It’s time to get strategic around Christmas.
If you’re a person who finds organization a challenge the rest of the year round, it may reassure you to know that you’re not alone in finding Christmas a mega-challenging time.
Christmas is a crazy-making time precisely because all the challenges come at once. That means all the strategies we need throughout the year are needed more than ever. You will need to bring out the strategies, tools, and techniques you have for managing yourself and your stuff to avoid getting overwhelmed.
Unless you want to start your Christmas preparations months before the merry day (and personally, I find that prospect extremely unappealing), all the preparations need to be done within a fairly short period over a few weeks. On top of all the other day-to-day stuff which still needs doing.
Just the kind of thing that we ADHDers find challenging. There’s so much to do and so much to remember. That’s because there is a lot to do in a short timescale. In some ways that can be a tremendous advantage for those with an ADHD brain. We are great at sprints so you can view a time-limited event like Christmas, just like a sprint or series of sprints. It’s only a few weeks away, and then it’s finished.
What kind of strategies are particularly useful at Christmas time?
Instead of feeling bad because you haven’t time to personally send out 100 cards to all your friends, relations, and people you want to thank at the end of the year, why not take the pressure off yourself and send some of your greetings another way, which doesn’t involve doing it all at the same time? People will be glad to hear from you anytime; it doesn’t necessarily have to be done before Christmas day, does it?
2. Do what you can in advance to make life easier on the day:
I have spent nearly every Christmas Eve of my life hurriedly wrapping presents at the last minute, but not this year! This year I will be relaxing with my feet up, with my presents already wrapped and under the tree. I set myself the challenge of completing this just a bit at a time so that on Christmas Eve, I can focus on enjoying the company of others without this task hanging over me.
3. Ask others for help:
Attempting to do all of the Christmas preparations on your own can be a recipe for martyrdom and resentment, especially if you’re providing meals for people. You won’t get brownie points for feeling put upon!
For some reason, our ADHD brains think it is necessary to do everything ourselves, even if we nearly collapse with the effort. Delegating can help you by reaching out to others to see what part of the preparations they would be willing to take on and share. If you ask yourself, “What’s preventing me from asking for help?” you may come up with some interesting answers that could help you move forward.
You can feel calmer and more in control by using straightforward strategies such as these examples to reduce the overwhelm that comes from having so much to do in a short time.
Simplify – reduce the sheer number of Christmas things to do.
Do what you can in advance – by doing things in advance, you clear your path for a more effortless and enjoyable time on the day itself.
Ask for help – many hands make light work, and are you aware that people love to help?
Why not pick just one thing you will do differently this year to make Christmas less stressful and more enjoyable? After all, if you end up having a good time, it’s much more likely that others will too.