Stressful Holidays: How to Put the Thankful Back in Thanksgiving

Holidays bring many treasured holiday memories but can also be a source of stress in our lives.

Thanksgiving pops up quick, just when you noticed the air turned chilly and on a weekday too! Many people have neither the day before or after off and may find themselves not fully relaxed by minimal time off. Others may dread the commercialization of the holiday with Black Friday sales encroaching on the holiday, leaving less time to celebrate; particularly for those who work in a retail environment.

Cooking a huge meal and cleaning your home for guests is not completely enjoyable for everyone, and traveling is not without its own stressors as well. All of these stressors can be managed however with a little advanced planning and the right mindset.

Plan Ahead: Are you traveling or hosting? If you are traveling, try to leave early since Thanksgiving can mean plane delays, traffic, and potentially bad weather. Pack books, movies, and small toys to keep the kids entertained along with plenty of snacks.

If you are hosting, plan out your shopping, cooking, and cleaning schedule. If you feel overwhelmed, reach out for help from other people. Other guests can bring a dish or come over to help you cook! Tell yourself that you do not have to do it all!

Give Back: It can be easy to lose sight of all we are thankful for on Thanksgiving when we let the little things stress us out. Volunteer your time or resources to giving to those less fortunate. People who volunteer feel the benefit of their good deeds and can really help themselves learn to let go of the things that do not matter.

Change Your Expectations: Treasured holiday memories can sometimes be hard to live up to! Families change over the course of the years and you may be missing a loved one or annoyed by your brother’s newest love! Leave some space for new memories to happen or you may miss out! If you are hosting and have visions of serving a perfect meal or exquisite decorating, keep in mind that this may not work out. Focus on making your guests feel welcome and comfortable, this is all that matters in the long run. Things that don’t go according to plan also make some of the best stories so keep an open mind!

Schedule Time for Yourself: Step back from the bustle of holiday shopping and cooking to take some time for you! Take a bubble bath, meet up with a friend, exercise, or get a massage! There are amazing stress relieving benefits to them, anything that makes you feel good will help you feel less stressed.

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