Journaling is an Awesome Adult ADHD Coping Strategy

April 15, 2013 Elizabeth Prager

I can still feel the chilly sea breeze on my face as I sat on a chaise lounge chair by the marsh next to my back yard. Little did I know I was beginning a lifelong coping strategy that would help my ADHD well into adulthood.

I was a sophomore in high school and wow! was I angst-y. Friends were stressful; school was stressful; basketball was stressful. I never knew whether my friends were really into being my friends or why my school assignments were so darn aggravating. Basketball was mostly annoying for me due to the social aspect of irritating teammates - not all of them, of course. On that chilly day sitting by my marsh, I began my first journal. Between 1998 to the present, I have completed more than 10 notebooks filled with my thoughts and feelings.

Benefits of Journaling

Journaling has helped me almost as much as my beloved Ritalin (yes, I am 100% certain that Ritalin is not for everyone - it just happens to help me read and make my life more manageable).

When I'm upset after a test I wasn't able to focus on, I journal. When I'm getting bored of a friendship, I write. When, like now, I'm on break from school and missing my friends, I write about it in the privacy of my own journal (or on this wonderful Living with Adult ADHD blog).

I don't simply write to get my stuff onto paper; having stuff on paper helps me get my stuff out. I find it super difficult to focus only in my head. Putting my thoughts on paper gives me something concrete to look at while I'm working on my issues. If I had to keep thinking about why I'm not being a good spouse in X situation, I'd end up thinking about squirrels. If I'm writing it out, thought, my attention span goes like BAM! Bam means that my attention span increases greatly, just like spices enhance Emeril's cooking!

How Journaling Can Help You Cop with Adult ADHD

I firmly believe that journaling is an amazing coping mechanism for Adult ADHD. Here is my list of 6 situations where journaling can help you cope with your Adult ADHD.

1. Your Adult ADHD needs coping with and you can journal out a list of 6 items to help you find a good strategy

2. Your partner is upset with you for you losing interest when "holding hands" (etc etc) and you need to focus on how to improve your focus in that area

3. Work needs to get done, but you also want to watch tv. Journal, give yourself a time limit for your work, do the work, then watch tv.

4. Your most recent coping strategy for X has stopped working, so journal and discover the Y.

5. You've lost faith in your abilities and you need to rediscover the positive aspects of your Adult ADHD. There are so many cool things about us as a group - like we're super excited about just about everything sometimes and that can make us funny and awesome!

6. You might have a really hard time with your long-term memory, so write it down! My long-term memory isn't good when it comes to emotional matters. If I write it down, I can totally come back to it later and remind myself things that have worked in the past and other things that haven't worked so well. It's awesome!

Okay, that's my list of 6 things. They're not the only six, but they definitely add up to the number six. Do you journal? If yes, what about? If no, go start now!

APA Reference
Prager, E. (2013, April 15). Journaling is an Awesome Adult ADHD Coping Strategy, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Author: Elizabeth Prager

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