Ways to Manage ADHD Stress During the Holidays28 Dec

Robert Wilford, Ph.D. and Sarah Ferman, Psy.D., L.M.F.T.

There are two distinct conditions being discussed here. ADHD is one and stress is the other. Both are fairly easy to define and if you are a parent with a child who has ADHD it’s probably fair to say you know a bit about stress. The problem here though is that dealing with ADHD can be a tough task at the best of times, so if you throw stress into the mix, that task just got tougher.

Then, if all that is not hard enough, you add an extra ingredient of the holidays. Travel, visiting folks, having folks visit you, cooking, more cooking, the weather and all these things may make your stress levels soar to new heights. Stress has a way of upsetting the sufferer in many little and large ways. If you are stressed you will not sleep well, you may lose your appetite, you may feel like giving up and are likely to pick up colds and headaches more easily. It’s wise to get rid of stress.

So what else do we know? We know what usually happens during the holidays and even what may happen. So you are forewarned in that area. So we know about your ADHD child, you know about your spouse, you know about the holidays and you know that ball will suffer if you suffer from stress. But it is really possible to reduce or even remove your stress. And that simply has to happen because, let’s face it, a hyperactive child, or overzealous spouse plus the holidays do not need you suffering from stress. Simple. Get rid of the stress or the things which create the stress.

Here are some ways to do just that. Meditation. Now some people react to this idea with scorn and derision. It’s a waste of time, it doesn’t work and I’ll make a fool of myself. And those sorts of comments are usually from someone who has never tried meditation or never been serious in trying it. There are different philosophies and approaches to meditation but it all boils down to you stopping, being still in a quiet place and not doing anything other than relax. That in itself is a big help. For someone who is constantly on the go, constantly looking out for your ADHD child or spouse, putting on the brakes and doing nothing is good for your body, mind and soul. Make it for five minutes every day. Try it for ten minutes. It could mean the removal of your stress. Studies have shown that sitting doing nothing for 30 minutes a day, reduces cholesterol significantly and improves heart functioning. Imagine what a few minutes each day can do for you.

Then there’s logic. This involves you taking out a pad and pen and writing down, one topic at a time, the thing which is causing your stress. Don’t tackle more than one issue at a time or else you will become stressed. How ironical is that?

So let’s say you are behind in your study program. Your latest assignment is due and you haven’t found the time to do the necessary work. Just writing it down is helpful in itself. Then you need to list why this situation has arisen. Why are you behind? Well, obviously it’s because you are busy with other things, many of them essential. And once again, writing down the reasons is helpful in itself. And, now you must make a decision. List the way or ways you can find time to complete your work. Now that you have a plan, follow through, one step at a time. And presto, you feel better already.

Leave us a comment on how you handle Stress…

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Most medical doctors who treat ADD/ADHD do so as part of a larger practice. ADHD Specialists focuses primarily on only treating ADD and related conditions. This intense focus allows us to continually sharpen our clinical skills, attend specialized training, utilize the latest therapies, and build our process to meet the specific needs of our clients.

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