Life Coaching with Tereasa Jones - Navigate the World of Relationships

Life Coaching with Tereasa Jones - Navigate the World of Relationships

Tereasa Jones


Managing Post-Secondary School while Struggling with ADD/ADHD


Managing Post-Secondary School while Struggling with ADD ADHD

As soon as a teenager enters into their last year of high school, you can bet they start counting down the days until they head off to university. They will finally get to move out of their parents’ house! They will get to meet new people! They can finally be adults! And then they graduate from high school and the reality starts to dawn on them… “Wait, I have to move out of my parents’ house? I have to meet new people? I have to be an adult?!”

For those with ADD/ADHD, university and college can be even more stressful when many of their coping mechanisms are suddenly stripped away as they are on their own for the first time. The first few months of school can be especially difficult, but here are a few suggestions that might help you develop new systems and coping mechanisms for this exciting and unfamiliar environment.

Being Away from Home for the First Time

When most kids leave home for the first time in their lives, they suddenly have to deal with things like dirty clothes on the floor, a disaster zone in their kitchen, and the dreaded freshman fifteen. When kids with ADD/ADHD leave home, they may have to deal with managing their condition by themselves for the first time. In the rush of university life, this can lead to medications being missed, coping mechanisms being forgotten, and extremes of behavior becoming more pronounced.

The best way to make sure that you never forget to take your medication (if you do take something) is to set an alarm on your phone to remind you. Then set another alarm for fifteen minutes later to remind you again, just in case you instinctively turn the first alarm off. Make sure that you set the alarms for a time when you won’t be in class. Early morning or lunch are two very popular times.

Controlled Substances

Although alcohol and other controlled recreational substances may have been available when you were in high school, odds are they will be beyond plentiful in university. There are many, many, MANY freshmen university students who overindulge during parties, with their grades and educational success suffering as a result.

Many of those suffering from ADD/ADHD often use recreational substances as a coping mechanism, which, more often than not, makes matters far worse. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t enjoy yourself in university, but you should try to be hyper aware of how these recreational substances affect you and monitor and ration their use.

The Workload

Sadly, high schools rarely prepare kids for the realities of university or college. The workload tends to build up quickly, both in terms of amount and difficulty, leaving many kids feeling overwhelmed. For someone with ADD/ADHD, this mountain of work can feel completely insurmountable, but there are methods that can help you manage and get through.

First, make sure that your school knows that you have ADD/ADHD. Many schools offer specialized programs that can help ADD/ADHD students deal with the workload to release some of the pressure. If you require a specialized learning plan, talk to your professor for guidance at the beginning of the term. Don’t wait until later when you are already overwhelmed.

Next, you want to schedule within an inch of your life. It can be easy enough to lose track of time under normal circumstances. During times of panic, it can seem infinitely worse. Thankfully, post-secondary schools are usually better organized than most high schools when it comes to giving you important dates. On the very first day of your classes, make sure that you get a schedule from the professor with every important date listed, such as project due dates and exams. Then make sure you put these dates into your calendar, with lots of reminders built in. This will help give your school year a structure that you can refer to whenever you feel a little lost about how much time you have left to do what.

Making Friends

Making friends can be a difficult prospect for those with ADD/ADHD. You might feel like you talk too much, or like you don’t have anything in common with others, or you just might be too nervous to introduce yourself.

Well, let me let you in on a little secret about college… Everybody is scared. Everyone is terrified that they won’t make any friends, that they will hate their roommate, that they will be a social outcast. Even the ones that seem like social butterflies are secretly nervous as heck. So, don’t worry about your nerves because you are in good company!

Thankfully, post-secondary schools usually have a frosh week prior to classes starting. They are usually made up of icebreakers and activities designed to allow freshmen to get to know each other in low-pressure, and often very silly, social situations. Take advantage of frosh week by doing all of the activities and meeting as many people as you can. This can be exhausting, but also can be a lot of fun.

For many people, post-secondary school can one of the best times of their life. They make lifelong friends, get started on their chosen career, and begin to become their own person away from their parents. Just because you suffer from ADD/ADHD doesn’t mean that you should be denied this incredible experience. Creating new ways of dealing with your condition while trying to balance both the workload and social side of school can be difficult, but believe me, you can do it. If you need a little help, I would be happy to help guide you through with ADD/ADHD coaching, teaching you time management and focusing skills that will give you a major leg up to both survive and thrive at university!

Also posted in ADD/ADHD | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ADD/ADHD: The Discovery of Strengths that You Already Have


Tereasa Jones - ADD/ADHD: The Discovery of Strengths that You Already Have

I’ve met so many incredible people over my years of ADD/ADHD coaching. They are some of the strongest and most resilient people you could ever imagine. When we talk about ADD/ADHD, we often focus on all of the downsides of the condition: the social anxiety, the inability to focus, not being able to ever be on time, etc. However, there are some unique strengths that also can come along with the ADD/ADHD package. These strengths, if properly utilized and harnessed, can boost natural talents and abilities, while also potentially making the condition somewhat easier to deal with on the whole. Every person in the world is a collection of strengths and weaknesses, the only difference with ADD/ADHD is those traits tend to be a little more… intense!

But first, let me get something out of the way right at the top. ADD and ADHD are serious conditions that millions have to deal with every day. These conditions can cause tremendous strain on relationships, careers, and life in general. This article isn’t meant to look at the “bright side” of the condition. There are a ton of articles out there on the internet that try to put a positive spin on having ADD/ADHD, and they usually ending up being quite offensive. That is not my intention. Let me also say that not everyone’s ADD/ADHD symptoms are identical. When we are looking at the symptoms and side effects in this blog, you might suffer from all of them, none of them or, most likely, a mix.


Resilience is something that sufferers of ADD/ADHD tend to have in spades. Having to deal with these conditions your entire life can certainly wear you down, but they can also makes you stronger. For people with ADD/ADHD, dealing with setbacks, bad days, and frustrating experiences is just par for the course. A bad day that would stop an average person dead in their tracks might be water off a duck’s back for someone with ADD/ADHD.


Silent moments and awkward pauses can be the death of interesting conversations. One perceived symptoms of ADD/ADHD, that of constant conversation or “chattering”, can be a strength if harnessed properly. When you have a conversation with someone with ADD/ADHD, there is rarely ever an awkward pause in the conversation because the ADD/ADHD sufferer will already have been racing ahead to the next topic, the next interesting point. It’s never boring talking with someone with ADD/ADHD!


While this isn’t necessarily a trait shared by everyone with ADD/ADHD, hyperfocus can be a boon for some. The average person, when confronted by a task, often looks for distractions to keep them from their work. YouTube is like poison for these people. Hyperfocus allows many with ADD/ADHD to complete a project they are interested in with directness and concentration, almost cutting out the world around them until the project is done. If used properly, this trait can actually lead to hyper productivity, a major strength in most career situations!


Some might argue that ADD/ADHD are the most creative individuals in the world. This can be a huge advantage in almost every industry. With a constantly racing brain, they can often find solutions to problems that others might miss. If they are an artist, their inventive mind can allow for a level of originality and inspiration that other artists spend their entire lives striving for.

The traits listed above would be considered by most people to be huge personality strengths, ones that they would love to have. Of course, they don’t need to deal with the other side of the ADD/ADHD equation. Learning to work with and harness these positive ADD/ADHD traits can be difficult, but finding the power and strength in your condition is an outstanding way of learning to deal with it on the whole. As everyone’s ADD/ADHD is different, individualized coaching can be an excellent way identify your own personal strengths and learn how you can use them to overcome challenges and obstacles, while empowering yourself to take back control of your condition and your life.

Also posted in ADD/ADHD | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What People With ADD/ADHD Wish Others Would Say


What People with ADD/ADHD Wish Others Would Say

If you’re living with ADD/ADHD, you might experience the common feeling of being misunderstood or misinterpreted. It can be particularly difficult for friends and family to know how to support you and they may have no clue what to say to help you through a difficult time. With that in mind, I’ve put together a round-up of things people with ADD/ADHD wish others would say. Share this post with a friend or loved one to help them understand how best to support you on your journey with ADD/ADHD.

“ADD/ADHD Doesn’t Change Our Relationship”

People with ADD or ADHD often worry about how their condition will affect their relationships. Some people may even retreat or withdraw from social situations out of fear that their ADD will negatively impact the experience. Letting a person with ADD know that their condition won’t change, damage, or otherwise negatively influence a relationship will help them feel supported and accepted for who they are.

“I Love Your Creativity/Sensitivity/Enthusiasm”

ADD and ADHD come with positive personality traits of their own. Focusing on those positive gifts in someone’s personality lets them know that you appreciate their unique qualities and recognize the good things that ADD can bring to a relationship. This shows that you don’t see your friend’s ADD as a weakness, but as a strength.

“I’d Like To Understand What You’re Going Through”

When learning that a friend or loved one has ADD, many people make the understandable mistake of saying something like “I know what you’re going through.” Many people feel they understand what it’s like to live with ADD or ADHD since it’s so publicized in the media, or perhaps they have a distant acquaintance with the condition. The truth is, unless you are living with ADD yourself, you don’t really know what it’s like. Acknowledging that you are not an expert in the subject, but that you’d like to learn demonstrates openness and support without minimizing the person’s experience or presuming to already know their individual story.

Supporting someone with ADD or ADHD can be a challenge for those who have never experienced the symptoms themselves. Even if they don’t always say the right thing, remember that your loved ones do have your best interests at heart. Share this blog post with them and begin a productive and healthy conversation to continue building your ADD support system.

Want some extra help navigating your ADD/ADHD with your friends and loved ones? Check out my multiple coaching packages for couples, singles, and friends.


Also posted in ADD/ADHD | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Build a Support System for your ADD/ADHD


How to Build a Support System

Everyone needs a little help sometimes, but when you’re living with ADD or ADHD, building a support system is crucial. We know ADD and ADHD can make the seemingly simple act of navigating the world a bigger challenge than it is for most. However, if you can set yourself up with a support system, you’ll find it much easier to manage whatever life throws at you. As the famous saying goes, “No man is an island.”

If you feel like you’re navigating the world of ADD/ADHD alone, it’s time to make a change. An effective support system doesn’t appear magically over night, but with these 5 tips you’ll be able to build yourself a network to help you get through those difficult times.

Build Understanding

Last week we talked about how to explain ADD/ADHD to your friends and loved ones. If you haven’t already read that blog post, now is the time! Helping your loved ones understand what you’re going through is the first step in building an effective support system. Once they have a better understanding of how ADD/ADHD affects you, they’ll be able to help you navigate its challenges. Without this understanding, they’ll have no idea where to begin!

Reach Out

When faced with a hard time in life, many people retreat into themselves and attempt to struggle through it alone. Often the issue isn’t that there is no one in their life willing or able to help them. More often, the person’s loved ones don’t know what they’re going through and have no idea that they could use some extra support. Practice reaching out to your friends and family when you’re going through a hard time. You’ll find that, once you do, most people are keen to jump in and give you the support you need.

Examine Your Resources

If you’re feeling alone, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking you really are alone. Chances are you already have the foundation of a great support system in your life, but you haven’t taken the time to really utilize it. Make a list of the people you feel comfortable reaching out to and do some research into support groups you can join in your area. If you’re nervous about reaching out in person at first, take advantage of the internet to find a online community of people with ADD/ADHD you can talk to. Once you start examining your resources, you’ll likely find there is a wealth of support already available to you.


When seeking to build a support system, it’s important to remember that, like with any relationship, it’s a two-way street. Make yourself available as a helping hand or an encouraging voice when your friends and family are going through struggles of their own. If you establish yourself as a person they can lean on, you’ll find you have fostered a network of people who are keen to help you out in return.

Hire A Coach

There are many times when support from friends and family isn’t enough. Sometimes we all need help from an objective person with professional expertise. Working with a coach will give you the unconditional support you need to take control of your life.

Whether you look for support from friends, family, a community group, or a professional coach, building a network of people who have your back is an essential part of living life with ADD/ADHD. If you think you can benefit from the experience of working with a coach, contact me today and set up your first appointment.

Ready to take action and use these tips to build your support system? My free checklist can help!

Download the Checklist Now

Also posted in ADD/ADHD | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

4 Strategies For Emotional Regulation


4 Strategies for Emotional Regulation

Emotional regulation is the ability to control one’s emotional response to the vast variety of experiences and circumstances we encounter every day. Emotional regulation can include controlling spontaneous reactions, regulating one’s feelings, and modulating behavior.

As we move through the world, we are all faced with potentially irritating or triggering stimuli and many of us engage in emotional regulation without even knowing it. The ability to regulate one’s emotional response to external factors is key in maintaining the organization and quality of one’s thoughts, actions, and interactions.

Although emotional regulation often comes naturally, there are times when keeping one’s instinctive emotional response in check can be a challenge. To help improve your emotional regulation in those moments, use these four strategies.

Take A Step Back

To avoid reacting on impulse with negative or disproportionate emotions, take a step back and allow yourself to regroup before responding. Make it a rule to take five deep breaths before reacting to an emotional trigger. Deep breathing helps an agitated heart rate return to normal and reduces the anxiety or anger that may have triggered you.

Find An Outlet

Once you’ve calmed your initial emotional response, find a healthy way to release your anxiety or anger. Write in a private journal to release your thoughts and feelings. Exercise is also a great way to sweat out your negative emotions and replace them with positive endorphins.

Talk It Out

Sometimes we just need to vent into order to let go of a negative experience. Find a trustworthy friend or family member to listen to your story or consult a coach for an unbiased and safe space to talk it out.

Build Your Toolkit

Engaging in healthy habits throughout your everyday life can build an emotional regulation toolkit. This way, you’ll be better equipped to handle emotional triggers when they arise. Meditation, good sleep patterns, and self-care have all been shown to reduce the likelihood of disproportionate emotional reactions.

Ready to take action and regulate your emotions? My free checklist can help!

Download the Checklist Now

Want more tips on how to improve emotional regulation? Book a private coaching session for personalized advice.

Also posted in ADD/ADHD, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Sustain Mental Effort When Your Energy Lags


How to Sustain Mental Effort When Your Energy Lags

We’re all familiar with the feeling when two or three o’clock in the afternoon rolls around and we’re ready to call it quits for the day. Unfortunately, that’s almost never an option and an afternoon cup of coffee sometimes isn’t enough to really help you sustain your mental efforts until the end of the workday. With that in mind, here are some helpful tricks you can use to keep going when your energy lags and your focus starts to fail.

Take A Physical Break
When struggling to maintain mental effort, kick starting the body can often help kick start the mind too. Do some light stretching at your desk or take a walk around the block on your afternoon break. Even a small amount of light physical activity can stimulate blood flow and oxygenate the brain which will make you feel more energized.

Manage Your Time
By planning your time management in advance, you can avoid a lapse in energy that weakens your mental effort. If you know your attention starts to fail in the afternoon, plan to complete your most difficult and challenging tasks in the morning. If you leave your easier tasks to the end of the day, you’ll have an easier time working through the mental fatigue of those hours.

Keep A Distraction Log
When your energy lags and your ability to sustain mental effort is compromised, you’re more likely to be susceptible to distractions. Keep a pad of paper and a pen on your desk to make a note of any distractions. This way you’ll be able to return to them later when the work is done and you won’t feel like you have to follow each new idea the moment it comes to you.

Find An Accountability Partner
Partner up with a co-worker to help keep each other focused and on-task when you’re most susceptible to procrastination. Make a pact that if you both sustain your mental effort until the end of the workday, you can reward yourselves in some way. With a friend to help keep you accountable, you’re more likely to reach your goals than risk letting them down.

Ready to take action and sustain your focus? My free checklist can help!

Download the Checklist Now

Sustaining effort is a challenge for everyone at times, but it is an important skill to develop. Like most things in life, persistence is key if you want to achieve success. Would you like additional resources to help you sustain your mental effort? Book a personal consultation today.

Also posted in ADD/ADHD, Decision management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Tips To Help You Sustain Focus


5 Tips to Sustain your Focus

Sustaining focus is difficult for anyone these days with so many distractions popping up on our phones, tablets, and computers every time we sit down to work. These distractions are particularly detrimental to those of us with ADD or ADHD who already find it a challenge to sustain focus over long periods of time. If you find yourself easily distracted, here are some tips and tricks to help you sustain focus better than ever before.

#1: Declutter
Visual clutter can easily lead to mental clutter. A messy workspace is full of distractions that can pull your focus and concentration away from the task at hand. Declutter your desk and you’ll find it easier to focus on the work itself.

#2: Breakdown Your Tasks
Feeling overwhelmed by a big project can make you more susceptible to lapses in focus. Breakdown a big assignment into small manageable chunks. Since each of those chunks is smaller and less time-consuming, you’ll find it easier to sustain focus over that short period. Give yourself a mini-break between each small task to allow your focus to rest and reset.

#3: Use a Focused Distraction
When sitting in a meeting or lecture, many people with ADD or ADHD find it helpful to doodle or squeeze a small stress ball. This kinesthetic action helps the listener focus on the speaker and prevents the mind from wandering.

#4: Work Offline
A survey quoted in
Time Magazine found that almost 60% of workplace distractions come from email, cell phones, and social media. Disconnect your computer’s WIFI and turn off your cellphone’s data to stop those focus-killing distractions.

#5: Protect Your Workspace
Having a designated workspace can help sustain focus as the brain becomes accustomed to associating that space with productivity. If you work from home, designate a work area that is separate from the relaxing areas of the home. This way the brain will come to associate specific places with specific activities. If you work in an office, protect your workspace from distractions by closing your office door and getting the privacy your brain needs to concentrate. If you work in an open office, try wearing headphones to signify to your co-workers that you aren’t available for chit-chat.

Ready to take action and sustain your focus? My free checklist can help!

Download the Checklist Now

If you’re having trouble sustaining your focus while at work, know that you’re not alone. According to one survey, 89% of people admitted that they waste at least some time at work every day. If you’re looking for additional help sustaining your focus and concentration, book a personal coaching session today.

Also posted in ADD/ADHD, Decision management, Time management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Tips to Help You Monitor Your Focus


5 Tips to Help You Monitor Your Focus

One of the keys to improving your focus is to first figure out when, where, and why you tend to lose concentration. By spending a few weeks monitoring your focus and concentration patterns, you’ll be able to determine the optimal conditions for maintaining your attention. Once you’ve monitored what improves your concentration and what disrupts your focus, you’ll be better equipped to create optimal work conditions for yourself. Follow these 5 tips to start monitoring your focus today!

#1: Note Distractions
Take some time to become more aware of exactly what distractions are pulling your focus away from the task at hand. Are you particularly susceptible to being distracted by text messages? Try turning off your phone and keeping it in your bag instead of on your desk. Do you find yourself checking Facebook too often at work? Set up your web browser to block those distracting sites.

#2: Experiment with Music
Some people find it easier to focus in silence, while others find a little background noise can improve concentration. A recent study found that having your favorite music playing in the background can actually help you focus on your thoughts. Whether you prefer sound or silence, being aware of your optimal auditory work environment can boost your concentration.

#3: Check the Temperature
Physical discomfort can lead to significant lapses in focus and concentration. A study conducted by Cornell University showed that people are more productive when the thermostat is between 68 and 77 degrees. If you don’t have control over the temperature in your workspace, bring a sweater or plug in a small desk fan to improve your work environment for optimal concentration.

#4: Track Your Sleep
Becoming aware of your sleep patterns can also help you figure out the ideal amount of shut-eye your body needs for maximum focus. Some people find themselves foggy-headed with anything less than eight hours of sleep, while others need to be aware of the sluggishness that comes with oversleeping. Knowing your body and its needs will help you get the right amount of rest to maximize your wakeful hours.

#5: Monitor your Peak Work Times
Some people are most productive first thing in the morning, while others get the most work done right after lunch. Take time over a few weeks to monitor when your focus is at its strongest and at what times of day it tends to lapse. Being aware of your brain’s natural rhythms can help you plan your day and assign your most challenging tasks to your peak work times.

Becoming more aware of your environment and patterns is a great way of monitoring your focus. When you discover the factors which are throwing off your concentration, you’ll be able to take all the steps you need to optimize your work time.

Ready to take action and monitor your focus? My free checklist can help!

Download the Checklist Now

Need extra help monitoring your focus? Book a personal coaching session today.

Also posted in ADD/ADHD, Decision Management, Life Coaching, Time management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Improve Task Initiation



Possibly the most crucial step in getting things done is the simple act of getting started. This can be particularly challenging for people with ADHD because ADHD impairs the executive function necessary for task initiation. If you’re finding that you just can’t get started on your To-Do list, here are some tips to improve task initiation.

A long To-Do list can be overwhelming and that feeling can often discourage people from getting started. If you’re faced with a long list of tasks, first decide which ones need to be given priority. Next, choose which tasks to move to a later date or remove from your list altogether. Try breaking down your To-Do list into daily, weekly, and monthly priorities so you don’t get overwhelmed by too many tasks at once. When you have a more manageable task list, you’ll find it easier to get started.

Find Motivation
Often we forget why we are doing certain things. Find the motivation to get started on your tasks by reminding yourself of the benefits and positive outcomes of finishing the job. By focusing on the potential rewards of completing a task, you’ll find you have more motivation to get started.

Build A Support System
Building a support system can help promote task initiation. A support system can include having a trusting colleague or friend help keep you accountable, but it also includes optimizing your health so your body can better support your brain. Factors such as lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and lack of exercise can impair executive functioning even further and make it that much harder to get started on your work.

Challenge Yourself
Goal-setting and positive reinforcement can help motivate you to start crossing tasks off your list. Set a timer and challenge yourself to work for a designated period of time with lots of short mini-breaks worked in. If you meet that challenge, reward yourself for a job well done!

Often the anticipation of a task is much harder than the task itself. By using these tips, I hope you can find ways to help yourself overcome the hurdle of getting started. Once you do, you’ll find yourself getting things done in no time!

If you’d like additional help with task initiation, contact me today to discuss a personal coaching plan.

Also posted in ADD/ADHD, Communication, Decision management, Time management | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mental Flexibility


What is mental flexibility?
Mental flexibility is the ability to adapt one’s behavior quickly in order to handle different situations in different ways. This is particularly important when faced with new, complex, or problematic situations. One of the side effects of living with ADHD is that you lack mental flexibility. This is why people with ADHD find it difficult to jump from task to task. Many of them find it difficult to shift their way of thinking quickly in order to accomplish a new task or develop a new skill.

How to manage poor mental flexibility
Because people with ADHD lack mental flexibility, many of them find it helpful to structure their workdays so that they can focus on one task at a time. Allow a set block of time for one specific task and focus only on that one project. Although it may feel challenging for a person with ADHD to work within this type of structured schedule, it is actually more beneficial to allow yourself to focus on a single task at a time. When working on one project within a single block of time, take frequent mini-breaks to rest your brain and reset your focus. Managing poor mental flexibility is another advantage of single-tasking, which we talked about in our last blog post.

How to deal with fear of structure
If you’re reading this and struggle with your own mental flexibility or suffer from ADHD, you may be intimidated or overwhelmed by the thought of setting aside a block of time dedicated to one task. This is likely because many people with ADHD resist structure due to a fear that they won’t be in the right mindset when the scheduled time to focus on a particular task arrives. If that is the case, try substituting one task for another. As long as you pick one task to focus on at a time and take frequent mini-breaks, you’ll avoid the pitfalls of trying to jump from project to project. The important thing to remember is that you can always trade time, but you can’t recover it when it’s lost.

Ready to take control of your mental flexibility, my free checklist can help!

I hope you find this information helpful. Watch for my group on planning that I will be rolling out sometime this summer. NEED HELP? Set up a complimentary strategy session so we can talk about it HERE.

Also posted in ADD/ADHD, Communication, Decision management, Decision Management, Life Coaching, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment
Tereasa Jones -
© 2021 Tereasa Jones. All rights reserved.

ICF Professional Certified Coach    RCICertified    ICF    ACOmember    ICA_certify_AC    Webjpg

Site Designed by Integrity Design and Coding.