Self-Care Strategy Tips to get you through the holidays

“Non-Pharmaceutial Alternatives”
for ADD/HD, EFD, TBI (etc.)
— Holiday-management —

Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC ©1995, 2013
ADD Coaching Skills Series

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays?!


YES, I AM AWARE that in less than half an hour from the time this article auto-posts it will officially be Thanksgiving — and happy Thanksgiving, by the way.

(I’m expressing my extreme gratitude that
it’s not Christmas YET.)

My BIGGIST Boomer birthday is the Friday after the turkey blow-out, and I am taking it TOTALLY off (an entire no-blog weekend, starting Thanksgiving!)

Instead of a yearly reflection on MY birthday this year, I spent quite a bit of time reflecting on my father’s, November 20th (Homage to Brandy – the most amazing man I never knew).

But I’m giving each of you an early present, a jump-start (so that maybe THIS Holiday Season will be a bit calmer than the last). Wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to relax and enjoy it this year?

Happy EVERYthing!

Since Christmas is my thing, the name of that particular holiday will be featured most prominently in any of my winter holiday articles.

But take a look at what I’m suggesting, no matter which end-of-year holidays YOU observe:

Hanukkah – Kwanza – Solstice – Ramadan – Shawwal – Black Friday – Cyber Monday – St. Nicholas Day – Boxing Day – Christmas Card Day – New Years – Twelfth Night – Festivus – or even You’re Welcome Day, Fruitcake Toss Day or National Bicarbonate of Soda Day (which, according to the Holiday Insights website, actually exist, along with my personal favorite on November 9th, Chaos Never Dies Day – but most of you probably missed it!)

Remember – links on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover.
Hover before clicking for a box with more info

Why this article?

Anyone who has been following me for any length of time knows that I am a BIG believer in one particular school of ADD self-management — “Do whatever works!”

Because most of the questions I receive center around “brain-facts,” functional implications of “ADD,” ADDvocacy, sleep or meds issues, many of the articles on have been written in answer to the types of questions I seem to receive about THOSE items.

This one’s a bit different

The holiday season is almost upon us (really – a month or less to get ready, no matter WHICH holiday you celebrate), notorious as the time when we’re usually overbooked and overworked.

Female ADDers, especially, barely have time to breathe, much less sleep and bathe between shopping, wrapping, cooking, decorating and cleaning (and I’ll embrace the single-parent Dads and ALL of the Alphabet Disorders Strugglers in the ADD no-time-to-breathe mix here!).

I’ve been collecting links for several seasons now, for just this occasion.

I’m taking some time before life gets even more harried to focus your attention on the things we can do to work with (and work around!) ADD organizational and time-management Challenges that might fall under the heading of Self-Care.

One of my more popular Getting Things Done with ADD!” coaching techniques for skating past overwork and overwhelm is what I call The D-3 Strategy  (also termed ): DO it, Delegate it, or DUMP it.  

I have learned to expect delighted laughter every time I point out that the technique is stacked 2 to 1 in favor of your NOT doing it!

So in this article, I’m going to provide a model of a great time-management strategy — a sort-of “article delegation” that takes just a bit of additional “time” to nab some current links, and even less “management” at the back end.  I’m piggy-backing on the brilliance of others while I take advantage of their “brain-children” to get a HUGE job done!

In addition to an introductory comment or ten from me, the linked articles peppered above (and listed below, containing a few helps from me), I am going to send you off to mine the brilliance of the experts in the trenches (including a few of my grads & colleagues).

Nothing too technical or heavy included – light-hearted, fun or funny whenever possible
— and CLEARLY what the ADD/TBI/EFD crowd needs for Christmas!

As long as works correctly, ALL links will open in a new window/tab, so you can simply close it once you have read the article (to AVOID jumping around in a hyperfocused frenzy).  This page will still be right where you left it, making it easy-peasey to work your way down the list as your schedule permits.

JUST IN CASE IT DOESN’T — pay attention when you “click” to make sure you don’t have to hit your browser’s BACK button to get back here instead of closing the window. (You can probably find it on the list of recent articles on the right, skinny column, but who needs the extra step, right?)

(Dear Santa – What I want most for Christmas is whatever it will take for the WordPress folks to TEST their updates so I am not forced to continually spend time resetting links and formatting on!!! 

I would also love to have at least half of the folks I have linked to on this blog link back.  It would REALLY help me get the word out that this information is available for free.  I’ve been really GOOD this year, any chance I might have BOTH?  xx, mgh)


10 MGH ADDCoach Hints:

  1. Print this page so you can cross off suggestions you’ve downloaded or read.  If you have favorite articles from magazines you want to snuggle in and enjoy, add ’em to the list!
  2. Put print-outs on your ‘fridge – even the most harried ADDer can usually remember where they left their ‘fridge!
  3. Take nibble breaks: Work your way down your magazine articles and article links categorized below in short bursts of “I need a BREAK!” time.
  4. Snack guilt free – a lot of us are tempted to nosh when frustrated or overworked – let this list of ADD-helps be your reminder you to take a browse-break instead! (Wouldn’t it be swell to lose a few holiday pounds so you might actually enjoy gorging on the big holiday meals and the New Year’s Eve nibbles?)
  5. Virtual SNACKS – not virtual feasts!!  Cross off ONE hint at a time (ok, two if they’re really short!) – then put the list back on the ‘fridge *before* you actually read the articles. You don’t really believe you’ll be able to find the darned list again if you set it down “for now,” do you?  (Deliver us from temptation, right?)
  6. Mono-nibble: Concentrate on ONE “food group” at a time.  Which one?  The one that’s giving you the most agita at the moment you really NEED the break.  What was the category closest to the straw that nearly broke the camel’s back?  (Don’t even THINK about letting yourself explore the other categories until next time!)
  7. Let it be your cookie!  Bribery works.  Promise your inner three year old a cookie for cooperation. NO, not food – a treat that won’t make you kick yourself the next time you step on a scale. (btw- if you haven’t read “the cookie postsyou really must — one seemingly dumb concept that is a life-changer for those of us with activation struggles)
  8. Breathe: The minute you finish one article, take a five s-l-o-w deep breaths while you think about a small incompletion or to-do you’ve been avoiding. Promise yourself a cookie break the MINUTE it’s done: guilt free permission to “nibble” – you’ve EARNED this break, whether you’re desperate for it or not!
  9. Splash! You’ll be amazed at how refreshing it can be to take a few quick minutes to splash your face with water before you get back on your treadmill of to-do’s. If you can spare the time, WASH your face — put on some moisturizer with sunscreen (winter air is drying, and even winter sun is photo-aging – to men as well as women).
  10. LIST: Don’t squander cognitive bandwidth trying to stay on track. Jot down a quick list of a few things that would just make your day if they got done.  Notice how crossing them off gives you a bit more wind beneath your wings – even if they’re teensy-tiny accomplishments. (AND DON’T FORGET COOKIES FOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS!)

As always, if you want notification of new articles in this Series – or any new posts on this blog – give your email address to the nice form on the top of the skinny column to the right. (You only have to do this once, so if you’ve already asked for notification about a prior series, you’re covered for this one too). STRICT No Spam Policy

Want to work directly with me? If you’d like some coaching help with anything that came up while you were running through this article (one-on-one couples or group), click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end (or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page). Fill out the form, submit, and an email SOS is on its way to me; we’ll schedule a call to talk about what you need. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)

For links in context: run your cursor over the article above and the dark grey links will turn dark red;
(subtle, so they don’t pull focus while you read, but you can find them to click when you’re ready for them)
— and check out the links to other Related Content in each of the articles themselves —

Related articles right here on
(in case you missed them above)

See also:

Systems Development (and Christopher Lowell?) scroll down for Black Friday tips

Timely Tips and Helpful Hints ’round the ‘net

Since is an
Evergreen site, I revisit all my content periodically to update links — when you link back, like, follow or comment, you STAY on the page. When you do not, you run a high risk of getting replaced by a site with a more generous Christmas-y come-from.  HAPPY HOLIDAYS!


Getting your Brain back – clearing the fog

To-Do Taming & Reducing Stress

For an ADD Organized Environment

Overall Organizing Tips

Digging OUT

TIME “management”

Holiday Helpfuls

Gratitude is Giving BACK

RU ready to get ready?

PAYING those Holiday expenses & keeping up with WORK

Holiday How-Tos

Staying Healthy

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

4 Responses to Self-Care Strategy Tips to get you through the holidays

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