It’s December 1.
Time to prepare for the following:
- Not enough time, money, or sleep
- Too much to do, buy, cook, and decorate
- Overly high expectations and ambitions
- Too much stress, exhaustion, and obligations
If you’re a woman, that list is for you, but you already knew that. If you’re a woman with ADHD, add in the fact that your symptoms might definitely be a challenge for the next 31 days or so.
The holiday season is supposed to be a time of joy and appreciation, a time to spend with family. You want everything to be perfect, because, believe it or not, those of us with ADHD are perfectionists.
But come on. You know nothing is ever perfect, no matter how we try.
As you go through the month of December and even into January, try to keep the following in mind:
Think about it.
Let’s say that you have an entire day completely open. No appointments, no commitments.
Let’s call it 12 hours of free time.
Think of all of the ways that you could pack that 12 hour time frame.
Let’s see, some shopping in the morning, lunch with a friend, a cookie exchange party in the afternoon, run an errand or two before dinner, then an after dinner occasion to attend.
You have time to do all of that, but will you have the energy?
Managing our time well is something that those of us with ADHD struggle with. And when it’s a particularly busy time for you, holidays or not, it’s going to be even more challenging.
We underestimate how long things will take, and we never take our own habits into consideration. For instance, a task might take an hour to do, but if you jump in forgetting half of your supplies, stop to take a phone call or get lost in a daydream, it’s going to be longer than an hour before you are done.
And thinking about our energy level? That never happens.
I’ve always advised you to aim for no more than 3 tasks to complete in a day. This time of year I would consider things like social obligations as tasks as well.
So in the case above, if you’ve got a cookie exchange to go to and an after dinner event, you’re done for the day. Spend the rest of it doing things that won’t sap your energy.
And also be sure to do things that will help with your energy level.
Take a nap if you’re tired or a warm bath.
Remember to stay well hydrated. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty before you have a glass of water.
Eat healthy food, like melons, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and dried fruit.
And if you find that some great music or light exercise helps your energy level, go for it.
Remember to consider your energy level as well as your time when planning your days.