• Tips for ADHD Stress-Free Holidays

    Why not plan to have a stress-free holiday season this year? Notice that the operative word is – ‘plan’. Face it, the holiday season can be a stressful season for most everyone. For adults with ADHD, procrastination, poor planning and poor focus can easily add to a stressful holiday.

    The source of holiday stress is often the very components that make up the holiday season – shopping, wrapping and mailing holiday cards. How many unopened boxes of holiday cards do you have that were purchased but never sent because your disorganization would cause them to arrive after the holiday?

    Here are a few tips you may find helpful:

    1. Start with a plan. Make a list of everything you need to do or accomplish during the holiday season, i.e. holiday cards, gift shopping, etc. Hint: Start your planning early.
    2. Use a planning calendar. Enter your holiday To Do list on a calendar. Enter important due dates with ‘reverse planning’. For instance, iIf your cards are mailed on (date), then they need to be personally addressed by (date), and cards need to be purchased by (date). Hint: Always add more time than necessary with your timeline.
    3. Prioritize your projects. Review your list and mark all your ‘most important and most urgent’ tasks with an ‘A’. Mark your ‘important but not urgent’ tasks with a ‘B’. Mark everything else on your list with a ‘C’. Now, begin focus on your ‘A’ list by prioritizing this list from 1-10; #1 being the ‘most important and most urgent’ task. Start working on #A-1. Hint: This is a good time to start purging your list by deleting all unnecessary and/or over-ambitious tasks.
    4. Review your list(s) daily and monitor your progress. Be gentle with yourself if you find yourself falling behind. Re-prioritize your list and adjust your timeline as necessary to insure the most important tasks get completed first. Accept that some less important tasks may be eliminated from your list.
    5. Give to yourself. The holidays are about giving so remember to give to yourself as well. Give yourself acknowledgement for what you ‘were’ able to accomplish this year. Celebrate your successes!
    6. What worked? Accept what you didn’t accomplish this year and review your entire planning process. What worked and didn’t work this year? Save this information on your computer in a “Holiday 2008” file. This may be valuable information for your 2009 planning.
    7. Have fun!

    Here are a few dates to add to your planning calendar:

    • Deadline for homemade gifts
    • Shipping deadlines to allow your gifts to arrive at their destination on time
    • Postal deadline to mail your holiday cards
    • Party dates, start time, what to bring and directions
    • Departure dates if traveling (date to start packing, packing list)

    What did you find most helpful from this article? Add your comments below . . .

    Enjoy your holiday season, whatever your tradition. ~ CoachRudy

    Coach Rudy Rodriguez and the ADHD Center for Success are located in Asheville, NC

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