Tis’ the season to be jolly, merry, and bright, or for most of us anxious, depressed, and overwhelmed. Holidays can put us in close quarters with family and disrupt schedules. It can also be a time of great sadness and stress. Add in the fact that it’s winter and the daily amount of sunshine is shrinking, it’s a perfect storm of emotion. But, there is hope to get through the holidays. All though, this is called the ADHD Holiday Survival Guide, anyone can use these tips to survive the holidays.
Plan gift-giving with ease
Shopping has lots of factors that cause the ADHD brain to retreat! There’s the budget, worry about if the person will like the gift, finding the time to shop, dealing with crowds, and getting everything wrapped. That’s a lot to do. Make it easy on yourself as possible by requesting “Wish Lists” from family and friends from a site like Amazon. Amazon can actually make your list for you. You can then purchase everything at one time and have it shipped to you or directly to the recipient.
If you enjoy actually shopping in person, arm yourself with a list and a budget. Stick to the budget by limiting the payment options you carry with you. Try to find a less busy time to hit the stores (if that’s even possible!). You can also opt for small businesses over the mall to eliminate parking and crowd headaches.
Simplify your life and schedule
Depending on your work and personal schedule, December is usually a different month. You may have to work more if you’re in retail. Or, you may have many days off work that are then scheduled full of travel and activities. Regardless of which one you fall under, simplify your life. Move anything that can be done to the next year over so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Allow yourself “breaks” to recharge, whether that be a 10 minute stretching exercise when you’re at work to taking a walk on your own for 20 minutes while visiting your in-laws.
Release the pressure of perfection
If nothing else resonates with you in this ADHD Holiday Survival Guide, let it be this! Real-life is not perfect. Your glazed ham will never be perfect; your holiday pictures won’t either. The idea of perfection is such a stumbling block for ADHD Innovator Brains. But pursuit of perfection causes too many conflicts, both internally and externally. Give it up. You’ll feel better for it.
Delegate like a boss
Once you’ve defeated the idea of perfection, ask for help. If you’re hosting an event, then get the help you need, either from family and friends or paid staff. Don’t attempt to be a martyr and cater to everyone else. ADHD often impairs the ability to ask for help because it’s interpreted by the brain as not being in control or failing. These are triggers. So shut down the noise and ask for help.
Avoid people that make you feel bad about yourself
This may seem easier to say than do, but you do have the power to choose you interactions. The ADHD brain already is highly critical. If there are others that expound on that then don’t be around them. The holidays should be a time for you to celebrate what matters to you with the people that matter. Don’t put yourself in bad situations just because it’s the holidays. You deserve self-care every day of the year.
Combat some of the holiday stress by continuing to exercise. Exercise helps clear your mind and works out nervous energy. You’ll feel better and more at peace if you stay active. The weather may impact your ability to get outside, but there are many options for inside activity.
There are more than 30 days to go in the holiday season. Keep a positive attitude whenever possible. When not, find some solace either in a few moments of meditation or a in watching some funny cat videos on YouTube; whatever gives you a few minutes of joy. Take to heart these ADHD Holiday Survival Guide recommendations. Remember, you have the ability to decide the story of your holiday season. Celebrate you!