Adults with ADD/ADHD: Ten Tips for Making the Most of the Holiday Season

By Eileen Bailey

For some adults with ADD/ADHD, the holiday season is a wonderful time. They thrive in the excitement and rush of holiday shopping, parties and events that become a part of their daily lives.  For others, the holiday season brings out their feelings of incompetence. The hectic days are overwhelming and “to-do” lists become longer with nothing getting accomplished. They feel more distressed than joyful, more upset than happy.  Whether you are attending or hosting a party, shopping or planning, the following tips will help you cope with the upcoming holiday season:

1)      Adults with ADD/ADHD sometimes blurt out hurtful remarks or interrupt others while they are speaking. If this should occur when you are at a family function, keep in mind that ADD/ADHD is often hereditary.  The person that has made you uncomfortable may have ADD/ADHD (diagnosed or undiagnosed, treated or untreated).  They may not be aware that what they have said was rude or may not have meant it in a hurtful way. Before feeling insulted or creating a scene, think about whether they might just be showing symptoms of ADD/ADHD and be sympathetic to how embarrassed they may feel afterwards.

2)      When attending parties or functions with your children, consider having a babysitter with you. If this is a family function, you might want to call a relative with a teenager beforehand and offer to pay them to watch your children during the party. Teenagers often become bored and restless during family functions and they may enjoy having a purpose and feeling needed. If there are no relatives available, consider using a high school person you know to come to the party with you and watch over your children. You can enjoy the party without continually watching to see what type of uproar your children are causing.

3)      Pay attention to where you sit during a party. If your chair is located in an area where there will be a lot of background noise or distractions, see if you can relocate or move your chair so that you are facing a different direction. This way, you will be more able to concentrate on a conversation with your neighbor rather that constantly being distracted.

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