As we get closer to the Christmas break, life gets much busier…
Whether this is a religious holiday for you or not (i.e. Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza…), no doubt your life has gotten much busier in the past few weeks.
And things become all about the work get togethers, the ‘secret santa’, the family functions, trying to honor family traditions, and of course – trying to find the “right” present for your loved ones.
And if it’s for your child, no doubt, there is the ‘hot gift’ of the season, which is way too hard to find… (I suspect those toy companies do it on purpose!)
This time of year can be very stressful and challenging.
We all put too much pressure on ourselves for the holiday season.
And during all of these stresses and pressures – there’s one important thing to remember: and that is WHY we do all of these things…
Think about it for a moment:
- Why do you want to get your child or loved one the ‘right gift’?
- Why do you want to spend time with family? (even if it is your parents, or in-laws, or aunts and uncles who are judgmental, don’t understand you, and don’t ‘get’ ADD…)
- Why do you try so hard to keep ‘family traditions’ alive?
My argument is this:
We do all of these things so that we can hopefully experience an EMOTION.
All of this hard work, to get us to FEEL a certain way.
What is this feeling that we drive ourselves so hard to feel?
[highlight color="FFFF00"]In my view, we’re pursuing this: an emotion of connection, closeness and love.[/highlight]
And in our day to day lives – we are so busy, so concerned about the stresses of the day, and week, and month, that we don’t often stop and take the time to feel this life-fulfilling feeling with the people we love – especially if they have ADD/ADHD and we have to work so hard to support them… (or if we ourselves have ADD and have trouble keeping up with day to day life…)
My advice to you- and my ‘christmas message’ to you is this:
Take the time to experience that loving connection and feeling with your loved ones this holiday season.
Make THAT the specific goal, and find the time to do it.
For many people, the busy holiday season doesn’t actually lead to this feeling of connection, closeness and love. It just leads to stress, overwhelm, upset, and a desire to get back to the routine of work…
Or maybe you’ve heard yourself saying to yourself under your breath: “I need a holiday after my holiday!”
Now, I’m not saying that you need to avoid the family traditions, and the get togethers, and all of the busy things you want to do, or feel you need to do.
Rather, I’m suggesting this:
1) Be easy on yourself. Don’t push yourself so hard that you get run down, overwhelmed and are ready to snap. That doesn’t serve you, and it doesn’t serve the ones you love. If your house isn’t perfectly neat, or if the Christmas meal is missing the cranberry sauce (or if it’s even take out from a chinese restauarant!), be easy on yourself, and remember, the point of the holidays is a feeling of connection, closeness and love.
2) At some point in your holiday schedule – take some time to do something with the people you love most – and make sure that you nurture a sense of connection, closeness and love.
This may mean going for a walk, or going bowling, or just having a quiet chat when no one else is around.
And when you do this – be sure to open up, and share your feelings. This part is so important – because that will show your loved ones how you really feel.
You may even want to explain how you do all of the holiday ‘activities’ and traditions to try to make it a special time for the family, so that your loving connections will get even stronger. Talk about how important your loved ones are to you, and how much they mean to you.
Give specific examples of things they’ve done that you love and/or are proud of.
Don’t use general statements, like: “You know I love you son.”
Rather, use very specific comments like, “I love you just for who you are. And when you stood up for your friend who was in trouble last September, even though that was a hard time for you, I saw the power of your character, your loyalty and I was so proud. I love you for who you are.”
When a comment is general, kids and loved ones think you just read it out of a book. But when you open up, and acknowledge them for what they’ve done and who they are – then they know you mean it. Everybody appreciates when someone sees who they really are, and acknowledges them for being themselves.
And of course if this is a religious and/or cultural holiday for you, be sure to consider and pray on the true meaning of the holiday. This can deepen your spritual connection, which can be beneficial to you in so many ways.
I wish you happy holidays, and I want you to know that I truly appreciate you for allowing me to participate in your journey with ADD/ADHD. I am honored, and I really appreciate you.
I hope you have happy, fulfilling, connected and loving holidays.
Please share your thoughts in the comments below. And if you think this message can help someone else, please forward it to them.
p.s. If you find this message helpful, you may also find my book: Attention Difference Disorder helpful. It is for parents of kids and teens with ADD/ADHD. You can find it on Amazon.com here. Depending on when you order, Amazon may be able to still get it to you by the holidays!