It’s that time of year again! The calendars are filling up, to do lists are growing, and the stress is mounting! The holidays can be a fun time, but they can also be daunting especially for those with ADHD or executive function struggles. The busy schedule and interruptions to routines can be a challenge for adults and children alike.

Here are a few tips for surviving holiday stress and helping children survive it too, especially those with ADHD or on the Spectrum:

  1. Don’t try to do too much. Prioritize!

Take an inventory of holiday highlights from previous years. Which activities were the most fun? Which were the least? This could be a fun family activity. Where possible, consider dropping some of the less enjoyable activities from your calendar. Opening up a free evening can work wonders for decreasing stress, allowing time for more relaxing times together. Go on a walk, watch a holiday movie, or even do some baking.

  1. Don’t expect perfection.

With Pinterest and social media, we’re bombarded with images of holiday perfection. Remind yourself, that these aren’t necessary to enjoy the season. For most of us, reality just doesn’t look like those images! Live in and enjoy your reality without adding the stress of living up to a Pinterest image. Some may find it helpful to step away from those social media outlets for a time.

  1. Do build in downtime and anticipate triggers.

Most importantly, once you’ve simplified the schedule, take a look at what is left and determine where the likely triggers are for you or your children. If you know that a particular activity will be difficult, don’t plan another activity that same day. Mark those activities on your calendar so you can anticipate them. Wherever possible, build in downtime!

Wishing you a stress-free holiday from all of us at Fick Educational Services!