If you have ADHD and celebrate the holidays, then you know what we are talking about when we say that it is a stressful time, and even downright distressing for some. Even if you are not responsible for the cooking, gift buying, parties, and general liveliness (normally involving at least a bit of bibulous excess), just being around such chaotic festivity can leave feeling not very festive at all – and not only for these reasons.
There is also the fact that normal routine goes out the window during the holidays. Work is often suspended; business and shops have different hours; family members suddenly have different routines. Very often, it is impossible not to fall into a new routine yourself – or no routine at all – and that can take some adjustment for those with ADHD.
However, for anyone with ADHD, learning how to cope with the disruption (there is no better word for it) of the holidays is just one of the several coping mechanismsthat help them lead full and productive lives, managing their condition and doing what is necessary to stop it interfering. Millions manage it every year – and you can too.
The Age Groups
We don’t know what causes ADHD, but we do know how to treat it. The most important thing is regularity, planning, and routine, but that doesn’t necessarily mean rigid regularity, planning, and routine. Indeed, it can vary a lot. It can vary between different times of the year, it can vary from individual to individual, and it can vary according to age.
The last of these is that which leads us to categorize ADHD into age groups. This is important for prescribing coping mechanisms and techniques for managing the condition. The categorization is important to consider when it comes to managing the holidays with ADHDbecause different age groups experience it differently.
The age groups in question are childhood, teenage, and adult ADHD, and they are categorizedsuch because environmental factors are of the utmost importance in managing the condition. Also, the environmental factors are sharply distinguished between each group.
In childhood, you have the least responsibility; teenage years bring with them school and laying the foundations for later life; adulthood brings with it the maximum of responsibility.
Furthermore, the age groups are important when it comes to managing the holidays. Children are unlikely to be cooking and buying presents. Teenagers are again the intermediate stage, and adults are often the ones who make the holidays happen – and that’s a whole new realm of responsibility.
Tips for Managing the Holidays
So, with all of that said, here follow some tips for managing the holidays with ADHD:
Make Your Routine or Plan Flexible
If you account for a certain amount of chaos in your plan, you can better deal with it when it comes along. There are even high-performance planners, such as the ones produced by Next Level Daily, designed specifically for those with ADHD. These can allow for a certain amount of disruption.
… and then honor them. The holidays arefull of social engagements. You might not be able to deal with all of this, so make sure that you say no where you should. Nevertheless, be sure to honor the people you said yes to.
Continue the Routine
We mentioned above that routine goes out the window during the holidays. But does it need to? There’s nothing stopping you sticking to your wake-up time and breakfast time, and you can even replace your working hours with something else occupying the same time window.
The holidays should be a festive time and, while they may be a challenging time in one sense, there is no need to forgo the good cheer.