Embracing the Season with Clarity and Calm
The holiday season is often painted as a time of joy, festivity, and connection. However, for many women with ADHD, it can also bring a unique set of challenges, from heightened social demands and expectations to complex planning needs. This month's blog post offers practical tips and compassionate insights for navigating the holiday hustle with grace and self-assuredness. It doesn't have to all feel so overwhelming.
📋 1. Prioritize and Simplify
- Focus on What Matters Most: Identify what truly brings you joy during the holidays. Is it family time, quiet reflection, or maybe certain traditions? By pinpointing these, you can allocate your energy more effectively.
- Simplify Where Possible: Over-decorating or over-committing can be overwhelming. Consider scaling back to what feels manageable and meaningful to you. You do not have to make all the cookies or send all the holiday cards. Find a great 3 ingredient cookie recipe and pick your favorite 3 people to send cards to...or don't do them at all. Trust me, no one is checking. Do what works for you.
✅ 2. Plan with Precision
- Break Down Tasks: Large tasks can seem daunting. Break them into smaller, more manageable steps. This approach can make planning feel less overwhelming.
- Use Tools: I use timers a lot when I think something will take too long. I will set the timer for X amount of time and say, "Let's see how much of this I can get done in X amount of time." If you are planning on making cookies, for example, use this technique to get the ingredients out and ready. Or, if you decide to do holiday cards, this technique can help with addressing envelopes or signing the cards, etc.
🌸 3. Embrace Flexibility
- Expect the Unexpected: Holidays rarely go exactly as planned. Although not always easy for those of us who have rigid thinking, a flexible mindset can help reduce stress when things don’t go according to plan.
- Set Boundaries: Repeat after me, "It’s okay to say no." Attend only the events and activities that feel right for you and don’t hesitate to step back when you need to.
🧘♀️ 4. Create a Calming Routine
- Maintain a Routine: While some disruption is inevitable, try to maintain elements of your regular routine, such as sleep schedules and exercise. This can be very helpful for our emotional regulation.
- Find Your Quiet Space: When things get hectic, have a go-to quiet space where you can take a few minutes to breathe and regroup. At Thanksgiving, we were at my brother-in-law's. It was a LOT of family. My daughter would disappear for a bit and then come back. She told me when she starts feeling overwhelmed she finds a quiet spot in the house and draws until she feels calmer. (I have to admit, it was a proud mama moment. It turns out, she does listen. 😂❤️) You can do the same. It helps.
☎ 5. Seek Support and Connection
- Reach Out: Don’t hesitate to seek support from friends, family, or a support group. Sharing experiences and feelings can be incredibly validating and helpful.
- Connect with Others Who Understand: Joining communities, like a support group for women with ADHD, can provide a sense of belonging and shared understanding.
🎉 6. Celebrate Your Achievements
- Celebrate Your Wins!: Recognize and celebrate what you’ve accomplished, no matter how small it might seem. Small steps still move you forward. This can boost your confidence and motivation.
❤️ 7. Embrace Self-Compassion
- Be Kind to Yourself: Remember that it’s okay not to be perfect. Self-compassion is key during times of stress.
Remember, the holiday season is as much about your well-being as it is about festivity and giving. By taking steps to manage overwhelm, you can navigate this time with greater ease and enjoyment. Your ADHD journey is unique, and so too is your way of experiencing and celebrating the holidays. Embrace it with kindness, flexibility, and a touch of planning.