I hope you and yours are well this holiday season!
The holidays can be hard for people with ADHD in a normal year and 2020 is complicating things far more than a normal year. With COVID we have the added pain of not being able to travel, of loneliness, of remembering the folks who were here last year that are not here today. The beauty of the holidays is the light shining in the darkness. During the darkest hours of winter we come together with our neighbours, with our communities of faith, and with our families both biological and chosen.
The coming together will look different this year. It may consist of virtual calls, holiday cards or care packages. Some of the normal ways we are used to connecting with our loved ones this time of year may not be possible in 2020, but it’s important to recognize and celebrate the ways we CAN connect, and make the most out of them. A simple phone call or video chat to a loved one to tell them how much they mean to you will carry even more weight this year.
And if you can’t do as much connecting with loved ones as you’d like and that makes you feel lonely or sad, please consider connecting with the people in your area in some way. There are many people who don’t have anyone to connect with at all, and a card or small gift might be the brightest light for them this season.
NOTE that there will be no weekly meeting on December 16th or December 30th as we take some time to recharge over the holidays. Weekly meetings will resume on Wednesday, January 6th at the usual time and location.
If you haven't used Zoom you can check it out here. The first time you join a meeting you may be prompted to download some software, after that zoom will be able to launch from your computer when you click a meeting link.
ADDing to your Toolbox
ADHD and HOLIDAY EXPECTATIONS:
Sometimes people with ADHD can hyperfocus on wanting things to be perfect, creating an idealized ‘Hallmark’ holiday that they try to live up to.
Sometimes, no matter how much we enjoy the holidays, we don’t think about it or plan anything until it’s already too late for gifts and cards mailed to arrive on time.
For us ADHDers those are not mutually exclusive!
In any year, but especially in 2020, that ‘perfect’ holiday might be very far from what actually happens. We may not have the resources, time, or energy to do all the things we would like to do for our loved ones. What’s important is to not let small things like that steal our joy - it is too valuable a resource this year. Even though as people with ADHD we often focus on everything we didn’t achieve, I assure you that your loved ones will be focusing on all the things you DID do this holiday season!
Regulating emotions is another thing that we struggle with and when we perceive ourselves as having failed to live up to some expectation (whether that expectation was realistic or not), we can react with negative emotions: frustration, sadness, anger. The heartbreaking part is that our loved ones will not remember how many presents were under the tree, but they will remember if we made them feel joy and love during a stressful holiday season.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a stress and disruption for everyone, but for those of us with ADHD there are some particular reasons it may be difficult to cope. We've assembled a collection of external resources that we think may be helpful to you: