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  • cherylgigler

"ADD" Happy to Your Holiday!

Being Intentional when you have ADHD

Can you picture this? Sipping hot chocolate by a roaring fire, hearing carolers sing, attending holiday concerts, and being lifted heavenward by candlelit services. Dressing up for parties, giving perfectly wrapped gifts, baking enviable Christmas cookies, and cutting down that perfect tree on a cold winter day. Gathering with friends in your fashionable home, entertaining with ease, baking mouthwatering meals, and mailing pictures of your smiling family in matching holiday clothes.

This vision of the holidays is like a Hallmark card, but the reality might not be... especially when you have ADHD!

I’m reminded of a wonderful mom who tucked carefully designed Christmas cards into a diaper bag on the way to the post office, only to find them unmailed the following February! Or a friend who got so tired baking Christmas cookies that she laid down in front of the oven to take a catnap while the cookies were baking! Then there was my granddaughter who opened each day of her Advent calendar on day 1, so she could get the chocolate behind each window!

All kidding aside, a holiday such as Christmas can be daunting, especially when you struggle with planning and organization on a good day! The extras of shopping, wrapping, baking, cooking, decorating, cleaning, and entertaining can lead to overwhelm!

This year many are suffering from the unending ripple effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are anxious and do not feel safe. The financial impact has been enormous. Working from home is a major stressor, especially when supervising children learning virtually. There is less structure and many more distractions. This is hard for everyone, but especially for those of us with ADHD.

Covid has caused us to rethink everything as we struggle to find the “new normal” this holiday season. Many of the events that bring joy are cancelled this year. We desperately seek the comfort and familiarity of rituals and traditions that give our lives meaning…especially when living with uncertainty. We long for connection and to engage with what lifts us out of the ordinary!

How can we create experience a holiday that is memorable?

Choose what matters most!

Thinking back over the years, what have you enjoyed most about the holidays? Do you have a Christmas memory that stands out? Some of my happiest memories have been the years we hosted Christmas parties. There were friends gathered together, great food, games, the singing of Christmas carols, and having a white elephant gift exchange.

That will not happen this year, but what threads from this memory can I make happen today? There was a sense of community and togetherness. We played group games, shared great food, and we heard wonderful Christmas music. What might have to change in order to experience or re-create those things?

What if I could simplify the holiday by ordering take-out, so that I would not cooking and doing dishes all day? What if we planned some fun games? Why couldn’t we sing Christmas carols, even with our own family? What if I were less stressed, so that I could actually play with my grandchildren and watch them enjoy their new toys?

As life changes, so does the need to adjust perspective. This can lead to new traditions that serve us better today.

What aspects of the holiday mean the most to you and what will it take to make them happen?

Listen to your heart!

Some of us know how to make the holiday special for others, but we don’t have a clue how to make it special for ourselves. We can make changes that reflect what we value most.

This resource, “Create a Better Holiday,” challenges us to be intentional about the holiday we want to create.

Consider these questions:

  • What activities make you happy?

  • What activities relax you?

  • What activities bring back wonderful memories?

  • What activities make me you connected spiritually?

  • What activities are always fun?

A friend of mine said that one of her best Christmases ever was spent watching holiday movies all day long!

How will you choose to spend your time at this wonderful, yet vulnerable time of year? It is ok to do something that pleases you! You are no more or less important than anyone else. You matter!

By being intentional, you can “ADD” happy to your holiday!

Find support this holiday season from a certified ADHD coach. Schedule a free consultation today.

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