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5 Stress Tips for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving:  Family and friends gather in kitchen to prepare meal.
November 23, 2017

When it’s your turn to host the Thanksgiving dinner it can be a little stressful. Take a deep breath and reduce your stress with these five helpful tips.

Thanksgiving is a big deal in America—millions of people return to their childhood homes to have delicious meals with their family. According to experts, 48.7 million Americans will journey over 50 miles or more this Thanksgiving and $2.87 billion will be spent on holiday staples for Thanksgiving dinner, that’s about $56.18 per household.

If you’re starting to feel the pressure, consider the five tips listed below.

  • There’s too much food! Holidays are a big occasion, so people tend to make a lot of food. Sometimes they make too much food, which can add a lot of stress to the preparations. As you come up with the menu for your meal, be sure to ask yourself, “Do we need this dish?” For instance, if you’re already cooking green beans, do you really need green bean casserole, too? You could save yourself a lot of trouble if you pare down your menu.
  • I thought I could do all of this! Were you a little too ambitious with your Thanksgiving planning? Don’t sweat it! Now is the time to start delegating. Call up a relative or friend who is planning to attend your gathering and ask if they can help. If picking up ice from the store and baking the pound cake is suddenly off your to-do list you may feel more relaxed and prepared for the upcoming festivities.
  • There’s no time to decorate! Did you want to decorate your home for Thanksgiving dinner but ran out of time? No worries—get the kids involved instead. Have them go outside and pick leaves in pretty fall colors. They can also collect pine cones, small branches, acorns, and some pine needs. Make sure the kids inspect their collected items for any bugs. Then arrange them in decorative glass bowls or vases and place them on the table with a few pretty candles. With this, you’ll have autumnal décor for the dining table.
  • Why did I invite Uncle Louie? On Thanksgiving Eve, also known as “Blackout Thursday,” people drink a lot to welcome the holiday season and to prepare for hostile family visits. If you find that a family argument is about to start, try to defuse the situation. Remind everyone that this is a family gathering and that certain topics of discussion (such as politics) are off limits. Also, consider distracting them with a new topic or refreshments. Or try having a private word with the instigator outside. 
  • I’m exhausted! It’s easy to get overwhelmed around Thanksgiving because there’s a lot to do. Research shows that people spend four times their usual cooking time preparing the Thanksgiving meal. We also spend more time eating and socializing. And then, of course, there is the time spent traveling and decorating. When you feel the pressure rising, get out of the kitchen and out of the house. Go for a walk around the block or volunteer to walk the dog or run some errands. Taking a break, even if it’s a moment, can help reduce your stress.

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