5 ADHD Christmas Survival Tips

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The holidays are nearly here. Many people love the holidays: time off work, parties and spending time with family. However, when you are living with ADHD, holidays have a darker side too. They can be stressful and add a lot of ‘extras’ into your life.

Here are 5 ADHD Christmas Survival tips!

1.     Plan

Planning helps you feel in control and organized which is helpful for multi-faceted occasions like the holidays.

People with ADHD, typically either love or hate planning. The people that love it, can spend so much time planning, there is no time to take action on the plans. In contrast, the people who hate planning dislike it so much they resist doing any. A happy medium between these extremes is most effective. In the lead up to the holidays, spend 10 minutes planning every day.

In those 10 minutes, you might plan your day, your month, your travel plans, your present list, your christmas card list, the decorations, or holiday meals.

From those plans, write a list of actions and schedule them into your daytime planner.

2.     Online Shopping

Shopping in stores can trigger anxiety for many people with ADHD. To avoid that anxiety, you might put off your shopping until the last minute. This means stores are busier and even more stressful for you. If you end up impulsively buying gifts just to get out of the store - without taking into account your budget or of the recipient's likes - you aren’t alone!

Shopping online allows you to shop at home where you are relaxed and can make careful choices based on the person’s tastes and your budget.

3.     Decorations

Decorating your house for the holidays can be another source of stress. If your home is already cluttered, the addition of decorations can make you feel claustrophobic, anxious and overwhelmed.

Some people with ADHD, find it easy to put decorations up, yet procrastinate taking them down. When they are still up in April,they feel really bad about themselves. Don’t feel obligated to decorate your house! Just decorate to the extent that feels comfortable to you and won’t overwhelm you when it is time to take them down.

4.     Cooking

Cooking is usually a big part of the holidays. Meals tend to be for larger numbers and more complicated menus than day to day cooking. Even basic meal planning can be challenging when you have ADHD, so holiday cooking can feel extra daunting. Make things easy for yourself. Use a slow cooker (which means you do the preparation in advance), host potlucks, offer to assist someone else while they co-ordinate the cooking, or do something completely different that works with your skill set while they do the cooking.

5.     Say No

This time of year, there are many parties, events and extra demands on your time. It would be impossible to say yes to everything.

Don’t try to please everyone! At the start of the holiday session, decide what events are important to you, and then politely decline the rest.

Take a rain check and arrange to meet in January when life has settled down. If you find you are saying no, more than yes, don’t feel guilty. The benefit of this is that you will feel calmer; you will enjoy the events you are attending, and your ADHD symptoms will remain manageable.

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