The Holiday Season can be a very happy time, but it can also be a very difficult time for many of us. The season presents particular challenges for those of us with ADHD, which can make it a very stressful time. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
It may surprise you, but I don’t think we should delude ourselves into thinking that we can have completely stress-free holidays! For many of us, I’m not sure that’s a realistic thing to strive for, and I think that striving for “perfection” or other impossible objectives only sets us up for feelings of failure. I do think, however, that most of us could be living with significantly less stress this time of year. And it all starts with us.
Think about what you want this holiday season to be like, for yourself and for your family. How do you want it to feel? Focusing on the feeling aspects of the holidays, rather than the “doing” aspects, and getting in touch with why this is important, can be an important first step toward creating the outcome you want: less stress and more joy!
There are several, simple things you can do to reduce the stress associated with the holiday season. First and foremost, make sure you take care of yourself, and your ADHD brain! The changes in routine and the pace of activity that often accompany the holidays can wreak havoc on us, so it’s more important this time of year than ever to make sure you’re practicing good ADD Self-Care. Good self-care is one of the simplest things we can do to improve our ADHD symptoms, including: getting regular and sufficient sleep; making sure we have enough down time to recharge our batteries; getting plenty of exercise; making sure we are eating regularly and getting plenty of protein with every meal; managing any medications we use; and keeping our expectations of ourselves and other in check.
Sometimes, we need to put ourselves first so that we can be at our best for those who rely upon us. This goes for everyone, but especially for those of us who are adults with ADHD, or who are parents of kids with ADHD. Saying “No” to something or someone else my just be the best way for you to say, “Yes!” to a happier, less stressful Holiday season.
And isn’t that something we all want more of?
Happy Holidays to you and yours!