Uncertainty. Anxiety. Fear. Isolation. Doubt. Many of adults with ADHD have had these same thoughts over the past few weeks since pandemic began. During these uncertain times, adults with ADHD don’t always give ourselves the opportunity to process these thoughts and emotions because we focus on planning for the unknown. It’s important to give yourselves permission to cope in a way that is best for each of you. Sometimes that’s difficult because we are worried about our loved ones or other vulnerable families in our community. Taking care of yourself allows you to effectively care for others. Caring for ourselves looks different for every person and maintaining balance among the different areas of our self-including physical, spiritual, emotional and relational is essential. Here are a few self-care tips for surviving the holidays with ADHD during COVID.
Put Your Own Mental & Physical Needs First- Figure out what your triggers are to help you prepare for stressful situations. Is shopping for holiday gifts too stressful for you? What is making you feel physically and mentally agitated? Once you know this, you can take steps to avoid or cope with stress.
Write a gratitude list and offer thanks – 2020 has been especially challenging for all of us. As we come to the end of the year it is a good time to reflect back on what you are grateful for and then thank those who have supported you. Gratitude has been shown to improve mental health.
Manage your time and don’t try to do too much– Managing your time and activities during the holiday can help you use your time well. Try making a day-to-day schedule will assist you not to feel overwhelmed by everyday tasks and deadlines It’s okay to say no to plans that don’t fit into your schedule or make you feel good.
Set boundaries. Family dynamics can be complex especially with ADHD Acknowledge them and accept that you can only control your role. If you need to, find ways to limit your exposure.
Practice relaxation. Deep breathing, meditation and progressive muscle relaxation are good ways to calm yourself. Taking a break to refocus can have benefits beyond the immediate moment.