What makes a holiday season special? Is it attending every gathering that you are invited to? Will you spend time with friends and extended family? Do you need to shop until you drop? Do holiday meals figure into that perfect season? Would you prefer peace and quiet? Whatever makes you happy, donít let holiday stress sabotage your good times and send your Attention Deficit Disorder symptoms into hyper drive. What can you do to avoid this unwanted stress? Here are eight proven stress busters that can make these holidays glorious for you and yours.
Talk to your nearest and dearest about what is important to them.
Who will you spend the holidays with? Family? Friends? Whoever it is, they need to have a wonderful season, too. So find out what they want to do! Where do your ideas overlap? Focus on making those things that everybody enjoys into a holiday reality.
Plan the happenings of the season.
Sometimes the spontaneity that is a hallmark of ADD works out well. However, if an event means a great deal to everybody involved, it needs to be planned. This is a better way to make sure that people are happy and satisfied with the experience. If you just wait for an occasion to evolve, the results are often less than satisfactory. To plan an event when you have ADD, it helps to keep a written log of your arrangements in a place where it cannot get lost. If something is really important, I put it on the computer and I e-mail it to myself. Then, I can access it from anyplace with a computer that is connected to the internet.
Keep your surroundings comfortable.
What is your comfort level for tidiness? When I have certain friends over, it doesnít matter. What they see is what they get. Other folks donít necessarily see the ďwhite gloveĒ look at our house, but I do more cleaning before they visit. Know what you and your guests are comfortable with. Unclutter and put a bit of a shine on the public areas where people will be gathering.
Control your spending.
Whether itís planning a family meal, a party, an outing, or presents, this is the season where money issues can raise their ugly little heads. Attention Deficit Disorder makes it especially hard to keep track of finances when you just want to make the season a joyous one! Think of keeping a tight rein on the checkbook as creating a season where you wonít have lingering regrets and added stress due to money worries. Start the New Year in a better financial place!
Especially when you are watching your finances, the innate creativity of people with ADD can rise up and inject energy into the holiday season. Replace the high-priced outing or gift proposal with something less costly. A thrifty woman that I knew well lived on a very small fixed income. Yet, she always gave lovely gifts. What was her secret? Thrift shops! She knew high-quality merchandise, and when she found it she bought it. This woman also had a talent for making gently used clothing look better than new. She washed the items and pressed them. People are still wearing the timeless classic clothing she gave them twenty-years-ago. Be sure that the person who is receiving the gift knows that it cannot be returned, but this gift was purchased especially for them. You use your creativity!
Gently used books and other media are inexpensive gift choices. You can also pledge your services with a personal gift certificate. Make a charming certificate to add that seasonal touch. If art isnít one of your talents, use your computer's graphics and word processing program.
Commit to what is important to prepare for a wonderful holiday season.
Keep a planner, preferably electronic, to help you stay on track. When you achieve your milestones to your objectives, cross them off. Stay focused on the most important items to build your holiday events. There will be times when you need to rely on your wits to pull everything together. You may approach these times as creative learning opportunities, rather than as stressors.
Prevent over stimulation.
You know what is important to you. The plans are made. Don't over commit. When you are running around and doing activities that you aren't completely interested in, your energy levels get depleted. Then, it's difficult to maintain focus on what you really want to do. Be selective, and don't be worried about saying, "No."
Be kind to yourself.
Slow down. Carve out little bits and pieces of time for yourself. Do activities that you enjoy. You might want to take a bubble bath, do some yoga, read a novel, or play some games. Whatever helps you recharge, do that.
When planning a holiday season that all of your loved ones can enjoy, remember to count your blessings. You may make the best plans, and they could all fall apart. That is only as serious as you make it. People with ADD can sometimes perseverate on what went wrong. Find something positive to focus on, and give yourself permission to let go and enjoy the season.