The Holidays, ADHD, and People-Pleasing: How To Reclaim Your Self-Worth This Holiday Season

The holidays can bring so much joy…and so much overwhelm, panic, guilt, negative-self-talk, anger, and stress. Simply put: the holidays can be a lot. For an ADHD person, the holidays also test some of the hidden––and not so hidden––ways Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) impacts life. For example, ADHD and people-pleasing can cause difficulties when it comes to prioritizing one’s own needs and setting boundaries to have them met. You might be craving a different holiday season. This year, you might want to start finding your voice. Let’s talk about what makes the holidays a particularly stressful experience and how to start turning things around.


Do you have a habit of prioritizing everyone but yourself? This probably makes decision-making hard and finding time for yourself nearly impossible. Unfortunately, the holidays are a total set up for other people’s needs. It can be hard to hear your own voice in a sea of others’ wants and wishes.

Rejection Sensitivity

ADHD people have a hard time saying no. Why? Being sensitive to rejection is a big part of it. There’s an innate need in many ADHDers to make up for perceived “shortcomings” by saying yes to everyone.


Many ADHDers overestimate how perfect an event must be to be adequate. It’s as if everyone else has a Town and Country magazine life. This leads to excessive guilt and shame if things don’t live up to expectations.


Many ADHDers find that they struggle with “hard lines.” In your personal life, this might mean the distribution of labor is off. As it relates to the holidays, there’s a good chance you’re taking on too much around the house, while others enjoy their cranberry spritzers and gingerbread cookies. On the other hand, you might struggle with boundaries outside of your personal life. This might mean that you don’t have the time you want for the holidays (because you’re giving it to your boss, for example).

How To Reclaim Your Self-Worth This Holiday Season

Set Boundaries (And Be Sure to Keep Them)

It’s one thing to set boundaries, it’s another thing to enforce boundaries. First, it can help to identify what you want and what you don’t. But planning only does so much. Eventually, you need to take action. However, once you draw those boundaries, sustaining them through ongoing reinforcement is the key to success.

Own Your Priorities

Many ADHD people think they aren’t allowed to have priorities. They’ll often feel the need to make up for something by putting someone else’s needs first. The truth is, having your own priorities isn’t a luxury. It’s key to your mental well-being. In fact, others usually expect others to have them. So know what you want and need, and then…(see “Set Boundaries”).

Start Reclaiming Your Self-worth for the Holidays with ADHD Treatment an Columbus, OH

Needing some more personalized help finding your voice this holiday season? You don’t have to live your life feeling like everyone else comes first. ADHD treatment that uses psychologically proven strategies will help you find real understanding and real solutions. Our Columbus OH-based counseling practice has caring adult ADHD specialists. To start your journey with one of our adult ADHD specialists, follow these simple steps:

  • Fill out the contact form to schedule a free 15-minute phone
  • Meet with one of our adult ADHD specialists.
  • Stop feeling overwhelmed. Start finding your voice.

Other ADHD Services Offered at Focused Mind ADHD Counseling

We offer a variety of mental health services that go beyond adult ADHD treatment at our Columbus, OH counseling practice. As an adult with ADHD, Focused Mind ADHD Counseling understands you may also benefit from anxiety treatment for ADHD, counseling for men with ADHD, adult ADHD testing, or depression counseling for ADHD. You can also view our blog for more resources and helpful info. We look forward to connecting with you!