Immediately after I volunteered to write these tips for our CHADD Chapter Blog, I panicked. Like many (and possibly most) adults with ADD, I procrastinate. Ironically, I thought that if I finished the piece a week before Christmas, the timing might be perfect for my fellow procrastinators. Still, some of you may chuckle that a week is more like long-term planning than last-minute preparation.
1. As Santa says, make a list. List the things you and your family can do to make this holiday season special. Look at it often to make sure you are not losing sight of what is important to you.
2. Save stress. Shop online, or make coupons (redeemable in the New Year) for such things as shoveling snow, babysitting, or cooking a meal.
3. Multitask the real way. Bake a huge batch of cookies to divide into individual gift boxes for holiday parties and last-minute gifts.
4. Take care of yourself. Stop, breathe, reflect on the beauty of the season.
5. Maintain perspective. Holidays tend to be imperfect; so banish the word “perfect” from your plan. It may be Martha Stewart’s byword; but she and her paid clean-up crew are probably not living at your house.
6. Put a space, a pause, between impulse and action. Count to ten or walk away during stressful moments.
7. Take a breath, enjoy the moment, look for the positive. Focus on the message of Canadian poet, songwriter Leonard Cohen, “There’s a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.” So, does it really matter that there’s too much tinsel on the tree? When you plug in the twinkle lights, see in that ta-da moment, the joy, wonder, and awe in your children’s eyes.
8. Write in a Gratitude Journal each night. Notice three affirming, spiritual, or uplifting things you’ve encountered during the day.
9. Minimize sensory overload. Create a quiet place for yourself, even if it’s sitting alone in your car for a few moments.
10. Remember that the holiday is not about the stuff; it’s about messages of miracles and bringing good into the world.
Sue Lister, Chapter Co-coordinator