Reviewed by Heather Cashell, LCSW
Living with ADHD is no easy task and could be the cause of a wide range of complications in your day-to-day life. Whether you’re managing hyperactivity, inattentiveness, impulsiveness, or a combination of the three, most people with ADHD need help to cope with the symptoms.
As we learn more about how ADHD impacts someone’s life, how to treat ADHD, and why people suffer from ADHD in the first place, the number of tools and resources available to ADHD patients increases. Not only that, but they become more effective at curbing the symptoms daily.
So, what tools and resources are available for ADHD?
The truth is there are plenty of tools and resources available. Some of them are designed to calm you down when you feel hyperactive. Others are designed to help you manage your time better, stay on task, and limit distractions so you can get through your day more efficiently.
While there is a wide range of tools and resources available, it’s important to note that everyone responds to them differently. What works for one person isn’t necessarily going to work for the next.
That’s why each individual must find what works for them -- generally through trial and error. It takes some time and patience, but when you find the right tools and resources for you, it can bring you closer to leading a healthier and happier life.
To give you an excellent head start on your journey, let’s detail some of the most prominent tools and resources available to ADHD patients today. We’ll make sure these are everyday tools that everyone has access to -- whether it be an app on their smartphone, a habit you adopt into your daily routine, or a new mindset you walk through life with.
UTILIZING THE POWER OF MOBILE APPS
The first set of tools we’ll open you up to are mobile apps that you can download for free on your mobile device -- whether it be a phone or tablet. In fact, they’re apps that we use daily and even help those without ADHD symptoms -- so you don’t have to feel alone anymore.
For the most part, these apps are designed to help you better manage your time, but we also throw in an app that helps limit distractions and an app that helps you calm down when life starts to move too fast for you.
Together, they can help you manage your ADHD symptoms and build healthy habits that translate to a brighter future. Let’s take a look at five of the apps we recommend utilizing immediately:
The first mobile app on our list is Trello, which helps with impulsiveness and inattentiveness. It makes organizing your tasks, to-do lists, goals, and priorities are easier than ever before. It utilizes something called a ‘board’ that groups your line items into categories and allows you to color-code each tab -- as well as set due dates.
For people with ADHD, it makes sense to assign a category to each aspect of your life. For example, you’ll have a list for school tasks, a list for work tasks, and a list for at-home tasks. As you gain responsibilities throughout the week, you simply add each task to the corresponding list.
What’s great about Trello is all your tasks can be viewed on the same board, with the categories listed horizontally and the tasks displayed vertically. It’s the equivalent of a vision board, just without pictures. Of course, you can also create several different boards, giving you more ways to organize your thoughts and goals.
Asana is extremely similar to Trello but has a completely different layout and user interface. It’ll still help you cope with inattentiveness and impulsiveness by organizing your tasks and priorities, but it comes packed with more organization options.
What we like about Asana is it gives you the option to utilize a board -- just like Trello --, but it also allows you to display everything in a traditional calendar or a daily list. It appeals to those that find the ‘board’ display too busy and crowded.
At the end of the day, it comes down to preference when choosing between Asana and Trello. You can find success with either one, but it’ll depend on which one you enjoy using more because that’s what’s most important.
3. Brain Focus
Some people with ADHD don’t necessarily have a problem organizing their tasks, but they still have issues staying focused when it’s time to complete those tasks. That’s where Brain Focus helps relieve inattentiveness and impulsiveness in that exact moment.
It’s based on the Pomodoro Technique, which involves working in 30-minute increments before taking a small break. After several increments, you reward yourself with a longer break. It helps you stay on task while breaking up the work into doable portions.
With Brain Focus, you not only get to set the timer and customize how long your break is, but you also have the added functionality of blocking certain apps from communicating with you via notifications. By blocking certain apps on your phone while the timer runs, you free yourself from the distractions designed to take you away from your work.
The previous three apps were more geared towards inattentiveness and impulsiveness, but they don’t do much to relieve hyperactivity or those moments you can’t sit still. While many therapists recommend using meditation, many people don’t know how to meditate or are intimidated by trying it.
When it comes to meditation apps, there’s one that stands above the rest -- Headspace. It not only provides guided meditation, which just requires you to remain calm and listen, but it also provides tools and resources for falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up refreshed.
Headspace also provides you with a world of inspiring stories told by real people, as well as articles designed to enhance your meditation and sleep efforts. When the world starts to overwhelm you, Headspace is there to bring you back down to Earth so you can enjoy yourself.
5. Mind Diagnostics
Although ADHD has affected over 6.4 million American children, there is a wide range of people who live with ADHD without knowing it. In fact, many people that have ADHD symptoms don’t ever seek help because they believe their emotions and behaviors are universal.
Mind Diagnostics is an app dedicated to helping people understand when it’s time to seek professional help for ADHD -- as well as all the other mental health issues that exist.
The app is extremely easy to use, and it only takes a few minutes to receive results. All you need to do is select the mental health issue you’re inquiring about and answer a few questions so we can get a better idea of how you act and feel regularly.
If you’re at a high risk of developing ADHD, Mind Diagnostics helps connect you with a proven and trusted therapist for further evaluation.
STRATEGIES & TECHNIQUES TO FOLLOW DAILY
Mobile apps are the future, and they’ll only continue to become more efficient and effective at helping others cope with ADHD symptoms. While that’s true, living with ADHD also requires a number of lifestyle and mindset changes because apps can only do so much.
Without making the right changes in your own life, your digital efforts will only go so far. Of all the available tools today, your mind and body remain the two most important in life.
Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent strategies and techniques you can follow daily to ensure your digital efforts with ADHD are as effective as possible.
1. Normalize Your Daily Routine
Today, many people underestimate the power of a normalized daily routine -- whether you’re suffering from ADHD or not. It’s the easiest way to ensure you receive enough sleep each night, consume the proper nutrition each day, and maintain healthy stress levels throughout the day.
When you have a normal routine each day, it allows your mind and body to automate certain tasks or goals. The less your mind and body need to work throughout the day, the less stress you feel daily.
It can also help relieve your inattentiveness and impulsiveness by adding some discipline to your life. When you have a routine and try your hardest to follow it, you limit the number of distractions you encounter because you’re already prepared for what needs to happen.
2. Understand Your Priorities
Priorities are very important to daily success. Unfortunately, most people either don’t understand their priorities each day, and others have difficulty catering to their priorities. Either way, you’ll likely end up giving your time to the wrong tasks throughout the day.
Of course, these concerns are multiplied with those suffering from ADHD, especially since they can have difficulties staying on-task. When failing to understand your priorities is combined with ADHD symptoms, many organize our days with little direction.
This lack of direction often leads to a lack of meaning or purpose in one’s life. Finding that purpose is essential to living a happy and healthy life, but you must first know where your priorities lie and where your time should go.
3. Understand Yourself And Your Symptoms
In addition to understanding your priorities, it’s also important to understand your body, your mind, and the various ADHD symptoms you suffer from. Since everyone experiences ADHD differently, you must know how to calm yourself down, stay on-task, and remain diligent.
You should also know how to detect your symptoms so that you know when a change of mindset is needed when a mobile app or other ADHD tools can help, and when it’s time to seek the help of a professional. While a support group helps live with ADHD, it’s important to realize that you’re often your best spokesperson.
If you get to a point where you’re unsure if what you’re experiencing is ADHD, utilize the Mind Diagnostics app for reassurance. We have a specific online ADHD test designed just for you, and we’re always one click away from helping you find a proven and trusted therapist in your area.