Holidays are merry times for families. For moms, dads, and family members with ADHD, there can be glitches with planning, timing, and finishing up in time for family time together. When it comes to family events, executive function limitations interfere with holidays in the ways we celebrate, the gifts we share and the time we spend with family. Here are solutions to create hassle free holidays for families with ADHD.
Problem: Everything is important during the holidays. What do I do first and when do I do what? It all seems overwhelming.
Holidays can be magical and meaningful with planning. That planning starts with a calendar. Ask your family about their special family traditions. It’s tempting to say yes to everything, but the key take away is to limit your plans, decorating and parties. Once your family weights in, be sure all the family has access to the calendar to know the final plans and be a part of the fun.
Holiday plans require more time to complete. Start early on all holiday activities. It seems too early to start your holiday planning in October but it is not. For cards, take the photo in October, choose cards and have these printed in early November, and address the cards the week of Thanksgiving. For gifts, go through your gift closet in October, finalize shopping in November, then mail presents the first week of December. As you can see, October organizing and planning is key to holiday success. Set a deadlines for each task. A deadline will help you focus your time and energy.
Problem: There’s so much to do! How do I do it all?
There is no way to do it all during the holidays. It’s also not possible to be the only family member decorating, gift giving and baking. It’s time to look for help. Ask your family to partner with you, working in pairs to accomplish tasks. There’s many ways to get help around you. There’s on demand delegation. You can find help with online tools to hire extra help at this time of year. Take the semi-homemade approach and take help where you can get it from pre-cut groceries and delivery services. Ask teens who want to earn money for help with small tasks. Be open to asking for help and accepting the “not completely perfect” solutions. When you spend extra time on a task, be sure it is valuable enough and worthy of that extra effort.
Problem: I can’t find the perfect gift for everyone on my list.
Find creative solutions to gift giving. Rather than many homemade gifts, choose one gift that includes an experience. Keep your gift giving for those who are especially close. Choose a small gift card for those who are service providers. Choose an organizing gift that can help you stay organized all year long. Order online in order to save time and money. There are many ways to share the joy of gift giving.
Problem: I am worn out before the fun begins. I want to enjoy the holidays too.
Holidaze sets in early with too much to eat and too little sleep. Holiday fun is diminished with too little self care. Be sure to keep true to your routines during this busy time of year. It’s easy to pass on the routines when you might miss out on fun. Routines and self care make sure that you truly enjoy your holidays.
Give yourself the gift of extra self care. Extra self care looks like an afternoon to read your favorite magazine, a soak in the tub with lavender, or an early bed time. Extra self care pays off in being ready to have fun.
Hassle free holidays start with knowing where the hassles begin and how to address these ahead of time. Knowing your options and resources make a difference for holiday times.