Lists Are Your Friend

Let The Holidays Sparkle

Happy Holidays from Avant-Garde Center


By Guest Blogger Alyssa Lee, MRC, CRC, LPC Intern

Supervised by Dulce Torres, LPC-S

Minimize Stress and Maximize Enjoyment

The holidays are full of fun, excitement, and (unfortunately) a litany of things to do. For a person with ADHD, preparing for the holidays can be stressful and overwhelming. There are a number of things one can do to prepare for the holidays in a way that minimizes stress and maximizes enjoyment.

Make Lists

Organization is key to keeping afloat during this busy time of year. In order to do that, it is helpful to make lists and prioritize the most important things to get done.

If your list becomes too long, pick 3-4 items a day that you know you must finish in order to stay on track.

  • For example, 5 days before Christmas choose to focus on:
    • wrapping all the presents
    • picking out the menu for Christmas dinner
    • cleaning/stocking the guest bathroom
  • Then, 4  days before Christmas focus on:
    • buying all of the ingredients for Christmas dinner
    • vacuuming the house
    • washing all the holiday dishes

By breaking things up, it becomes less stressful and more manageable.

Only One Thing At A Time

Another way to stay on track would be to focus on one task at a time. For instance, if you know you have three tasks to complete in one day, put all your energy into only one thing.

Try not to think about the other tasks or else you might get distracted. That way, you can feel a sense of accomplishment after completing each individual task.

Have Fun

Lastly, it is important to remember to have fun!

  • Take breaks
  • Enjoy some Christmas music
  • Drink hot cocoa with your family

Sometimes it is helpful to set a timer or phone alarm to keep track of your breaks. That way, you won’t lose track of your day and you can still have time to do other things without feeling like you have wasted time.

Have fun this holiday season and remember these tips!

What Needs To Be Done Today


Click here and print this out and use it to help keep your holidays under control

Executive Functions Make A Difference

Executive Functions Make A Difference


Brain Neurons

Brain Neurons

By Guest Blogger Paula Donnelly, MEd, LPC

Executive function skills refer to the management area of the brain which performs tasks and solve problems. The CEO of the brain. We all have management areas which are stronger.  And areas which are less developed. Knowing this allows people to focus on their strengths and build up their weaknesses.  Use Your strengths to compensate for weaker areas.

Impulse Control – The capacity to:

  • think before you act or speak
  • manage emotions
  • use rational thinking

Working Memory – The ability to:

  • hold information in memory while performing complex tasks
  • draw on experience to apply to the situation at hand or to project into the future

Flexibility – The ability to:

  • revise plans in the face of setbacks, new information, or obstacles

Attention – The capacity to:

  • begin projects without undue procrastination
  • keep paying attention to a task in spite of distractibility, fatigue or boredom
  • complete goals

Planning and Organizing – The ability to:

  • create a road map to complete a task
  • make decisions about what is important to focus on and what is not important
  • create and maintain systems to keep track of information or material

Time Management – The capacity to:

  • estimate how much time one has
  • how to allocate it
  • how to stay within time limits and deadlines, a sense time urgency and that time is important

Self-Monitoring– The ability to:

  • stand back and take a bird’s-eye view of yourself in a situation
  • accept feedback from others in decision making

Strengthening Your Weaker Executive Functions

Live Life Beyond Limitation requires a focus on strengthening executive functioning through strategies, awareness and immediate feedback. Discover the strengths to control impulses, plan, organize, manage time, stay on task and reach goals.

Avant-Garde Counseling and Coaching Center offers a nine-week social skills group for 3rd – 6th graders starting October 14, 2015.  Learn more about how this time can help children with ADHD and their parents.