Well, the holiday season is officially upon us! And for some adults with ADD, this is the most stressful time of year. Here are a few practical tips for managing your ADD this Thanksgiving (or any holiday.)
1. Know Your Own ADD and Plan Ahead to Deal with It
You know yourself better than anyone, so ask yourself "How does my ADD affect me on the holidays?" Make a list of all the things that tend to stress you out, and make a plan to deal with them.
Here are a few examples:
Do you tend to say impulsive things that you later regret? Plan to take a deep breath before answering ANY questions so that you can think about your words before you speak them.
Do hyper kids or too many people overwhelm you? Plan to excuse yourself and take a brief walk when things start feeling chaotic.
Does a family member really make you mad when s/he starts nagging or becomes critical? Plan a simple response that won't fuel the fire, like "I'm sorry you feel that way. I'd rather talk about a great book I'm reading right now."
Do you get antsy after a long day? Plan to end the day early, so that you don't reach the point of irritability.
2. Don't Expect Perfection
Accept that the day won't be perfect. Nothing is! Whether you're hosting the holiday, staying with family, or visiting a restaurant, realize that something is bound to go wrong. That's life. Don't hold it against yourself, or the people around you. Whatever it is, do your best to move on and let it go.
3. Ask For Help/Accept Help
Whatever your role is this holiday, you don't have to do it all on your own. If you're hosting the holiday, ask for help in the kitchen. This is perfectly acceptable, and most people are happy to help out where they can. If you're offered help, accept it with gratitude!
4. Remember That People Do The Best They Can
Long days with family members often end in frustration and hurt feelings. Try to remember that people do the best they can with the skills and tools they have. Hurtful comments probably aren't meant to be hurtful. Don't hold it against friends and family members who may not have the necessary skills to express themselves effectively.
Set the tone for those around you by being positive, smiling often, and enjoying yourself!
Thanksgiving is only a few days away. Take some time now to prepare yourself NOW so that you don't get overwhelmed later!