Surviving Thanksgiving Stress

November 15, 2018

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Ah, Thanksgiving. Who’s hosting a dinner?

The most crucial question about Thanksgiving, however, is not who’s hosting, but who’s stressing. Indeed, it’s been voted one of the most stressful holidays in the year – along with Christmas – and it’s fair to say that it has to stop. The origins of the celebration tie up with the harvest festival, which refers to the first harvest in the New World in October 1621. Since then, many harvest festivals have brought both Pilgrims and Native Americans together until the day was made official national holiday by Abraham Lincoln in 1863. And even if you are not too keen on the history lesson, the clue is in the name: Thanks-giving, giving your thanks. In the face of it, it’s impossible to comprehend why the event should be so stressful while it’s supposed to be a holiday of festivities and gratefulness. But, anybody who’s had to organize one of those family dinners in the past knows exactly how bad they can be. Here’s your chill pill for the holiday:

Pumpkin pie

Did someone say no drinking?

Admittedly, this might sound a little counterproductive at first, but the more you drink during Thanksgiving, the hardest it’ll be for you to make the most of the holiday. Why so? Because – to put it in a few words – you’ll end up eating an awful lot of food. Turkey, stuffing, pie – the typical components of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner – are not exactly famous for their delicacy nor lightness. As silly as it might sound, you want to help your body to digest your festive meal, and that begins by staying off the wine. Indeed, the feeling of discomfort will exacerbate your stress. Drinking more water during the dinner will make a significant difference in how you feel afterward. Indeed, wine and especially white wine can easily tip the balance of your gut, which will be already severely challenged during the indulgent Thanksgiving feast.

Cleanse your everyday routine with a quick getaway

The best time to book an energizing holiday is just after Thanksgiving. Indeed, the next family holiday, Christmas, is the next big stressful event before the end of the year. You want to relax and recharge your batteries before it happens. Firstly, this will help you to go through Thanksgiving with a happy mindset, knowing that you’ve got a cozy studio apartment for rent in a sunny country, waiting for you after the festive holiday. As a rule of the thumb, you want to pick a warm region as direct sunlight exposure can significantly affect your mood and your mental health. There’s nothing like a quick getaway to get rid of your worries before the Christmas race.

Get a bit of winter sun

Seriously, do you have to prepare that much food by yourself?

One of the common mistakes that every host is going to make at least once in a lifetime is to assume that they need to cook everything by themselves. Unless you work in a hectic kitchen environment, it’s fair to say that you may not think that cooking and cleaning after your guests are an enjoyable part of the Thanksgiving celebrations. Even enthusiastic home cooks agree that hosting a party can be stressful when you have to plan the food. But nothing is stopping you from asking your guests to give you a helping hand. Share the work by having someone bring a dish of stuffing – or dressing, depending on where you’re from – or even a sweet potato casserole.

Smile and share the love: You’ve got no time for conflicts

Thanksgiving is a family holiday. As family holidays go, it’s one of the most difficult as it can lead to frustration and arguments. People experience strong and conflicted emotions and struggle to maintain family relationships. You can’t avoid conflicted sentiments, but you can keep the family peace by developing a mindful approach. Recognize that the conditions for the gathering may not be ideal as they expose differences in income, standards or even opinions. Identifying your triggers can also ensure that you can defuse any pressure before it’s too late.

Relativize: Stress is unnecessary

From a slightly overcooked turkey to not knowing what to talk about, many factors could lead to party hosting anxiety. You need to take a step back and consider your position. You’re hosting a party to see the people you love. Nobody is coming to scrutinize you. People come to your Thanksgiving party to see you. Relax and enjoy the time together, even if things are not as perfect are you want them to be.

Most of the Thanksgiving stress is self-inflicted. Admittedly, knowing it might help you to become more mindful of your emotions, but it’s unlikely to erase your stress. Relax; you can share the tasks and keep your guests happy. Besides, there’s nothing that a post-Thanksgiving getaway can’t solve!

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