The holiday season can stress even the most focused mind. Throw ADHD into the mix and you have a breeding ground for panic.
What is the main cause of ADHD holiday stress? All those details to remember! Parties, shopping, wrapping, family gatherings, cooking and all the rest. How is a scattered mind supposed to keep track of all those lists, appointments and steps?
It’s stressful just thinking about thinking about it all.
So here’s a thought.
What if you made stress a choice, instead of an event? It’s easier than you think. The trick is to stop stress when you first notice it. How?
By tuning in to what I call your stress alarm – the early warning sign that you’re overdoing it.
We each react differently to stress and have signs that we’ve reached our boiling point. You may get cranky or get a headache. Or find yourself sleeping a lot or not at all. Overeating or your stomach is tied in knots so you can’t.
My own stress alarm is yelling at traffic. When I find myself at a red light hollering at other cars, I know it’s time I regain some peace.
What is your stress alarm? If you’re not sure, ask a family member or a close friend. It may be more apparent to them than to you.
5 Steps to Arrest ADHD Holiday Stress
So once you recognize your stress alarm and it goes off, take these five easy steps to regain control:
Step One. Audibly say STOP! This gets your attention.
Step Two. Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. This calms you down.
Step Three. Notice what you’re feeling, smelling, seeing and hearing. Tuning into your senses takes your mind off what is causing your stress.
Step Four. Determine the source of your stress. Are you hungry? Dehydrated? Have you forgotten to take your medication? Are you over-committed or exhausted or angry?
Step Five. Take care of yourself and handle the situation. Get a bite to eat. Take a break or say no to a commitment that isn’t important to you. Yes, this can be hard to do, but if you’re stressing out, are you really doing anyone else any favors by ignoring your own needs?
The holiday season CAN be a time of fun, friends and family even for the most scattered among us. Use this technique to arrest your stress before it takes its toll and enjoy the joys of the season.
I’d love to hear from you – what is your stress alarm? Comment below.
Get ready for the holidays, read on: