Really! Happy Holidays with ADHD

 

 

The joy of the holiday season can be overshadowed by chaotic, frazzled, over-committed holidays. It is tempting to enjoy all the delights of the season. Holidays can be joyful by setting up strategies for organization and time management. Now is the time to set up systems that empower you and your family throughout the holidays

 

Create a holiday notebook

Tired of reinventing your holiday activities each year? It is time to start a holiday notebook. In the notebook, create these tabbed pocket dividers with these topics:

  • Calendars for this year and the previous year’s activities including holiday traditions
  • Gift closet inventory
  • Gift list for family, friends, and work
  • Tipping list for family hair, nails, and other service providers
  • Holiday cards from prior years and for this year
  • Vendor list for holiday cards, photographer, ornament purchases, and more
  • Budget
  • Meals, menus, and recipes
  • Décor and photos from previous years’ decorating

Keeping all this information together helps you save time and energy, as well as stay organized. You may decide from year to year to discontinue one or more activities. Keep it in your notebook for future reference.

 

Host a family meeting

A family meeting brings everyone together before the holiday season. Post a family calendar for everyone to write dates of upcoming events and parties. Discuss everyone’s favorite activity and be sure that one activity is included on the calendar. Host this meeting the week of Thanksgiving to be sure you are on top of all dates.

 

Make a list and check it twice

Make a list of everyone’s activities and tasks for the holidays. Now prioritize that list. Knowing what is coming up and deciding what is most important to each family member and yourself helps us be realistic and also have fun. Add these to a calendar to see when activities and events overlap. Start early with this and host a family meeting weekly to be sure to stay on track.

 

Tracking Rudolf and Santa

We are all ordering online, tracking gifts, and praying for their arrival. Use a dedicated email address for shopping and a folder in your inbox for receipts. Having one place to look for these details saves time and keeps you organized.

 

Gifts, gifts, and gifts

Getting stuck in finding the perfect gift? Move forward with gift cards, experiences, or a small something that you especially love. There is a reason why Oprah’s favorite gifts are given. Choose a gift-giving strategy that works for you and your budget. Kids and teens love gift cards they can use as they like. Adults appreciate that little gift of self-care such as lip balm. Families love time together at a special event. Being thoughtful is what is most important, not the gift itself.

 

Holidays are for everyone, including you as head holiday merry-maker. We get over the top with activities and fatigue. Keep routines and self-care a priority to make the most of your holiday joy!

 

 

 

5 Tips for an Easy, Organized and Productive Fall

fall organizing

 

Summer is wrapping up and fall weather is coming soon! While we are all hoping for an early dip in the temperature, we can get started organizing for fall. Here is a short list of 5 spots to tackle for fall organizing. Getting organized now will save you time this fall when you are busy with activities, sports, and more.

 

Edit summer items then bring in fall attire.

The end of the season is the best time to edit and declutter. What has not been worn this season is ready to consign or donate. Edit out bathing suits, shorts, dresses and pants so that you have less to store and more space for fall clothing. Once you have decluttered, bring in seasonal attire gradually with heavier clothing added in November. If you have not already gifted yourself with slim line hangers, now is a great time to switch up. An organized closet helps you get ready easily every day.

 

Refresh your pantry.

Fall brings more structure to our days and to our meal planning. Start meal planning with pantry-made meals that make dinner easy to get on the table. Pantry meals include beans, pasta, rice, and ramen. Refresh your pantry with staples, organize your snacks into bins, and decant your flour for upcoming baking. Labeling your pantry makes it easy for everyone to find items and put away groceries.

 

Update your medicine and first aid supplies.

Before fall allergies hit and while COVID continues, update your medicines and first aid supplies. Review your expired prescriptions and recycle these at a local pharmacy. Categorize your supplies by use so you can easily find what you need. Using 3-tier small drawer storage, you can group like items together and label the drawer.

 

Sharpen up your landing strip.

Busy people need a place for stuff to come and go from the house. That includes backpacks, bags, incoming packages, and returns.  Sharpen up your landing strip with hooks for bags and a bench for packages, with baskets below for shoes. Not only is it easier to get those packages out the door, everyone is ready to go and can grab their bags.

 

Get ahead for the holidays.

Look ahead to the holidays and lessen your stress by organizing spaces in your home and holiday supplies.

  • Start now by decluttering your guest room so it is “company ready” by the time the holidays arrive. Let go of additional supplies from finished projects and distribute items to where they belong.
  • Donate kids’ toys now to make room for upcoming gifts. Your kiddos will play more with a smaller number of toys and appreciate the new gifts. If there are unopened toys, donate those for upcoming holiday toy drives.
  • Check out your Halloween, Fall, Thanksgiving, and Holiday decorations. It is time to let go of extra decorations that clutter the attic or basement. Rearrange decoration bins by holiday and label what is stored in each. You will especially appreciate this when you are setting up for each holiday.

 

Taking a proactive approach to your fall organizing helps you be ready for all the fun that is coming soon!

 

Have a Holly Jolly Holiday (With Holiday Self Care)

 

 

 

have a holly jolly holiday with self care

 

The holiday season is filled to the brim with activities and time together.  There’s lots of excitement, not to mention lots of organizing and things to do. Your planning often is about taking care of others and insuring everyone’s happiness. This year we need to practice packing some extra self care with our holiday bags. Check out these ideas to add self care to your holiday planning.

 

Schedule time for self care

It is easy to think, with so much extra to do, when do I have time for self care? Self care is more important during busy times because it is the fuel that keeps you going.  Create self care routines at the same time daily. These priorities can be at the beginning of the day to give you a strong start to each day or at the end of the day to ensure your rest.

 

Keep your gratitude practice going strong

Appreciating the blessings in your life remind us of all that is good and positive.  Whether it is writing a text to a friend, writing in your journal or a note to yourself, keep your practice intact during the holiday season.

 

Acknowledge emotions

During the holidays we experience a range of emotions.  Whether happy, sad, overwhelmed or frenzied, it is good to  name emotions. We can acknowledge what we are experiencing and process this. Give yourself time to pause. Check in with your feelings, acknowledge and sort through the reasons behind these. Manage your expectations and keep these in line with what you can physically and emotionally manage.

 

Keep a list of self care options

When we start down a negative path, we want to have options to make a change. Make your own list of relaxation activities. This can include taking a walk to see holiday lights, sitting down with a hot cup of cocoa, putting on fuzzy slippers for the rest of the day, or any number of soothing activities.

 

Well being first

We all know that our physical wellbeing is critical.  Be sure you keep your health routines like sleep and diet as much as you can. While there are times for a late night and special treats, keeping to your regular bedtime and meals with protein give you the energy and emotional stability you need.

 

It will be a holly jolly holiday in all ways when you take time for your self care.

 

 

 

Holiday Solutions to ADHD challenges

 

Problem: I often purchase gifts at the last minute and send out holiday cards on December 20.

Solution: Write a plan with dates and deadlines. Be specific about what to order and when to order it.

You can begin in October with cards and in November shop for gifts.  Both of these start with having a list. Use last year’s card list and update it in October.  Ask your kids for their Santa lists in November.  Giving yourself one task at a time frees you up to do that task well. Remember that stopping is as important as starting.

 

Problem: There are so many events that happen throughout the month. I find I am double booking and also missing programs I love.

Solution: Establish a command center in your kitchen during the holidays. Use a planner for you and your family’s holiday activities. Set up a specific spot for tickets and invitations.

There are so many options for you during the holidays.  Make a decision on what is most important and write this on the family calendar.  Designate a box, basket or magnet dry erase board to hold holiday invitations and tickets as soon as they arrive. Keep digital tickets in your inbox to use when you attend the event.  If the event requires special attire pull out what you plan to wear on the weekend.

Problem: The holiday dinner is at my house. How will I get it all prepared and ready to eat?

Solution: Get a little or a lot of help with semi-homemade and catered food.

Meal prepping and planning may not be your strong suit.  Get help from family and friends for a pot luck holiday meal. Check out local eateries foods to go for the main proteins in your meal and prep only the side dishes.  Use fancy paper plates so there is less to clean up and more time with family.

 

Problem: I can never find the perfect gift for my family and friends.

Solution: Find gifts and gift cards that share experiences.

Spending time together is the best gift of all.  This year find gift experiences that you and your family will enjoy. Gift cards give your family and friends the opportunity to choose their own special item. This one size fits all approach helps you give a gift with thought and streamline your shopping.

Many families enjoy sharing homemade holiday treats.  If this is what you love to do, invite family and friends over to make a batch of fudge or peanut brittle. You enjoy the time together and they take home a treat.

 

Problem: My holidays are so jam packed I just don’t feel the holiday spirit.

Solution: Set aside time for self care and the one thing that brings you joy this holiday.

With all the things to do and the rush of the season, we feel overwhelmed, over stimulated and under energized. Write your self care on your calendar to be sure you are making yourself a priority at this time of year. Whatever your joy in the season, be sure you have that on your calendar.

 

While there are many more challenges with planning, executing and completing, remember that you can find solutions of all sorts throughout the holiday season.

Setting Holiday Priorities

 

Manage your expectations.

During the month of November we are overwhelmed with holiday shopping, invitations, holiday meals, cookie exchanges and gifts to purchase. Without pausing, immediately we think we must do all of this.  If we are intentional, we can decide rather than react to the incoming information and activities. Gather your thoughts and your family to start planning what is really important. Managing our expectations means we can create the schedule and create calm for ourselves.

Choose your top three choices.

What do you and your family find most meaningful throughout the holidays? That could be seeing family, going to religious services, seeing holiday lights, or staying in to watch a holiday movie. Write these down and put a check next to each as family share their thoughts. Order your priorities from most to least important, and ask your family members to do the same.

 

Determine your “no” proposition.

Decide on what your “no’s” are and what to say to decline. It can be a simple statement that your calendar is already full. Being prepared to say no makes this easier to be true to your priorities.

 

It’s easier to make decisions with good self-care.

Happy Holidays Where All Is Calm, All Is Bright

happy holidays where all is calm and all is bright for those with adhd

Holiday gifting, meal planning and travel all require executive function skills with planning and execution. Because of this, holidays can be anything but calm and bright for those with ADHD.  Use these eleven holiday reminders to keep merry all season long.

Start with a list

An overtaxed working memory is the flaw of ADHD. Why tax it more during the holidays when you can make a list?  While your lists may have lists, it is the best way to manage all you have to do for the holiday season. Once you have the list, be sure to prioritize. Taking things off the list keeps you from having too much to do and too little time.

 

Prioritize with a calendar

Your calendar is your guide to holiday fun. Get organized with a family calendar month at a glance calendar posted where everyone can see it.  Meet together for a family meeting to capture all the details.

 

Decide what NOT to do this holiday season.

Edit your holiday activities by prioritizing. Rate what were the best moments and worthy of repeating this year. If this is the year to let go of mailing or emailing cards or limit special activities, take something off your activity list.

 

Delay additional activities to January

Window washing, room renovations, and any other big or small projects can be delayed to after the holidays. Having your home company ready can mean hiring a cleaning service to help you.

 

Bring on extra help

There is too much to do during the holidays and so many ways to get extra help. Hire teens who want to gift wrap to earn extra money, getting curbside delivery, and having outside help hang your exterior decorations are all ways to get help. You earn extra time to do other tasks this way too.

 

Do a little decluttering

Before holiday gifts arrive, take one hour to declutter in the kitchen, toy room and closet.  Give everyone in your family a bag and have them declutter what is not used or loved. Drop these off at local philanthropies right away. Taking the time to have less in a space will free up your home when gifts come in.

 

Streamline your gifting

Editing your holiday gift list is a first step to streamlining. Next, find ways to share meaningful gifts with a variety of similar items, such as books, gift certificates, or homemade treats. The same applies to hostess gifts with holiday hand soaps, coffee pods, and flowers.

 

Make it joyful

Listen to your favorite holiday playlist throughout the holiday season. Music brings us joy and lightens our loads.

 

Enjoy the outdoors

Get out and exercise, take a walk at night to see the lights and get moving. Brains work best when you exercise and exercise lowers stress.

Take time for you

When we are most stressed and there is less time, that is the most important time to be sure we take care of ourselves. That is setting aside time for a walk, bath, early bedtime,  or nap.

 

Try just one of these eleven ADHD friendly tips to have a calm and joyful holiday season. Give yourself the opportunity to do less and enjoy more.

Holiday Organizing Made Easy

holiday made easy

Holiday Baking Simplified Pull Apart Cinnamon Bread

Does the smell of warm cinnamon bring holidays to mind?  Do you want to share some holiday treats with friends and helpers?  Here is one of our family’s favorite holiday treats that is special for the holidays.  It’s Pull Apart Cinnamon Bread, aka Monkey Bread, made with ready made biscuits. Enjoy!

 

 

 

pull apart cinnamon bread

Holiday Gifts 2020

 

holiday gifts 2020

 

At long last It’s the holiday season. Many of us have been waiting for this joyful season (cue the Hallmark movies) while mucking through the year. While experiences are my preferred holiday gift, this year we are challenged with safety measures in groups and in person experiences.  With that in mind, here are some ideas for organizing gifts for the 2020 holiday season.

 

Indoor Garden

Fresh herbs add a lot to your home cooking. The gift of an indoor garden spices up cooking for the chef and diners. These gardens come in all shapes and sizes.  You can grow your own herbs all winter.

 

Pantry organizing IDesign Bins

Keep things practical this year with clear containers to organize your pantry. It’s a gift focusing on function.  These clear bins make it easy for your family to stay organized too.

 

Charging stations 

In 2020 we have learned the value of curating social media and getting a good night’s rest.  Purchase a common charging station for your kitchen to keep everyone’s devices overnight.

 

Weighted blankets

These cozy blankets have been a hit for several years. This year they are more popular than ever to help you get to sleep or take a nap.

 

Delivery Meal Kits

Have you been cooking for multiple people since March and look forward to someone else prepping and cooking.  Delivery meal kits can be a gift for the chef in your family.

 

New family card and board games

We have been spending a lot of time with our families. Enjoy a new board game such as Exploding Kittens to add strategy and laughter to family time.

 

Share your ideas here for your family and friends!