Don’t “Meltdown” This Holiday Season

From mid-November to mid-January, we enjoy a two-month stretch of holidays and celebrations. It’s a wonderful season of heart-warming gatherings, many parties, shopping and gift giving, elaborate decorations, and so much more.  Most of us find this annual period to be joyful and dazzling. We gleefully anticipate each new moment and experience.

But, the truth is that some of us are stressed and even overwhelmed when navigating the holiday season. The stress can be especially palpable among individuals with ADHD or who deal with challenges associated with executive functioning. If you struggle daily with impulsivity or distractibility… or, if you lack planning skills and don’t always exercise good self-control, it’s understandable that the holiday season can be frustrating. If that relates to you or someone you love, we have five suggestions, which may promote peace and reduce anxieties.

Lists Can Be Your Best Friends

If shopping, don’t leave home without lists that specifically identify what you are buying. If you have a series of errands to run, compose an ordered list of your destinations. Without lists, one can easily become confused, forgetful, and make incorrect (or unwise) purchases.

Calendar The Weeks Ahead

A prominent calendar becomes your home’s go-to site for understanding events, obligations and times.  Calendaring reduces the unwanted kind of “surprise” that can elevate tension within the household.

Practice Saying “No”

If you desire peace and control of your life, it’s essential that you become comfortable with declining those that you know will stress you. In association with the recommendation about calendaring, consider blocking off several days throughout the season when it’s simply your appointed day to chill at home.

Moderate Food and Beverage Choices

One of the greatest challenges one can face during this season is to be self-controlled at the table and at the party. It’s wise to ask a loved one or friend to help you if this is an area of temptation. Individuals with self-regulation difficulties can too often succumb to “one more” plate, taste or drink.

Talk Often About Noble Topics

Let’s face it: people can do silly and even rude things during the holiday season. When we are hurried, tired, or surrounded by distractions, those “people behaviors” can really bother us.  One of the best preventions to over-reaction is to proactively talk about attributes that will drive YOU, or YOUR FAMILY’S conduct this season.  We will be patient. We will be forgiving. We will overlook error and praise goodness.  We will be grateful!

As the holidays quickly approach be mindful of how you can take a deep breath, sit back and enjoy all that the holiday season is about.