Holiday Disruption & ADHD: Planned Presents

Okay, so gifts aren’t really all that disruptive, but it can be challenging to figure out what to give people while staying within budget. So let’s look at how to decide what to give and how to keep from breaking the bank.

Pinnable image with a Christmas tree that has a bunch of wrapped presents underneath it.

What to Give

The first thing you need to know is who you’re giving gifts to. And by that, I don’t just mean their names. You need to know what they like to do, what their interests are, etc. Who are they?

Once you know who you’re giving gifts to, you need to start noticing your options when you’re out and about. I like to take pictures of specific items with the price visible, so I can look at my ideas when I’m not in the store. It’s also worth talking to the people you’ll be giving gifts to. Ask them what kinds of things they would like to receive, what kinds of things they like to do (so you can give an experience rather than a thing), etc. Maybe they have a wishlist at their favourite store (or on Amazon). If you’re looking at baby gifts or wedding gifts, maybe they have a registry somewhere or a colour scheme they’d like people to observe.

Think about your skills next. You may be able to make really special, personalized gifts for your friends and family. For example, I relearned how to knit and learned to crochet in 2009, and that Christmas I made everyone in my family a toque (“beanie”; knitted winter cap) using their favourite colours. In 2005 when my middle brother was ordained a priest (in the Anglican Church of Canada), I made him a red preaching stole with hand-embroidered symbols (my own design), and it wound up being hand-stitched as well (and about half of that was done by my oldest brother while I was driving us to the service).

I actually don’t enjoy dealing with Christmas and birthdays even though I love giving gifts. That sounds weird, I’m sure, but it makes loads of sense! Why? Because what I really want to do is just give incidental gifts. If I see something that I know a friend or family member would love, then I want to just get it and give it to them right away. Just ask a few of my long-distance friends about the little things I’ve sent to them out of the blue.

How to Budget

I’m planning to do a whole series of posts on finances next year, so I’m only going to talk about how to keep costs down (or at least reasonable) when buying gifts.

The first thing to do is decide how much you can afford to spend overall. Obviously it’s best to set a bit aside each month for different types of gifts, but since we’re really focusing on Christmas (winter holidays) right now, and we’re looking at about three weeks until you need to have the presents ready to go, we’re going to talk about last-minute gifts this week.

When you know your total budget, you can decide how much to spend per person. I like to use multiples of $5 per person because it’s easier to math, and I usually expect to spend more per adult than per child. If money is particularly tight, you could decide to give family gifts instead of individual gifts. For example, I could decide to give my youngest brother and his family a board game like Candyland (his kids are the right age for that) and my middle brother and his family (they have four kids, and the oldest is a teenager while the youngest is early elementary) might enjoy a family activity like a cooperative board game, a set of plain dishes and foodsafe paints, or a family pass to the nearest science centre.

If you’re going to make gifts, you need to think about how long it will take to make each thing, as well as how much the materials will cost. Yarn can be very expensive, but you can cut those costs if you have a large stash built up to choose from. Same with fabric for sewn items. Paint can also cost a fair bit, but one tube will do more than one item. One of the art YouTubers I like to watch, Mira Byler, painted 30 wooden tree ornaments in a recent video. She already has loads of different types of paint, so the immediate cost for something like that would be the cost of the ornaments and the ribbon for people to use to hang them up. If you’re doing something like that, you can easily personalize them. And all it’ll cost you is a bit of time and a few materials you can probably buy in bulk.

When to Wrap

My family is notorious for our “family wrapping paper” being the bag from the store the gift was bought at. Not at Christmas (usually), but birthday gifts are usually just in the store bag. I don’t recommend this method of wrapping gifts unless you and your loved ones are like us and have a warped sense of humour.

We are also notorious for waiting to wrap gifts until we’re at my parents’. Why, you ask? Because my dad saves the wrapping paper (we are not allowed to rip wrapping paper off our gifts) and it is kept in a couple of bins, along with labels and gift bags and so on. So we bring gifts to my parents’ and then we find a time when we can be alone with the gifts and the wrapping paper stash, and we wrap and label the presents.

If you don’t have a stash of wrapping paper and/or you’re not travelling for the holidays this year, I recommend using gift bags and tissue paper instead of wrapping paper. You can usually find great gift bags at the dollar store!

So when should you wrap the gifts? Honestly, it may be best to wrap them as you bring them home. Just make sure you label them and have a good place to keep them where you won’t forget about them but also won’t have to deal with other people trying to guess at their contents.

I don’t have a printable for you this week, but if you would like one to guide you through this process, let me know in the comments on this post and I will see what I can do.

Next month we’re going to talk about planning and planners, particularly as they relate to and are affected by executive dysfunction.


Holiday Disruption & ADHD: Tumultuous Travel

Of all the things that happen during the holidays, travel is one of the worst for disrupting our lives. ADHDers are notorious for struggles with packing and timeliness, not to mention how many of us just get lost on our way somewhere!

Let’s talk about how to know what to bring, how to be on time for flights (or the bus), and how to make sure we get where we want to go.

Pinnable image with a photo of an over-stuffed suitcase.

Packing for a Trip

There are a few questions you need to know the answers to before you can pack for a trip:

  1. How many days will you be gone?
  2. Is there anything special you need to bring (e.g., a special outfit, gifts)?
  3. Will you be able to do laundry while you’re away?
  4. What is the weather supposed to be like while you’re there?

The answers to these questions will help inform how many clothes you need to bring and what else you need to pack. Let’s break down the categories.


If you can do laundry while you’re away, you can bring fewer clothes than if you can’t do laundry. But let’s look at this from the most practical angle.

The best way to keep your luggage down but have plenty of options for what to wear is to pack separates. You’ll probably want the following:

  • 2-3 bottoms
  • 4-6 tops that all go with all of your bottoms
  • 1 pair of underwear per day of your trip
  • 1 pair of socks per day of your trip
  • pyjamas
  • 1 dressy outfit for any more formal events (e.g., party, church service) you will attend–this doesn’t need to be separates
  • any other items you need (e.g., bras)
  • slippers if you wear them
  • shoes for everyday that go with your separates
  • shoes for your dressy outfit
  • proper outerwear for the weather (e.g., winter coat, rain jacket, windbreaker)
  • wallet/purse

Remember, unless an item of clothing is dirty or smelly, you can wear it again. If you don’t want to wear the exact same outfit more than one day, that’s why you have more tops than bottoms. Mix and match and you’re golden.


How many times have you forgotten to bring a toothbrush on a trip? I have a great way to avoid that.

I have a toiletries bag that I keep packed.

Yes, it means I have two of some things, but it means that when I’m going somewhere all I need to do is grab the bag, toss in the stuff I only have one of, and I’m good.

Here’s what I keep in my toiletries bag:

  • toothbrush
  • travel-size toothpaste
  • travel-size shampoo
  • travel-size conditioner
  • dental floss
  • travel-size body wash
  • razor
  • hair elastics

Other things you can keep in your toiletries bag:

  • travel-size shaving cream
  • brush and/or comb
  • travel-size hair products (e.g., hair spray, mousse)
  • deodorant

When you’re packing to go on a trip, add any jewelry or makeup you need to have with you. Unless you travel a lot, I don’t recommend keeping makeup in your toiletries bag, since it will probably expire before you get proper use out of it.

Other Stuff

Other things you might want to bring on a trip include homework if you’re in school, books to read, hobbies that you enjoy (and don’t take up a lot of space), gifts for family and/or friends you’ll see, and electronics–including chargers–like a laptop or tablet.

The best way to keep this under control is to choose a bag to carry things in and keep it contained to that one bag. This will make it easier to keep track of what you’ve brought, because less stuff and fewer bags to keep track of means you’ll do better at remembering to take it home with you. If you’re doing gifts, you might want a second bag for gifts, which can then house any gifts you receive on the way home.

Number of bags

If you’re flying, you need to keep everything to a minimum, so you’ll want to keep the gifts small and fit them in your suitcase with your clothes and toiletries, and then use your carry-on bag for your activities and electronics.

If your mode of transportation doesn’t charge for extra luggage (e.g., you’re driving), you can use a box for gifts and a bag for activities, and have your suitcase as well.

Keeping Track

When you’re at your destination, you’ll need to keep track of your things so you don’t forget to bring it all home with you. I recommend having a checklist for everything that you brought so you can consult it while packing to leave, but there are a few more tricks you can use.

  1. Keep your clothes in the suitcase. If you need to hang something up, keep your suitcase in the same area as the closet. To separate dirty clothes from clean, I use that pocket that goes across the back of my suitcase to hold dirty underwear and socks, but you could use any other way of separating your clothes within the suitcase (e.g., other pockets in the suitcase, a space-saving packing bag).
  2. Keep your toiletries bag in the bathroom and the items from it in the bag or nearby (anything you use in the shower will need to dry off before you return it to the toiletries bag).
  3. When you finish using something, put it back in the bag you’ll be transporting it in. This keeps it all together and you’ll be less likely to forget it.

Being on time

It’s so easy for us to be late for things like flights. Here are my best tips for being on time when traveling.

  1. Know when you need to be at your destination or the airport (or other transportation hub).
  2. Know how long it will take to travel to your destination or transportation hub (wherever you’re going from your house). This will tell you when you need to leave.
  3. If you’re taking a plane or other mode of transportation, consider calling ahead for a taxi or shuttle to take you to the transportation hub. You tell the taxi service when you need to be at the airport (or whatever) and they send the cab for the right time based on traffic and so on.
  4. Pack the day before you’re leaving so all you have to do is load the car.

Finding Places

A map is a great thing. If you have trouble reading a map, GPS is an excellent substitution. Take note of things like landmarks to help you remember where to turn and stuff. Getting specific directions can also be really helpful, but make sure they’re written down so you don’t forget them.

This week’s printable is meant to help you make your packing checklist and figure out when to leave. I hope it helps you have a great holiday!

Holiday Disruption & ADHD: Sloppy Sleep

Sleep is notoriously difficult for ADHDers. Either we find it hard to fall asleep because our minds are racing or we forget to go to bed until we’re falling asleep sitting/standing up. All the traditional advice to solve these problems revolve around “sleep hygiene” (because hygiene in general is so easy) or bedtime routines.

What really sucks is that sleep is vital for optimal brain function, so when our sleep is messed up our brains don’t work as well as they might otherwise, which means that our symptoms are harder to manage.

Now add in the disruption of the holiday season.

Is it any wonder that we get overwhelmed so much more easily during the holidays?

A pinnable image of a child climbing the stairs to go to bed.

How much sleep do we really need?

When my son was born, I took some time to really look into the question of how much sleep we need. It’s definitely more than we think!

In general, if you’re getting less than 7 hours a night, you’re sleep deprived. How sleep deprived depends on your age:

Age groupRecommended amount of sleep
Infants 4 months to 12 months12 to 16 hours per 24 hours, including naps
1 to 2 years11 to 14 hours per 24 hours, including naps
3 to 5 years10 to 13 hours per 24 hours, including naps
6 to 12 years9 to 12 hours per 24 hours
13 to 18 years8 to 10 hours per 24 hours
Adults7 or more hours a night
Chart from The Mayo Clinic, at link given above.

Of course, there are other things that impact your sleep. Interruptions (like when you have small children) and hormonal changes (like with pregnancy or menopause) affect your sleep quality, age affects how well you sleep, and sleep deprivation increases your sleep needs.

What’s the point of sleep?

We actually don’t know all of the reasons we need sleep, but we do know a few things.

Perhaps the biggest reason is that our brains build up toxins during the day–all that thinking and firing neurons and so on creates a bunch of waste–and those toxins can’t be disposed of while we’re awake and creating more.

We also know that a lack of sleep contributes to a number of health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and mood disorders. On top of that, sleep deprivation can often look a lot like ADHD because it affects the frontal lobe (where executive functions are managed). That’s why a sleep study may be part of the assessment process. (It is important that the professionals involved understand that ADHDers tend to have difficulty sleeping properly anyway.)

Sleep Problems and ADHD

The biggest issue ADHDers tend to have with sleep is struggling with actually falling asleep because our minds are racing. We just can’t turn that off.

Other problems ADHDers seem to experience more often than non-ADHDers include:

  • forgetting to go to bed due to hyperfocus;
  • not getting tired due to messed up melatonin production; and
  • non-24 sleep-wake disorder (N24–your circadian rhythm isn’t on a 24-hour schedule).

That Racing Thoughts Problem

Some good ways to get your brain to finally shut off and go to sleep include putting your imagination to good use and telling yourself a story; reading a book until you’re actually sleepy; and doing some kind of puzzle book until you’re sleepy. All of these things can be done in bed with the lights off, using a bedside lamp to illuminate your book if necessary.

That Hyperfocus Problem

The biggest problem I’ve found here is that it’s difficult to predict what is going to trigger hyperfocus. Setting alarms to remind yourself that it’s bedtime can be helpful with that, as long as they’re alarms you won’t ignore. Creating an evening routine that will get you to bed at a good hour (based on when you need to be up in the morning) can also help with this, particularly if your routine doesn’t include activities that you tend to hyperfocus on. For example, including reading in my evening routine would be foolish, as I’m likely to simply stay up all night reading!

That Melatonin Problem

Melatonin tends to be the first thing people suggest whenever someone says they’re having sleep issues. And it can certainly help you get to sleep and stay asleep, as long as you follow the guidelines. However, it’s important to know that you may need a very small amount (smaller than the pills sold in-store are, so you’ll have to cut them), and that there can be weird side effects. Remember, “natural” doesn’t mean “totally safe”!

When you’re taking melatonin (or any sleep-related medication), you need to take it around half an hour before you want to be asleep, and then you need to be in bed ready to sleep before you hit that mark. If you miss it, you might as well have not even bothered taking it. If your dose is too high or too low, you may wake up multiple times in the night or you may have disturbing dreams.

When I tried melatonin, I found that I couldn’t get the dose to where it helped me fall asleep but didn’t give me weird dreams. (When I say “weird” or “disturbing” dreams, I don’t mean nightmares, though some people have had that experience. Mine weren’t nightmares, but they did tend to be gory–just not scary.) When the dose was too high, I woke up in the night but did find it easy to fall back asleep.

That N24 Problem

N24 sleep disorders require consultation with a sleep specialist. I am definitely not able to provide assistance with this beyond recommending you keep track of your sleep as best you can if you think you have an N24 sleep disorder, so you have lots of data to present to your doctor.

What About the Holidays?

I don’t know about you, but during the holidays I have more trouble than usual following a sleep schedule. There are fewer demands during the day, and more fun things to do with family and friends in the evening. When my whole family is together, my brothers and I are prone to talking until the wee hours, solving world hunger and all that; when I was a kid, if I was sharing a room with a cousin, we’d stay up and talk all night.

What I’ve noticed is that my in-laws prefer an earlier bedtime, and I am considering trying to take my cue from them next time we’re all together. Other than that, the best thing to do is to get a solid routine in place and then create a contingency plan (as per two weeks ago) to follow as needed.

This week’s printable is meant to help you keep track of your sleep and figure out what helps you get enough sleep. There is a tracking chart included, as well as a worksheet to use for developing a functional bedtime routine for yourself. You’ll also find some information about good sleep hygiene, such as when to shut off your devices and what to drink before bed. I hope it’s useful for you and for your doctor, should you decide to seek help with your sleep issues!

Holiday Disruption & ADHD: Messy Mealtimes

Remember those four things that heavily impact how difficult your ADHD symptoms are to manage? Diet, sleep, exercise, and stress. This series as a whole is about lowering your holiday-related stress levels, which should help somewhat. Part of lowering your stress levels, like we discussed last week, is maintaining your routines.

This week, we’re going to talk about diet.

About Diet & ADHD

First, my disclaimer: I am not any kind of medical or nutrition professional. I am not offering advice regarding the actual content of your diet beyond general suggestions based on the nutritional guidelines adopted by most food and health related services in Canada and the United States. Always consult your doctor and/or a dietician before making any big changes to your overall diet. And of course, eat what you enjoy eating that fits within whatever dietary constraints you may have (e.g., food allergies, food intolerances, food sensitivities).

Now that’s out of the way…

You’ll find lots of information online about dietary intervention for ADHD. Some of it is supported by science, but a lot of it isn’t. The problem is that a lot of the unsupported ADHD-related diet stuff tends to be offered up as a way to cure ADHD. Which it isn’t, because ADHD isn’t caused by food allergies or sensitivities. But dealing with those food allergies or sensitivities, if you have any, can make your ADHD easier to manage. For example, studies have shown that people with food allergies or something like celiac disease may have some cognitive problems similar to those seen in ADHD. However, those problems disappear once their diets have been adjusted, and they obviously do not actually have ADHD. Of course, if you do have ADHD and one of those food-related issues that causes brain fog (etc.), then adjusting your diet will help with the food-related symptoms, but you will still have executive dysfunction.

In general, the best diet for ADHD is a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables and a little extra protein. Not a low-carb diet necessarily–your brain actually requires glucose in order to function–but protein actually provides more energy over a longer period of time, and it has other nutrients that ADHDers can need more of, such as iron. And yes, you can eat extra protein if you’re vegetarian or vegan; meat is not required.

If you’re really confused about what will be best for you and your health, find a registered dietician and discuss your diet with them. This can be pricy, but it’s worth it for your overall health and functioning. I do recommend a dietician over a nutritionist, though a nutritionist may be cheaper, because dieticians have professional guiding bodies that ensure ethical practice and give you somewhere to go if you think your dietician has done something they shouldn’t. Meanwhile, in a lot of places the term “nutritionist” isn’t regulated at all, so someone may not have any food science education whatsoever.

Okay, let’s talk holidays and food.

Meal Messiness

I don’t know about you, but I forget to eat. There are a bunch of reasons for this, all related to my ADHD:

  1. I might get hungry but be hyperfocused and forget to get food.
  2. I might make food and forget about it until there’s no time to eat.
  3. I might not get hungry at all (sometimes due to medication, sometimes my body is just weird).
  4. I might be hungry but unable to find anything I actually want to eat.

On top of that, I also tend to overeat. Again, there are a bunch of reasons for this, all related to my ADHD:

  1. I might seek out high-carb food like chips and candy for a quick hit of glucose for my brain.
  2. I might snack absentmindedly while watching TV/YouTube, reading, or doing something creative.
  3. I might have extra helpings of something that tastes really good.
  4. I might be extra hungry after not eating all day (see above).

I’m also notoriously bad at figuring out what to make for lunch. Breakfast is easy, and I’m good at supper, but I’m not a sandwich person and need things to be easy in the middle of the day.

Basically, food is already chaotic for me, and I bet it is for a lot of other ADHDers. Add in holiday disruption, and you’re going to struggle even more.

So how to handle holiday disruption and food?

Set Alarms

Those little hand-held computers we all carry in our pockets these days can be fantastic for reminding us to eat. I even found this great little app called EatWise (not sponsored, not affiliated) that will remind me to eat at specified intervals. It’s free and available for both iOS and Android.

Carry Snacks

Keep snacks nearby. Things like granola bars, trail mix, fresh fruit, cheese strings, and yogurt cups can be great options. Eating something that combines carbs, fat, and protein will help keep you going when you’re hungry but not able to have a full meal.

Drink Meal Replacement Shakes

If you’re struggling with eating actual food, a high-protein meal replacement shake (e.g., Boost) can be a decent option. This should really be a once in a while kind of thing, but it’s worth keeping some around just in case.

Plan Your Meals

Meal planning sounds hard, but it’s probably not as hard as you think it is. In fact, I’m going to suggest you keep it as simple as possible. There’s a bit of work to do to get it set up, but then it’ll be easy to maintain. There are a few different ways to make this work for you, depending on whether you’re hosting others or visiting. So let’s look at the general set up first.

Set Yourself up for Success

In general, you probably have food that you like to eat. You also have meals that you’re good at making. Start there. Write everything down. Don’t worry about anything except writing down the food you like to eat and like to make. Microwave dinners are absolutely an option.

If you’re responsible for feeding more people than just yourself (e.g., you have children, you’re the primary meal-maker in your family), do the same for each person you need to feed.

Once you have your list, you’re going to sort it. For whole foods like potatoes, carrots, steak, etc. you’ll divide them into proteins (include dairy products here), fruits & vegetables, and carbohydrates (grains & potatoes). Put candy, chocolate, chips, and other “junk food” in their own group. Your final grouping will be for full meals, like casseroles and microwave dinners. Full meals are things you can’t really separate into the individual components. Meal replacement shakes go here.

If you’re feeding more people, sort their lists of food as well. Then compare the sorted lists and create a master list of all of the foods that appear on everyone’s lists. You’re going to want to use this master list for any meals that you will all be eating. Be sure to note any food allergies or sensitivities; you don’t want to make anyone sick.

You now have what you need for meal planning.

everyday meal planning

I don’t think it makes sense for ADHDers to make strict meal plans. Life is way too unpredictable for that! Instead, use the components on your master list as your basic grocery list. These are the staples–basic meal building blocks you want to keep on hand, so you can easily feed yourself (and others) based on what you feel like eating and what you’re up to cooking. Doing things this way also lets you shop the sales at your local grocery store. Stock up on your staples when they’re on sale, and that way you’ll always be able to make food you like without spending too much.

when you go to make a meal

When you are going to make something to eat, you can look at your list to see what your options are. Choose something that sounds like it will taste good and fits your current cooking ability. For a meal that isn’t from your full meals category, you want to choose a protein, at least one vegetable or fruit, and a carbohydrate. The “balanced plate” illustration most government sources use suggests half your plate should be vegetables, a quarter should be protein, and a quarter should be carbohydrates. I agree with this, though a little more than a quarter of your plate being protein is also good.

Remember that a snack is just a really small meal.

when you have guests

If you’re hosting people, you may be responsible for keeping them fed. If so, get them to make lists of their favourite foods and meals before they come, so you can compare their lists with your master list and adjust your staples for the time they’re there. It’s also a really good idea to check if anyone needs to eat at particular times, such as if they have diabetes, so that you can figure out how to make sure that happens for them.

when you’re the visitor

Now that you have your master list, you can pass a copy along to your hosts so they can plan meals more easily. It’s also a good idea to ask if there is a set schedule for meal times, since that will help you know if you’re going to need snacks.

hosting a festive meal

If you’re going to host, ask your guests to bring side dishes, and you provide the protein. If you have to provide all of the food yourself, figure out the timing early so that on the day you know what to do when, and make some things ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about them on the day of the meal.

This week’s printable is all about meal planning. The first two pages will guide you through the process of creating your master list of meals and meal components (print these two pages for every person you need to feed). The rest of the document is about planning a festive meal. I hope this will help lower your stress!

Holiday Disruption & ADHD: Broken Routines

Something I don’t see discussed often enough is how much we ADHDers can get thrown off by a disruption to our routines, even when the disruption is fun or positive. Since the USA has Thanksgiving later this month (Canada had Thanksgiving in October) and Christmas will be a month after that, I thought this would be a great time to talk about strategies to deal with the many ways in which the holidays can screw us over.

Let’s start with routines.

Pinnable image for this post. A picture of a checklist on a clipboard with a cracked egg on it.

yes, you have routines!

Routines seem like the impossible dream a lot of the time, but I’m here to tell you that you have some, even if you think you don’t.

Do you always brush your teeth after you shower in the morning? That’s a really simple routine.

Do you always have spaghetti for supper on Wednesdays? Also a basic routine.

What typically happens is that we fall into routines almost by accident. Most people talk about routines as being these intentional things, but for us they’re more like magic, and they can poof really easily.

The easiest way I know to find out what your routines are is to actually write down what you do, in order, every day for a while. You don’t need to keep track of the time or anything, just the stuff you do. When you have at least three weekdays, you can compare the days and see what things you do in the same order every day.

Those are your routines.

Because a real routine is a collection of habits that are chained together, it’s not something we think about when we do it. It’s just what we do. The thing is, routines give us structure, which is something we struggle with. (See last month’s posts for why that’s hard. Executive dysfunction sucks.)

So when holidays come–or anything that disrupts our usual lives–those routines get disrupted, and it can be really hard to recover from that disruption. And the resulting lack of structure is stressful, which can make our ADHD symptoms harder to manage.

routine disruption

Routines can be disrupted in a lot of different ways during the holidays. Work and school are often cancelled, or if you work in retail you have extra hours. You might have houseguests. You may travel to visit family or friends. In some instances, your routines can continue as usual. In others, things are so out of the ordinary that you can’t maintain them at all.

So how do you mitigate this disruption?

figure out a minimal version

Try looking at your established routine and pull out the activities that feel most important to complete. That’s your minimal version of your routine. It can function as your alternate routine when time is short.

pick a different time

Maybe you can’t do your routine at its usual time, but maybe you can do it at a different time of day. Figure out whether that routine needs to be done when you currently complete it or if it can be moved.

do something else to get the same result

What is the point of the routine in question? Is there another way you can get that result? For example, if your morning routine isn’t going to work in full when you’re visiting your family because you can’t shower due to how many people are competing for the bathroom at that time, maybe you can break up the routine and move showering to a different time of day (see previous heading), or maybe you can clean yourself using wipes or a washcloth instead.

Do you have any other suggestions for ways to manage when your routines are disrupted? Please share in the comments!

This week’s printable is meant to help you figure out what your routines are, get an idea of what kinds of things might disrupt those routines, and come up with contingency plans for said disruption. As a bonus, I’ve included a worksheet to help you add new habits to your established routines.

Next week we’ll start looking at planning for the holidays. Disruption is easier to handle if you know what to expect, and that’s what planning is good for.