It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Wishing you wonderful holiday memories and time with those you love.
Wishing you wonderful holiday memories and time with those you love.
The holiday of Thanksgiving brings gratitude into focus. We see ourselves around the table sharing what we are grateful for. All too often, even the day after Thanksgiving, we are too busy to experience the gratitude we remarked on throughout the holiday season and beyond. Make your holiday especially meaningful with a gratitude practice.
In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. A gratitude practice boosts your immune system, improves mental health, and creates resilience.
Throughout the holiday season, create a gratitude practice that includes recognizing the positive aspects of your life and that impact.
Here are a few ways to practice during the holidays:
Practice gratitude with those around you with these ideas:
While the holidays seem too busy, it is the best time to experience gratitude. Take the next step into the new year with a gratitude routine. This new habit will bring you the joy, connections, and health you want.
Holidays disrupt our routines with extra tasks to do and more events and parties to attend. We get off track with our daily self-care of bedtime, healthy eating, and mindfulness. Practicing routines during the holidays is most important because our routines keep life moving smoothly. Here are strategies on how to keep your routines while you enjoy the holiday season.
Rely on your trusted tools to help you and make routines easy. That lie we all tell ourselves, I don’t need to write it down because I will remember, especially applies during the holidays. Charts, planners, and dry-erase boards are our visual way to track our routines. We all need a road map so make it easy on yourself to chart your progress and keep on track. It is especially important to prioritize your activities and tasks for yourself and your family.
Prioritizing always helps you stay on top of your routines. Mental well-being and physical wellness are important to enjoying the holiday season. You can rethink ways to include exercise in your day by walking stairs instead of the elevator, exercising with a quick class online, taking a walk to see holiday lights, and being sure to move hourly. Mental well-being can include setting boundaries for yourself with respect to holiday activities. Boundaries like how late you stay at a party and how many parties to attend help you stay true to your routines.
It is tempting to overschedule your day to add in extra tasks and activities. Instead, look at the regular rhythm of your day and add simple bookends to each part of your day. These bookends or stopping points coincide with your regular routine. Keeping it simple so that you have the same important pauses that keep you in line with your routines.
Mealtimes and bedtimes are examples of simple routines to keep. Have regular meals that fit into your day. That might be breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or a series of meals with intermittent fasting. Keep your schedule to fuel your body. Determine a bedtime for you to ensure adequate rest so that you can be most productive. Your routine can be this simple during these busy times.
You might ask, what about all the extra tasks and activities fitting in? Keeping your health, wellness, and productivity going is foundational to your holiday fun. Adjust a little of your basic routine as needed, but remember to keep it going.
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, especially for those with ADHD. To really enjoy your holiday, it helps 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
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:
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Look ahead to the holidays and lessen your stress by organizing spaces in your home and holiday supplies.
Taking a proactive approach to your fall organizing helps you be ready for all the fun that is coming soon!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The holiday season is like a buffet with so much to enjoy, smell and taste that is delicious. It’s tempting to try to eat it all – and we know that is not a good idea! In trying to do it “all” during the holiday season, we face a lot of stress and that too is not a good idea. However people with ADHD are solutions minded. Here are ideas on how to solve holiday challenges before or when things happen.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Every year we vow to simplify our holidays. Starting with Thanksgiving, there are extra social and organizational responsibilities that require executive function skills. The best way to do this is by prioritizing. That can be difficult because everything seems important and meaningful. Focus on what matters most by using these strategies to help you decide what is most important to you and your family. Use these steps to follow through with your priorities.
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.
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.
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.
Good rest, hydration, exercise and nutrition all make life better all year long. This is especially true during the holidays. There are going to be evenings where you are up late or days where you miss getting outside to walk, however get back to your routines.
Variety and spontaneity are important too! Use a check in with your family to be sure your impulsivity centers on priorities. Your family will help you stay on track.
These steps can be the process for your family to prioritize every year. Setting and maintaining holiday priorities will make you and your family happier this holiday season!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Listen to your favorite holiday playlist throughout the holiday season. Music brings us joy and lightens our loads.
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.
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.
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