While many people look forward to Thanksgiving, there are others who dread the holiday. As a precursor to Christmas, Thanksgiving sets the tone for the holiday season and can often contribute significantly to the amount of stress people have to endure. But there are ways that you can manage your stress this Thanksgiving. With these three tips to have a stress-free Thanksgiving, you will be able to enjoy the time you spend with family and friends, without stress getting in the way.
1) Don’t Over Commit
One of the challenges of Thanksgiving is that everyone is competing for your valuable time. While many people have the holiday off from work, there are others who have to work, especially those who work in retail. This means that you often have to plan your time wisely. While the inclination is there to fit as many visits into a short period as possible, this will set you up for a very stressful situation as, when you over commit, someone will inevitably be disappointed. Instead, make it very clear to family and friends that you only have limited time for Thanksgiving. Decide who you want to spend Thanksgiving with and then spend the time you have with them. Running back and forth between dinners is exhausting and instead of feeling refreshed after the holiday, it will leave you feeling tired and stressed. Be clear and upfront about how you are going to spend the holiday and don’t let family or friends guilt you into changing your plans. This is your holiday and you do not owe anything, including time, to anyone else. Set your schedule and stick to it–you will be so grateful that you took the time to plan and didn’t over commit.
2) Spend Time With The Family And Avoid Black Friday
Another huge source of stress during Thanksgiving is Black Friday. Every year, retailers compete for business by promising to have the best sales of the year. Every year, people line up in the early hours of the morning in the hopes of scoring a “door crasher” special. Retailers are great at over-promising and under delivering on sales. Often, by the time people get in, all the door crashers are already taken, never mind the fights that routinely occur between customers over sale items. Scrap the lines and spend time with your family this Black Friday. If you are insistent on needing to shop, most major retailers offer great online sales and you never have to leave your home. Commit to spending time with your family and friends while saving your money. Don’t fall for the hype that retailers try to generate and, instead, take back control over your purchasing power. Buy what you need, instead of what retailers have tried to convince you to buy.
3) Don’t Overindulge
Thanksgiving is a time for eating and, for many, drinking, which means there are lots of people who will overindulge this holiday. Take control of your appetite and minimize the negative impact overeating has on your waistline by committing to eating healthy and not overindulging in either food or drink this Thanksgiving. When you eat junk and fill up on alcohol, it adds an internal layer of stress on your body that often results in extra weight, upset stomachs, and bad hangovers. Instead of over drinking alcohol, drink water first and then see if you still feel like drinking alcohol. If you still feel the need to drink alcohol, be sure to pair your alcohol with healthy food and not to drink on an empty stomach–and know when to stop. As for food, fill your plate with delicious and nutritious foods (like leafy, green vegetables) and stay away from the heavy, carbohydrate and sugar-dense items, like potatoes or desserts. Eat the healthy food first and then eat smaller, manageable portions of the food that isn’t as good for you. If you fill up on healthy foods, you will have less room for junk later.
This Thanksgiving, take control of your holiday experience and be sure to commit to events, people, and activities that you will benefit from. During the holidays, it is easy to get caught up in the hype and buy into the belief that you need to do it all, see it all, and be everywhere at once. Curb this inclination and dedicate time to yourself and your family. Utilize these three tips to have a stress-free Thanksgiving to give yourself the stress-free holiday that you deserve.