More Tips to Help You Survive the Holidays with ADHD

Welcome to New York City during the holidays!
With the holidays making a mischief of our schedules, it's time to remember the lessons of Decembers past and learn a few more while we're at it.

Check out the post "Manage the Holidays with ADHD" to get you started, and then onto 2012 we go...!
Be Realistic
"You can't do everything." At times, those of us with ADHD think we can. But we can't. We're only human. I rehearse this mantra ("You can't do everything") to remind myself that while we ADHD'rs are capable of a lot, there's only so much we can do on our own. Yes, our energy threshold is higher than most, but we too burn out. As we learned in last year's holiday post, we have to pick and choose which parties to attend, which gifts to buy, and how much cash we can afford to spend. Which leads us to tip #2... 
Delegate or Combine Forces
One of my favorite things about the holidays is spending time with friends and family. Why not combine forces?
Instead of hosting a festive dinner...
....host a potluck.
Instead of buying individual gifts for everyone...
...do a Secret Santa swap or partake in a group activity such as a play, concert, or nice dinner out.
Instead of decorating your home by yourself...
...invite friends over and host a decorating party.
These substitutions save time and make the holidays more inclusive than they already are. And if you can't seem to get everyone together, delegate instead. Assign one friend/family member to pick out cards, another to purchase presents, and another to string up decorations. It's all about organization and direction. Just make sure to show your appreciation for everyone's hard work.
Take a Breather
The holidays can be exhausting. And stressful. Here's a quick assignment to help get you through:
  1. Take out a piece of paper and a pen/pencil.
  2. Write down at least three activities that you find relaxing. I try to think of things I can do in 5-10 minutes that will restore my spirits. These include: talking a walk outside, calling a friend, deep breathing exercisesyoga poses or stretches, or a warm bath (pine-scented candles are an added bonus). Often the activities we automatically reach for  such as browsing the internet, sifting through emails, or checking up on our social networks aren't as rejuvenating as we believe them to be. So step away from that computer (or smart phone), and take a true minute for yourself.
  3. Tuck your list into your wallet so that whenever you reach for cash (as we tend to during this time of year!), you'll see it and be reminded to take a moment for yourself.

Stay Healthy
Exchange a cookie for a vegetable (...at least every now and then). I inherited my grandmother's sweet tooth. When fresh baked cookies or candy canes stuff my stockings, there's no stopping my hand. After all, this is the season of gingersnaps and cocoa... Still, as I remind myself with every post on Nutrition, we ADHD'rs feel better on a high protein, low sugar diet. Check out "Back to School and Work with ADHD" for some easy snack ideas, or head over to my interview with vegan baker Chocolate Covered Katie for tips on healthy baking, "ADHD and Nutrition". Crudites may not be the most enticing hors d'oeuvre at the party, but you'll feel better after eating a handful of carrots, rather than that plateful of snickerdoodles.

Seek Professional Help
Sometimes your best friend is your best friend. And sometimes your therapist is. During this stressful time, allow yourself that extra in person or phone session to help coach you through. And I promise to do my best on my end to give you some helpful tips too.
What helps you to manage the holidays?

Happy holidays to you and yours! Let's look forward to another year with a little more focus and time for ourselves and our families.