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ADHD Christmas Checklist

ADHD Christmas ChecklistThe holidays are getting closer! Even though they are a whole month away it’s surprising how much there is to do and how quickly the time disappears. Holidays can be a lovely time to spend with the people you care about, however, for an adult with ADHD, this time of year can be highly stressful as there are so many extra things to do and coordinate.

Here is a checklist to help take the pain out of the holidays, so that you can feel organized and on top of everything!

Christmas Checklist

Now

1) Holiday Binder
Get a 3 ring binder and dedicate to holiday planning. It will house all the information you need for an organized holiday season.

2) Location, Location, Location
Talk to family members to decide how and where you are going to spend the holidays this year.

3) Book flights
If your holiday plans require flying, book them now. Then print out the details in your binder.

4) Going away?
If you are going away, either by air or land use the ADHD Travelers checklist as well as this one.

5) Create Lists
Create lists and put them in your binder. Here are a few suggestions, but make lists around topics that will be useful for you, gift ideas, menus, Christmas cards, general to do’s.
When you have the lists you can just add information to the appropriate list when you think of it.

6) Post Office Check
If you are sending presents through the mail check to see when they need to be posted by.
International parcels need to be sent much earlier than you think.

7) Holiday Budget
Create a holiday budget for the holidays. This reduces stress and guilt about spending money. This is a creative budgeting tool for all year round http://budurl.com/yg7z

Mid November

8) Address labels
Order address labels with your address. This saves you having to write it out millions of times on envelopes and/or parcels. This company does nice simple one: http://budurl.com/nwty

9) Events calendar
Print out a calendar for November and December to keep track of your holiday activities

http://budurl.com/8lpk

pop it in your binder so you don’t lose it and it is easy to add new dates to.

10) Make Reservations
Decide what activities really enjoy doing over the holiday, then make reservations for example, Nutcracker Ballet, and then you can add other commitments around them.

11) Write a Christmas Card List
Write a Christmas card list, so you know exactly how many cards and stamps you need.

12) Buy Christmas Cards, Wrapping Paper, Gift Tags, Tape
It’s good to buy Christmas cards, wrapping paper, gift tags, tape at the beginning of the season and then you are all prepared. Put it all in a box that is easily accessible from now till the end of the holidays. This saves constantly on hunting for any of these items.

Last week of November

Write your Cards
13) Take your Christmas card list, address book, address labels, pen, Christmas cards and stamps to a coffee shop and write them all. On your way home, mail them. Multi-step task are hard when you have ADD having everything you need at once means you will get them sent off without getting side tracked.

14) Wardrobe Inventory
Take look at your events calendar and decide what you will wear for each event. Make sure everything is clean or if you need to buy something you have scheduled a time to shop.

1st Week of December

15) Give Your Home A Really Good Clean
You might not have time later and it’s easier to do it now before the decorations are up.

16) Buy All Your Gifts
When this is done you will feel really accomplished.

17) Hairdressers
Visit your hairdressers for a trim. Then you know you will look good for the rest of the holidays.

2nd Week of December

18) Decorations
Buy your tree and decorate it, as well as, other parts of your home

19) Wrap presents
When you wrap a present and put a gift tag on it, write down what you got the person in your binder. What you actually got them might differ from what you planned to get them and you might forget never the time when they are thanking you for it.

20) Menus
Create menus for the meals you will be preparing over the holidays. No need to go crazy, if you don’t like cooking. Simple is okay.

Few days before Christmas

21) Go Food Shopping
Pick up everything on your list.

Christmas Day

22) Relax and Enjoy!

Another article about how to enjoy the holidays http://untappedbrilliance.com/?s=christmas

Why does Time Travel Differently When You Have ADHD?

Have you noticed how time plays tricks on you? It can whiz by so fast or it plods along incredibly slowly; leaving you bored and restless.

Ironically, time perception doesn’t run like clockwork. It changes and is distorted by situations, emotions and even your age.

I have a  memory of sitting next to my grandma telling her how excited I was for Christmas, but how it was taking a really long time to arrive. My Grandma laughed and said, “When you get to my age, you won’t have that problem, time travels very fast for me.” This was a very strange concept for my 8 year old brain.

Time perception is a subjective thing that is studied by psychologists and neuroscientists. For our other senses like touch, taste, smell, sight, etc., we have specialized sensory receptors. But there are no specialized sensory receptors for time.

Why does time travel differently when you have ADHD?

[Read more…]

5 Steps to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed

The summer I was 18 years old, me and my friend Claire got a job at the local soap factory. The factory hired students every summer to help them prepare their Christmas orders.  Our job was to stand at the end of a conveyor belt and put trays containing an assortment of soaps into gift boxes, one tray per box.

As part of the interview process we had been given a dexterity test to check that we could move our hands quickly. However, that first day, while our head and hands were getting use to this new task, our hands didn’t seem to be moving fast enough.

I remember feeling really overwhelmed every time I looked  down the conveyor belt.  As far as the eye could see there were  gray trays filled with pretty soaps heading towards us. We had to keep moving fast otherwise there would be a log jam.
[Read more…]

The ADHD-Friendly Way to Make 2017 Awesome!

happynewyearWhen I was little and still trying to work out the concept of time, the days between Christmas and New Year were a bit of a puzzle to me. We had advent calendars that helped us to count down to the 25th. I knew that the 1st was a big deal because it was New Year’s Day. However, the days in between seemed to be floating days. No school, so no weekends to mark the usual passage of time. There was just a lot of time to play with new toys, eat mince pies and Christmas cake and see relatives that I didn’t see very often. [Read more…]

6 Reasons Why ADHDers Don’t Like The Holidays

christmas-tree-1856343_640The holidays are nearly here!  But do you enjoy them? If you answered no; don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Many adults with ADHD feel the same. While many people love vacation time away from work, eating good food and spending time with their families, it’s not always the case with ADHDers. [Read more…]

The ADHDers Gift Guide

If your mind usually goes blank when a loved one asks what you would like for Christmas, this wish list will give you ideas. The 10 items will help you and your ADHD, so that 2017 is a really awesome year for you.

In order for an item to be included, it had to be affordable and solve an ADHD challenge. If you have an item that you love, let me know and I will include it on the blog. [Read more…]

7 Ways to Make This Your Best ADHD Year Ever…and More!

Jacqui on about.comHere is a roundup of my latest 6 articles on About.com as their ADD and ADHD expert! You could read them all, or pick the ones that sound the most interesting to you.

7 Ways to Make This Your Best ADHD Year Ever

Here are 7 ways to help manage your ADHD, so 2016 will be your best year yet!

Click here to read the full article.

ADHD Tip: How to meal plan in minutes.

Meal planning can cause anxiety and overwhelm for many people living with ADHD. Here is a simple stress-free way to meal plan.

Click here to read the full article.

How to Navigate Social Gatherings. 6 ADHD Friendly Tips

Many people with ADHD find social events challenging. Even though they aren’t your favourite thing, here are 6 ways to successfully navigate them.

Click here to read the full article.

Do You Need to Cut Down Your Drinking?

If you are living with ADHD, assessing your drinking habits is a good idea because there is a higher chance of addiction in people with ADHD compared to people without ADHD

Click here to read the full article.

5 ADHD Christmas Survival Tips

Many people love the holidays: However, when you are living with ADHD, holidays have a darker side too. Here are 6 ADHD Christmas Survival tips!

Click here to read the full article.

6 ADHD friendly Tips to Eat Less Sugar.

ADHD symptoms seem to work against eating a healthy diet! Here are 6 tips to reduce sugar in your diet when you are living with ADHD.

Click here to read the full article.

 

ADHD-Friendly Recipes

ADHD friendly recipiesMeal planning and cooking can be a logistical nightmare when you have ADHD. Making decisions, advanced planning, follow through and multi-step processes are all skills that are needed to plan, shop for and prepare meals; yet they are challenging when you have ADHD. This means ADDers often eat out, or order in.

However, when you cook at home, you can be guaranteed that the food is healthy and that no one has sneaked in fat, salt or sugar to make the dish taste better. Plus when you eat whole and healthy foods, your ADHD symptoms get easier to manage.

One website that takes the pain out of ADHD meal planning is http://www.elanaspantry.com.
Elena doesn’t have ADHD, but she does have a few health issues such as MS and celiac disease. These health challenges promoted her to create healthy, simple and easy recipes that don’t compromise on taste, flavour or style.

What makes these recipes ADHD-friendly?

Straightforward
All the recipes are simple and easy to make!! YAY! And not in a condescending way. Elena doesn’t make a big deal out of it…they just are.

Use Few Ingredients
Elena uses as few ingredients as possible. I don’t know about you, but if I just look at some of Martha Stewart’s list of ingredients, I get overwhelmed. This doesn’t happen at Elena’s pantry. If anything, you are wondering how something so seemingly basic on paper, tastes so good.

Gluten-free
All the recipes on the site are gluten free. In the 10 years of being an ADHD Coach, I know that going gluten-free is one of the most effective things you can do to help your ADHD. That doesn’t mean to say it’s the easiest thing, but it is worth the effort.

Refined Sugar-free
All the main dishes on the site are sugar-free. However, if you feel like baking and have a sweet tooth, Elena uses alternatives to refined sugar; which is much better for the ADHD brain (than refined sugar).

Dairy-free
Another great bonus if you have ADHD.

Here are some of my favourite recipes on the site:

Chicken dishes
I make both of these several times a month and always feel like a very clever cook. 🙂
http://www.elanaspantry.com/chicken-with-cauliflower-and-olives/
http://www.elanaspantry.com/rosemary-lemon-chicken/

Salmon
I don’t want to keep saying it’s so easy to make, but it’s true! And it’s also a great way to get some omega 3.
http://www.elanaspantry.com/sesame-salmon-burgers/

Salad
I became totally addicted to this salad last summer. It’s soooooo good. Even non-salad people love it.
http://www.elanaspantry.com/arugula-cucumber-salad-lemon-dressing/

Dessert
Whenever I go to friends’ and they ask me to make dessert, I take this. It’s so easy (but I don’t mention that!), and everyone is always impressed. Even though it’s called, Christmas Chocolate bark, I make it year round.
http://www.elanaspantry.com/christmas-chocolate-bark/

This week, check out http://www.elanaspantry.com for yourself.

 

What are your favorite ADHD Friendly recipes? let me know in the comment section below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 ADHD Tips for Happy Holidays

From a distance, the holiday season looks great – full of warmth, laughter, cosy family time, beautiful decorations and delicious food. However, as an adult with ADHD, you know this time of year can be highly stressful. You have to coordinate and incorporate a lot of extra things into your already busy life. Keeping a tidy, clean house (for guests), money management (lots of extra expenses), planning ahead, organizing events and travel arrangements, managing your time and keeping in check perfectionist and procrastination tendencies could be a potential nightmare. But it doesn’t have the be. The key to enjoying the holidays is to find balance. Do enough so that you enjoy and celebrate the holidays, yet not TOO much that you are frazzled, burned out and in debt.

5 adhd tips for happy holidaysHere are a 5 tips for a balanced holiday season:

1. Spend a few minutes now thinking of five things YOU would like to do this year. What makes the holidays fun and memorable for you? What would you feel sad about if it didn’t happen? Here is my list. After I have these musts, anything and everything else is a bonus.

  • Decorate a real tree (love the smell of a tree)
  • Spend time with my family (parents and siblings)
  • Send out Christmas cards (great way to keep in touch with friends I don’t see very often)
  • Wrap presents in gold and red with lots of ribbon
  • Buy a new Santa for my Santa collection

Your list might include building a snowman, drinking hot chocolate, attending midnight mass, eating a particular food, singing carols, watching a favourite Christmas movie, going to see “The Nutcracker” ballet, donating time to charity, baking cookies, the list is endless…

2. Print out a calendar of December and write down any social engagements you have already, then allocate time for your list of 5 things. Use the following list to help as a reminder of other things your holidays might include and pop them on your calendar. This will help you to not overschedule and allow time to do the things that are important to you.
Shopping

Gifts
Food
Party outfits

Entertaining
Making sure your home looks great for visitors
Planning and preparing tasty food

Holiday preparation
Writing and sending Christmas cards
Wrapping gifts
Putting up decorations

Traveling
Arranging flights and road trips

Coordinating your social calendar
Including parties, family get-togethers, drinking with friends

Finances
Managing the extra expense of these activities

3. Remember: Balance Is Key. Your goal is to embrace the holidays without going crazy. It’s okay to say no to some invitations that aren’t appealing to you. Don’t feel you need to spend too much money on each person… it really is the thought that counts. Set a budget for the holidays. That way you won’t feel guilty about spending money nor will you over spend.Repeat this mantra: Good is good enough. Whenever you feel like your perfectionist tendencies are getting in the way, remember, you aren’t Martha Stewart or Brie on “Desperate Housewives.” It is better to have shown up, baked a cake, sent out some cards, etc., than getting so hung up on perfection that you don’t do anything.

4. Make normal/boring activities into special ones. Why not take yourself to Starbucks, order a Christmas drink and sit with your address book, Christmas cards and stamps and write your cards? While wrapping presents, put on a Christmas movie or some Christmas tunes to really get you in the festive mood.

5. Whatever the holidays have in store for you this year, HAVE FUN!!!! Enjoy what you are doing and try not to worry about what you still have to do or haven’t done. Five years from now, you won’t remember the logistics. What you will remember is the time you spend with the people who are dearest to you.