12 days of Christmas: ADHD guide

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can significantly impact daily life.


Managing ADHD symptoms requires a multifaceted approach that encompasses physical, emotional, and lifestyle considerations. In this guide, we will explore 12 effective steps to help individuals with ADHD overcome overwhelm, enhance organisation, regulate emotions, prevent burnout, maintain a positive mood, and adopt healthier lifestyle habits over Christmas.

Step 1. Overcoming overwhelm

Break tasks into smaller, manageable steps. Prioritise tasks in order of importance what's going to have the most impact and focus on one thing at a time. Use tools like to-do lists and calendars to organise activities. Present buying can be overwhelming; write a list of all the people you want to buy for, set a budget and keep a note of what you have bought, this avoids overspending or forgetting someone (which could be very awkward come Christmas morning - yes, I've been there). 

Step 2. Establish routines to create structure

Utilise organisational tools, such as planners or apps. Set reminders for important tasks and deadlines. Christmas party coming up? Put it in the diary. Family lunch with the cousins you never see? Add it in! When we put these dates and events in a diary it takes the pressure away from our busy minds and gives us more room to breathe.

Step 3. Managing emotional regulation

Identify and understand your emotions. Practice mindfulness and meditation to stay present. Talk to your coach about certain family members that trigger you, and get clear on what is happening to avoid having a big emotional outburst.

Step 4. Educate family members about RSD and ADHD

Foster open communication about feelings and reactions. Work together to create a supportive and understanding environment. A lot of people without ADHD can't understand or see what's happening to you, so explain it. Tell them when you need a quiet minute because Aunty Mel is too much for your brain after her fifth prosecco, (don’t tell her that) just quietly excuse yourself to a quiet part of the house for 10 mins, reground and come back when you are ready!

Step 5. Avoiding burnout

Schedule regular breaks during work, study or social occasions. Learn to say no when you feel overwhelmed. Delegate tasks when possible and ask for help.

Step 6. Avoiding low mood

Engage in activities you enjoy to boost your mood. Take the family dog for a walk, play a fun card game, or bake a cake. Surround yourself with a supportive social network.

Step 7. Watch what you eat

Consume a balanced diet with lots of protein, protein is your best friend when it comes to ADHD. Stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water. Limit alcohol and sugar intake, as they can impact focus and mood massively!

Step 8. Sleep hygiene

Establish a consistent sleep schedule. Create a calming bedtime routine. Minimise screen time before bedtime.

Step 9. Exercise

Absolutely essential for us ADHDers. Regular physical activity will improve focus and give us a much-needed hit of dopamine. Take walks or runs for a quick energy boost if you are out of your normal routine. Find enjoyable forms of exercise to stay motivated.

Step 10. Mindfulness and journaling

Practice mindfulness to stay present and reduce stress. Keep a journal to track thoughts and emotions. Reflect on achievements and positive experiences.

Step 11. Breath work - 478 technique

When it all seems too much and the kids are fighting and the mother-in-law is commenting on every dish you have slaved over, here is your quick-fix go-to, to bring you back to earth peacefully.

  • Inhale quietly through your nose for a count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  • Exhale completely through your mouth for a count of eight.
  • Repeat for several cycles to promote relaxation.

Step 12: Have fun 

You are fun and loving, a deeply caring person and the world wants to see it, don’t let ADHD get in the way of who you really are. Learn to manage your symptoms effectively and learn to let go of the chaos for a calmer more content life. You are not alone in your struggles and there is a better way forward, I promise. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Cobham, Surrey, KT11 1EQ
Written by Charlotte Fry
Cobham, Surrey, KT11 1EQ

L7 ADHD MENTOR + LIFE COACH. Struggling with ADHD can feel like an uphill battle, but you're not alone. I've been where you are, and I know firsthand the challenges you face.
With 14 years of industry knowledge, I have the secret formula to live life to the fullest with ADHD firmly under control.

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