enough’ with my day. I realise now how much my lack of productivity was more based on my perception of my ADHD than the actual symptoms, which can often be really positive.“
Sessions are weekly or fortnightly, in person or via Zoom. If you’d like to find out more about ADHD and resilience coaching then book a discovery call - or come and find me on Instagram @alexshorecoaching.