The holidays are supposed to be filled with joy. So why does it seem like they get more stressful every year?

Part of what gets us out of balance, overwhelmed, frazzled, exhausted, especially at this holiday season is our expectations. Our perceptions and thoughts actually contribute to much of our own unhappiness or feelings of stress. Get them, and your schedule, under control with the strategies in this video.

Your Holiday Prioritization Plan: Focus on What Matters

Black Friday shopping. Cookie exchanges. Office parties. Is this really how you want to spend the most magical time of year? Sleepless, stressed, and broke?

From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, extra social and organizational demands knock many adults with ADHD off balance, making it even harder to shop, bake, plan, and execute.

This year, take back the holidays by investing time only in the things you value most — not what you think you’re supposed to do.

How? With these 5 steps.

1. Examine your expectations.

List your “shoulds.” Are they realistic and obtainable?

If not, replace them with, “Maybe next year I’ll…”

2. Pick your top three.

What do you value most about the holidays? Seeing relatives? Religious services? Sharing experiences with your kids?

Order your priorities from most to least important, and ask your family members to do the same.

3. Decide what you don’t want to do.

Come up with a plan to turn down invitations that don’t fit your priorities.

If you can’t get out of task, explore ways to delegate or hire someone to help.

4. Make time for self-care.

A car doesn’t run without gas, and neither will you.

For every obligation, schedule time to take a walk, meditate, or hit the gym.

5. Plan your medication coverage.

You’ll be staying up later, eating more sugar, and spending more time on the road.

Talk to your physician about making sure you are medicated when you need to be.

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