• Recipe for an ADHD-Friendly Holiday

    thanksgiving-kitchen-disasters-turkeyBy Coach RudyRodríguez, LCSW

    Think Holiday Season and what comes to mind is – joy, peace and happiness… NOT! ADHD and the holiday season are more likely characterized by overwhelm, stress and anxiety. However, the good news is that there are some things you can do to help make the holiday’s a bit more ADHD friendly.

    Remember the old commercial, “How do you spell relief”? To set the foundation for an ADHD friendly holiday, start your holidays with a ‘written’ Holiday To Do List. ADHD’ers are notorious for stuffing our heads with numerous To Do’s, tasks and more. Thus, purging your head of this information can bring tremendous relief and reduce the potential for overwhelm. Your ‘written’ Holiday To Do List may include gift shopping and wrapping, holiday greeting cards, decorations, special meals and holiday guests.

    Next, you’ll want to create a written Holiday Gift List’. Using this list, you can then match the individual gift recipients with your gift options. Your Gift List will be helpful when you determine what and where to shop. Another perfect anecdote for holiday stress is to PLAN ahead rather than waiting for or planning for the last minute. One way to insure that your holiday packages arrive on time would be to add target dates on your calendar to complete your shopping, gift wrapping and holiday gift shipping if necessary.

    The same will be true of holiday greeting cards. Set target dates for the purchase and mailing of your greeting cards. You’ll also want to be sure to have your address book handy and sufficient postage stamps on hand. For those who celebrate Christmas, if you target December 25 for the arrival of your greeting cards, there is a good chance your cards will arrive a few days late with the surge of holiday mail delivery. So, why not consider mailing your cards during the first or second week of December so your family and friends will enjoy decorating their homes with the array of holiday greeting cards. In this way, your holiday card becomes part of their holiday decorations.

    Speaking of holiday decorations, use your planning calendar to determine ‘when’ you will decorate both the exterior and/interior of your home for Christmas, Chanukah or other seasonal celebrations.

    Finally, let’s give some thought to your holiday guests. Of course, holiday guests provide the perfect motivation and/or urgency to clean and de-clutter that spare guest bedroom, bathrooms and more. Of course, this can easily be an overwhelming task if you wait for the last minute, so I encourage you to start early. Again, use a calendar with target dates for cleaning specific rooms and remember to chunk each cleaning task into smaller bite-size tasks. Don’t be afraid to invite to help you if needed. You can also begin planning your holiday meals, shopping list (consider your guest’s favorite foods and dietary limitations).

    I hope these tips help you to enjoy an ADHD friendly holiday season. Let me know how it goes for you?


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