Hello to my ADHD peeps and ADHD loved ones,
Number six: Give yourself rewards
Studying is hard, so make sure to reward yourself for successful studying. People with ADHD crave rewards because we produce lower levels of dopamine and rewards are a great way to meet our extra demand for dopamine. If you plan on studying for two hours a day and you meet that goal six days of the week, make sure to reward yourself. If you love getting frozen yogurt, go get some! This will give you a reason to keep up the hard work. If you are not someone with ADHD but want to help a loved one with ADHD, you can create a study chart. Let’s say that you are trying to make sure your child is studying for an hour a day, create a study chart. If they meet their goal for that day give them a sticker. Then create a prize table for a certain number of stickers. For example, if they collect 25 stickers then we will go out for ice cream. If they have 40 stickers they can go out to the movies. Work with your loved one and determine goals that they want to work towards. This works for those of us with ADHD trying to motivate ourselves as well. Keeping a chart helps track your studying and it is rewarding to see success over time. Find rewards that work for you and celebrate small wins.
Number seven: Don’t be too hard on yourself or your loved one
Set realistic goals to start with, and if you want to increase these goals as time goes on. You are not going to be able to sit down and study for eight hours a day overnight, and that is okay, but make sure that you are not beating yourself up because of it. Your brain is like a muscle and it is important to remember that you have to exercise it just like any muscle. If you want to get stronger, you do exercises targeting those muscles, so the more you practice the better you are going to get at studying. Don’t get frustrated if the first week you have issues, this is to be expected. Look at your study plan and reanalyze. What caused you problems? Did you not allocate enough time for studying? Were you not sleeping well? Did you get distracted by the outdoors? Really analyze the situation and take measures to fix the problems and grow from these mistakes.
Number eight: Know when to ask for help
It is important to understand that not everything is going to come to you easily. I think one of the biggest things that I struggle with with ADHD is asking for help. Sometimes it can feel embarrassing that you are not able to pick up the material as quickly as your peers. It is okay, I promise you. As a kid I always picked up math quickly… fast forward a decade and I’m taking high school math in college and having a really difficult time. I was embarrassed, but at the end of the day getting help was one of my best ideas. It allowed the teacher to understand where I was struggling, and they were able to redesign the problem so I could grasp it. A lot of teachers are really good at reshaping a problem so that it makes more sense to you. Ask for help and understand that you are not silly. You are only silly if you let yourself not understand material when you could have asked for help.