They’re baaack. The holidays.
Are you tempted to exit out of this message yelling, “SCREW THE HOLIDAYS?!?” and pull out next year’s calendar determined to just get the next two months over with?
Well then, you better read this ADHD Holiday Survival Guide. Don’t fret. It’s simple and short. No huge checklist of unrealistic tasks.
Here’s the deal. With awareness and insight you can almost calmly survive the holidays with ADHD. (Yes, almost. We’ve gotta be realistic. We do live in ADHDLand.)
The trick is in how you approach the holidays. That’s why I’ve put together this practical, two-step ADHD Holiday Survival Guide for you.
ADHD Holiday Survival Guide – Step One
Deep down in your soul, do you really dread the holidays? Or, do you hate those holiday gate-crashers – stress, commercialism, and unrealistic expectations?
You need to know. Clarity is your first step in ADHD holiday survival.
Once upon a time I thought I hated Christmas. Until the year I untangled what I loved about Christmas from what I hated about it. That clarity helped me see that I actually love the holidays.
I love the quiet and beauty that descends on my life only around Christmas Day. I love the fairy lights. Adventuring into the woods to cut our tree. Baking my grandma’s cookie recipes. Snuggling in with my family. Caroling with the neighbors. Dinners with friends and family.
I lost sight of all this, though. Until I separated what I loved from what I hated about Christmas.
What do I hate about the holidays?
- The incessant commercialism. The message that love means giving expensive gifts to people who truly don’t need much. And I feel like it starts earlier and earlier every year. In fact, this year, the Black Friday sales started before Halloween and stores are marketing them all month long. Crazy right?
- Christmas’s determination to muscle Thanksgiving out of the way. Not to mention the store decorations going up in August. Really? In my perfect world Christmas doesn’t appear until December 15.
- Doing so many things I feel I should do. Extra tasks I dread and find overwhelming with very little positive.
- I also have a deep aversion to ornament exchange parties. (But cookie exchanges, that I can get behind.) One good thing about COVID-times is I won’t have to do my annual exchange party dodge!
ADHD holiday survival takes building clarity. Knowing what’s important to you and what’s not. What you love and also what you hate about the holidays.
Everyone is different. Follow YOUR heart.
You may dig Black Friday shopping and decorating the tree Thanksgiving weekend. You may live for Secret Santas or Yankee Swaps.
That’s great. Go for it.
As long as it’s truly what you want, and you can manage all you take on without falling into a pit of overwhelm.
ADHD Holiday Survival Guide – Step Two
Do you have more clarity about what you love and hate about the holidays? Good. Now you’re ready for ADHD holiday survival step two.
Focus on the good stuff.
Yes, it’s that simple. Let go of the things that don’t make you happy. Stop doing what doesn’t build meaning.
Holiday traditions can be sticky. They have a way of sinking in and not letting go. But, to create holidays you love you have to be brave.
Whack away at those things you feel you should do. The things that aren’t on your love list but you do anyway. Sure, you may have to compromise with your family. Who knows. You may find they want something different, too.
You’ve got your work cut out for you. ADHD holiday survival starts now. Get clear about what’s important. Focus on what you love. Good luck, and let me know how it goes.