The holiday season is fast approaching and usually I write an essay about managing the holidays. Mainly about how to deal with seeing family and friends without becoming overwhelmed. Many with ADHD struggle with going home for the holidays. Well this year many are not going home for the holidays and many are not hosting their usual holidays events.

The holidays are going to be different this year due to the current pandemic. For some of you this is disappointing and for others a relief. No matter what camp you are in, one of the most important things to remember is to take care of yourself while you are in the process of giving to others. We are all feeling a level of stress with the pandemic. No one likes wearing masks and social distancing. Neither do they like the low-grade general anxiety that comes from having to be always vigilant.

This may lead to feeling some level of sadness or depression during November and December. To combat this, I urge you to plan ahead. I know not a strong suit of many affected by ADHD but worth trying none-the-less. Decide in advance how you are going to celebrate Thanksgiving and whatever other winter holidays you observe. You may actually be alone on these days but you should still try to plan something so that you feel you had a break from the day-to-day responsibilities you carry. Even if the plan is ordering in, taking a bubble bath and curling up with a good book or video. Just do something to make the day special. Breaking up the monotony of daily living in a pandemic is important.

If you participate in a gift giving tradition start planning now. If you are making any gifts start getting to it. If you are ordering gifts get to that as well. A record number of people will be ordering online and delivery may have some delays or stock may run low. I know we tend to procrastinate but try getting things done in little chunks. First make a list of who you need to make or order presents for and then decide what you are going to get or make for each person on the list. Then start scouting out the gifts or supplies for making the gifts. Then take action and get to work making or ordering the gifts. Shock your family by not actually waiting to the last minute. This allows you to be more thoughtful with your gift giving.

These holidays are going to be unlike are any in our memory. Find new ways to make the situation work for you. Take time for yourself. Take time to plan how to give to others in this trying time. You will feel better for it. Most importantly stay safe as you celebrate.