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The Many Challenges of Thanksgiving for Those with ADHD

Thanksgiving is a time for family, food, and fun. But for those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), it can be one of the most challenging holidays. From the noise and chaos of a full house to the constant distractions of phones and TVs, there is no denying that Thanksgiving can be a challenge for those with ADHD. So what’s an ADHDer to do? 

Managing Expectations: 

One key to surviving Thanksgiving with ADHD is managing expectations. Do not expect to be able to handle every situation perfectly or please everyone in the family. Instead, focus on what is achievable and work within your limits. Set boundaries if needed; it is ok to say no if you need some space or time away from the festivities. 

Create Structure: 

Another important factor in navigating Thanksgiving with ADHD is structure. A plan can help minimize stress and clarify what needs to be done at each stage during the day. Having structure also helps reduce anxiety by providing direction and purpose throughout the day, which can make things feel less overwhelming overall. 


Do Not Over-Schedule: 

Lastly, do not overschedule yourself for Thanksgiving Day. It is ok to take things slow—slow enough to enjoy being present in the moment without feeling overwhelmed by all that needs to get done. Remember that it is perfectly acceptable to relax, listen, talk, laugh, and enjoy spending time with loved ones without having an agenda or taking on too much responsibility at once. 


As we approach the holiday season, it is essential to remember that not everyone experiences this time of year in the same way; those living with ADHD may find this season particularly difficult due to its hustle and bustle nature as well as its high expectations surrounding socializing and entertaining guests over large meals or other events - like Thanksgiving dinner! 

While this holiday may bring unique challenges for those with ADHD, there are strategies they can use (like setting boundaries, creating structure & planning ahead) that will help them manage their anxieties while still allowing them to enjoy quality time spent with their loved ones during this time of year!  Happy Holidays!

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