Going beyond medication with ADHD: Effective coping mechanisms

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopment disorder that affects approximately 5% of adults. Its symptoms include difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, being disorganised, poor time management skills, and emotional dysregulation. 


Managing ADHD can be challenging but with the right tools and strategies, it can become much easier to cope with its effects on daily life. 

ADHD diagnosis

Lots of the symptoms of ADHD can be found in everyone to some lesser or greater degree, that’s why a diagnosis of ADHD requires a comprehensive evaluation by an experienced clinician. A thorough assessment will include interviews, as well as psychological tests that measure attention span, concentration skills, memory recall ability, reaction time and impulsivity.

When mental health professionals have this information available to them they can then make an informed decision regarding whether or not someone has (ADHD). If you suspect you have ADHD you should speak with your GP.

The role of medication 

Medication can be an effective tool in managing ADHD and works by targeting neurotransmitter imbalances in the brain. While many people with ADHD rely on medication alone to manage symptoms, there are other complementary areas of support to consider. For example, therapy such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness have been identified as potentially beneficial for people living with ADHD. Other lifestyle changes can also be explored, including dietary modifications, reducing screen time, regular exercise and ensuring adequate sleep. 

In this article, we explore five different strategies for managing ADHD that go beyond medication alone. Note: If you have an ADHD diagnosis you should speak with a GP or clinician before deciding on any additional help to complement your medication.

Strategies for managing ADHD

1. Developing mindfulness

Research has shown that mindfulness-based interventions have positive effects on symptoms of ADHD by increasing attention span, decreasing impulsivity, and improving executive functioning skills. Through mindfulness practices, individuals with ADHD can learn how to observe their thoughts without becoming overwhelmed by them or feeling the need to act on them immediately. 

Mindfulness practices can help individuals with ADHD cultivate awareness of the present moment, enhance attentional control, and reduce impulsivity. Meditation, deep breathing exercises and mindfulness-based activities improve self-regulation and promote a calmer state of mind, which helps manage attentional difficulties and impulsivity. 

Mindfulness involves becoming aware of one's present-moment experience, without judgment or a need to change the current experience. By taking the time to notice and acknowledge the present moment we can become better able to regulate emotions and increase self-awareness. 

2. Harnessing emotional intelligence

Building emotional intelligence skills can empower individuals to recognise and manage their emotions effectively. By developing self-awareness, empathy, and emotional regulation techniques, individuals can navigate the emotional challenges associated with ADHD and foster healthier relationships.

Developing self-awareness, empathy, and emotional regulation techniques can help ADHD sufferers to recognise and manage their emotions in a more effective manner. This allows them to better understand and respond appropriately to the emotions of others.

Self-awareness can be improved by increasing one's knowledge of their own reactions, patterns, triggers and typical responses to various situations. Through these strategies, those with ADHD can establish healthier relationships and create a more positive outlook on their lives.

3. Understanding cognitive processes

Gaining insight into how ADHD affects cognitive processes, such as working memory, attention control, and task initiation, can be empowering. Learning about executive functions and utilising strategies to compensate for challenges in these areas can enhance organisation, planning, and productivity.

For example, breaking down bigger tasks into smaller steps can help those with ADHD focus better on the task at hand without getting overwhelmed or distracted. Allocating specific times during the day for certain activities can also help create structure and consistency in one's routine; this approach provides reminders about when certain tasks need to be completed and reduces the amount of effort required for planning purposes. Lastly, utilising external tools like planners or calendar reminders can help keep track of tasks more easily and reduce the chances of forgetting important deadlines.

4. Creating supportive environments

Structuring the environment to minimise distractions and promote focus is crucial for individuals with ADHD. Creating organised workspaces, implementing visual cues or reminders, and establishing consistent routines can help individuals stay on track and reduce the likelihood of forgetting important tasks.

Creating supportive environments for individuals with ADHD is an important step in managing the condition. Structuring the environment to minimise distractions and promote focus can help those with ADHD stay organised and on track. This could include creating a designated workspace, utilizing visual cues or reminders, such as sticky notes or whiteboards, and establishing consistent routines. These strategies provide structure and reduce the likelihood of forgetfulness.

Additionally, removing clutter from the work area can be beneficial as it helps to limit distractions that may interfere with focus. Enforcing a regular sleep schedule is also key to success, as lack of sleep can worsen symptoms of ADHD. Allowing for breaks throughout the day is also important in order to maintain productivity levels. 

5. Seeking professional guidance

ADHD is a complex disorder, and seeking professional guidance is invaluable. Psychologists, therapists, or coaches can provide personalised strategies, guidance, and support tailored to individual needs. They can assist in developing coping mechanisms, improving time management skills, and addressing specific challenges related to ADHD.

Additionally, they can help individuals improve their time management skills, as well as address specific challenges that may arise due to ADHD. Through these measures, they can assist in increasing productivity and overall focus, while helping to alleviate the stress associated with this disorder. 


While medication can be a valuable component of managing ADHD, it is essential to explore additional strategies and resources beyond medication. Developing mindfulness, emotional intelligence, understanding cognitive processes, creating supportive environments, and seeking professional guidance can significantly enhance one's ability to manage symptoms, improve focus, regulate emotions, and foster overall well-being. By adopting a comprehensive approach, individuals with ADHD can unlock their full potential and thrive in various aspects of life.

Remember, everyone's experience with ADHD is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. It is crucial to consult with healthcare professionals and explore different approaches to find the most effective combination of strategies tailored to individual needs. With the right tools and support, individuals with ADHD can lead fulfilling and successful lives.

This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Leeds LS25 & London WC2H
Written by Robin Goldsbro - Level Seven Coaching, Ultimate Mindset: Confidence, Resilience and well-being
Leeds LS25 & London WC2H

Robin, a Mindset, Leadership, and Performance Coach, empowering leaders to cultivate unwavering confidence, resilience, and focused minds for a lasting legacy. Through impactful relationships, authentic leadership, and positive change, he unlocks the path to continuous excellence. Rediscover joy, clarity, and self-mastery on your journey.

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