Feeling Holiday Stress? Start caring for your mental health today!

Happiness during the holiday season for your family really depends on your ability to stay sane and stable in the midst of all of the shopping, planning and parties. When you are able to manage yourself with as much calm and clarity as possible, your son or daughter with ADHD will regulate better too. You are not only modeling for them how to regulate but why it’s helpful during busy times like these.

Good mental health during the holiday season starts NOW for the best results. The goal is to establish do-able routines for self-care now, so you will be in the habit when the stress intensifies later. Our brains need time to process the myriad of stimulating activities during this time so we don’t feel perpetually stressed, overwhelmed or burned out. Follow these tips for better self-care and, if you can, expand them to your kids too. Everyone will benefit from some time to slow down, plan ahead and focus on the important stuff. 

Follow these steps:

  1. Create a daily routine for connecting with yourself: Whether it’s going to the gym, stretching before bed, meditating, taking a hot bath, listening to favorite music or walking outside, set up a plan for doing something at least twice a week. You need this time for integration and letting go throughout the year but, during the holidays, when the emotional, physical and psychological demands are greater, it’s more important than ever. Make this activity achievable by starting off with something small that you can actually accomplish. You’ll feel nourished in a way that only you can give yourself.
  2. Take a moment and set goals for the holidays:  Instead of trying to be everywhere and everything for all of the people in your life, take a few quiet moments to reflect on what you would like to get out of this holiday season. What are your goals? What are your limits? What happened last year that worked and you’d like to repeat? What do you want to avoid?
  3. Write these down: Look at them when you’re feeling frenzied, overwhelmed or discouraged. Ask your children and partners the same questions, identify shared intentions, add those to your list and focus on making these things happen.
  4. Plan for what’s most important before shopping: You are only one person and you can’t do it all. Most people become overwhelmed because they’re not able to formulate a strategy for getting things done. Sit down with your partner and/or kids and make a list of who you want to make or purchase gifts for and what those items are. Ask your children to assist you in ways that are appropriate for their age and capability. Then assign days and blocks of time for shopping or creating.  When you have an action plan, you’ll feel more empowered and less freaked out.  

Good luck on your holiday escapades!