The holiday season often disrupts our routines, no matter how much we enjoy the much needed break. The timeframe between Christmas and the New Year feels like a barren, lawless wasteland as far as routines go - we feel like for a week, time doesn't exist! Returning to the usual rhythm can be a challenging transition, especially for those of us with ADHD. Today we'll talk about practical ways you can ease back into your routine, by focusing on structure and self-compassion.
1. Reflect on the Positive Moments: Begin by reflecting on the positive moments of the holiday season. Acknowledge the joy and connections you experienced. This positive mindset will help you approach the return to routine with a sense of gratitude and motivation.
2. Gradual Re-entry: Instead of diving headfirst into a hectic schedule, consider a gradual re-entry. Start with a simplified to-do list and gradually reintroduce tasks. This approach can help you manage potential overwhelm and build momentum at a manageable pace.
3. Re-establish Your Routine: Routines are the bedrock for individuals with ADHD. Re-establish your daily routine, focusing on key activities such as wake-up times, meals, and bedtime. Consistency provides a sense of stability, making it easier to transition back into the demands of daily life.
4. Prioritize Tasks Mindfully: Assess your tasks with a mindful approach. Prioritize based on importance and deadlines, and break down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. This can prevent feelings of being overwhelmed and increase your chances of success. (The ADHD Project Planner can be a great tool to prioritize quickly and easily!)
5. Set Realistic Goals: While enthusiasm for the new year is commendable, it's essential to set realistic goals. Avoid overwhelming yourself with an extensive list of resolutions. Choose a few meaningful goals and break them down into actionable steps.
6. Leverage Visual Tools: Visual aids can significantly aid in the post-holiday transition. Utilize calendars, planners, or digital tools to visualize your schedule. Highlight important dates and deadlines to enhance your focus and organization.
7. Incorporate Mindfulness Practices: Incorporate mindfulness practices into your routine. Whether it's meditation, deep breathing, or a short mindful walk, these practices can center your mind and enhance your ability to stay present amidst the daily challenges. (Never tried meditation? That's okay! Click here to learn more about it's effects for ADHD)
8. Seek Support: Transitioning back into routine is easier with support. Communicate your intentions to friends, family, or colleagues, and let them know how they can support you during this period. Having a support system can provide motivation and accountability.
As you brace yourself for the dreaded post-holiday re-entry, remember that it's okay to take it one step at a time. Embrace the unique strengths that come with ADHD, and use them to your advantage. With thoughtful planning, mindfulness, and self-compassion, you can smoothly transition back into your routine, setting the stage for a successful and fulfilling year ahead. Here's to finding your rhythm, finishing 2023 strong, and making 2024 a year of growth and accomplishment!