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5 Tips For Surviving Thanksgiving Dinner with ADHD

The turkey is thawed, the kids are out of school and you only need to make 5,494 more trips to the grocery store.

You’re on schedule, girl! 

Bring on the intrusive career questions, inquiries about the wedding plans you never mentioned and unsolicited feedback about how you should raise your kids and you have yourself a anxiety induced Thanksgiving dinner.

Getting through the holidays can be tough when you struggle with social anxiety, impulsivity and sensory sensitivities. People oftentimes will misunderstand your observatory demeanor as being cold or standoffish when in actuality you are just trying to figure out where exactly you fit into this twisted game of double dutch.

That’s why I created this neurodivergent friendly guide with 5 tips for surviving Thanksgiving dinner (without having a complete meltdown). 

Take one of those deep breaths and regulate your nervous system real quick.

Ok! Let’s go!

Mask Off

You bring that damn mask everywhere you go.  You bring it to work with that fake ass high pitched voice you do, you bring it on dates scared to order the dish you actually want, you even brought it to the goddamn grocery store today, when the cashier handed you change for your $100 bill in all 1’s – and you had the nerve to say “no worries” Knowing damn well, you had many worries associated with carrying around $94 one dollar bills. 

Why are we like this? We are fully grown humans y’all. It’s ok to be yourself – Nobody is going to punish you for being different. The least you could do is take off around your loved ones and allow them to see the real you.

No, being misunderstood is not for the weak hearted. It’s uncomfortable, yes. But the alternative of constantly having to over explain yourself is mentally draining and played out. Period. 

Set Clear Boundaries 

Take it easy on the yes’s this year, girl. You only have so many of those to give away before you burn yourself out.

Yes, I’m talking to YOU.  

The same YOU that continues to invite people over your house when you don’t enjoy hosting. The same YOU that flies across the country every year knowing damn well you strive for familiarity. The same YOU that hugs everyone when you walk into the house even though physical touch makes you cringe.

Yes, YOU. 

So before you put yourself in an overstimulated uncomfortable situation, again…think twice about what or maybe even who exactly you have the mental capacity for this Thanksgiving. 

Do You

Everyone’s Thanksgiving doesn’t have to look the same. Let me say that again (with a clap in between every single damn word).

Everyone’s Thanksgiving Does Not Need To Look The Same. 

So get that sick Pinterest infested idea out of your head. Now. 

Thanksgiving is about spending quality time with the people you love over good food. Simple. What it is not about is putting yourself  in any type of situation that makes you feel uncomfortable or overstimulated. 

If you don’t like to cook – I hope you aren’t on Pintrest trying to find recipes and have committed to order out. If you can’t bake for shit – You better hurry up and head over to Walmart to see if there are any more Patti La Belle pies left. If you would rather poke your eyeballs out with a fork than host family, then get the forks ready because it’s too late, you already said yes. 

Kidding – I hope you were able to find a polite way to say no and protect your peace.

Whether you are spending the weekend in Vegas or are staying home to have an intimate dinner, that’s YOUR business and you get to decide how your day looks. You shouldn’t feel bad for doing what makes you happy.

Alone Time

Whether you are staying home or traveling for the holiday, just know that this weekend will rock your world in one way or another. You will be off schedule and things can tend to be hectic. Breathe. You got this.

So long as you squeeze in some alone time to screw your head back on straight.

I know what you’re thinking…What about my guests? What about my kids? What about my partner? 

Girl. WHAT ABOUT YOU?

When was the last time you actually carved out some time for you to do nothing? When was the last time you allowed yourself to forget about household chores and the never-ending to-do list that you keep adding to?

Can you speak up? I can’t hear you….Oh, you said NEVER.

Well maybe you should start now. 

I’m not going to lie – It’s not easy, it’s torturous. But your life literally depends on it. Make time for yourself this year, you deserve it. And your body will thank you later. 

Take It Easy On The Liquor (and wine) 

Now you know, damn well…that you struggle with impulsivity. Plain and simple. 

One turns into two and two turns into 5. You’re just an all or nothing kind of girl.  Do you need me to remind you about what happened last year?

I know how much you hate being told what to do so we will keep this short and sweet. 

Take it easy.