The Holidays – Exciting and Stressful
The holidays hold the promise of joy, love, laughter, and fun but also can be full of stress, grief, anxiety, and heartache. For individuals with ADHD, this is particularly true because their emotional response to the demands of the season can be so much more acute. In this sense, the holidays can be both stimulating and overwhelming.
While many people welcome the excitement of the season, children and adults with ADHD may be overwhelmed not just by all the cooking, shopping, and socializing, but also by disruptions to their normal routines.
Planning is the key to a less stressful holiday season. Take time to anticipate and solve your holiday problems before they arise so you (and your loved ones) can fully enjoy the season and start the new year energized, refreshed, and happy.
Tips for a Better Holiday Season
Below is advice from experts on how to have a better holiday season.
Create a plan – Make a list that includes all your holiday events and activities you and keep a calendar. This will give you a better picture of what lies ahead and what you need to have done by when. If necessary, use reminders to help keep you on track for the items you need to get done.Your plan should include making a list of the gifts you intend to get and noting each gift you purchased and who it is for. The same goes for things like holiday cards.
Manage your commitments – Your calendar lets you see the whole picture and can keep you from taking on too much. Keep your demands on yourself smaller to avoid holiday burnout. Looking over everything you can see for the holiday season, what can you scale back? What can you say no to? You can always add on if you end up with extra time.
Recognize your limits – Acknowledge your limit on how much stimulation and socializing you are really up for. People with ADHD can be especially sensitive to highly stimulating lights, sounds, smells and tastes. And intensive social interactions can be draining.
Get enough sleep and exercise – Sleep and exercise contribute to helping keep ADHD symptoms under control. As part of your holiday plan, allow yourself enough time for both.
Communicate with your friends and family – Let your friends and family know about things that may be difficult for you during the holiday season. When you own your challenges and offer solutions to those you love, you take the burden off of them and allow everyone to enjoy the moment.
Don’t forget to enjoy! – With your plan in place and a rein on the things that would otherwise create holiday burnout, allow yourself to fully enjoy the season. Let yourself get swept up in the joy of the holidays. Not only will you enjoy the feeling, but you will lift up everyone around you with your enthusiasm. Give yourself the gift of embracing that energy and celebration.
You can enjoy the holidays and avoid stress by following these simple steps to keep you organized and focused on the most important activities for you and your family.