Thanksgiving Dinner is not supposed to be the time of year for stressing out and watching your blood pressure go through the roof, but for many people it can be exactly that. The stress levels of families across the country can be sky high at this time of year. Thanksgiving is supposed to be a wonderful, giving and peaceful time. It should be full of love and tenderness, not angst.
If thinking about Thanksgiving doesn't usually give you the “warm fuzzies”, I have a list of solutions to get rid of Thanksgiving stress for good. Here they are, in no particular order (*Note – This is a general article and not meant to be aimed at anyone in particular!):
Consider the Bahamas – One surefire way to make sure you will not have problems over the Thanksgiving holidays would be to visit a beach somewhere. Nobody can bug you from so far away and it is very hard to stress with a cool one on the beach.
Downsize the feast – Although cooking is a huge part of some folk’s Thanksgiving holidays, nobody says you have to make every known food. Your guests will be thrilled with the traditional Thanksgiving staples. Make the basics for once and just let the holiday be about something more important – being together.
Set yourself up a private Cool-Off Zone – At some point during the Thanksgiving dinner, you will wish you had taken my advice about the beach. That much is certain. Since this is not logical for most, set yourself up a private area of the home to cool off when it is needed. You might need it just to sit down and decompress or have a drink, or maybe it is to keep from strangling someone. Either way, a private area nobody knows about is a good idea.
Empower those that have too many….ideas – The best way to deal with someone that thinks they know it all is to give them power. The key is to give them power over something that is unimportant but ceremonial. For example, give them full control over the “annual Thanksgiving storytelling” or “annual Turkey-day remote” to satiate their power hunger.
Put your family to work – Often, the stress of having a large group of people over for Thanksgiving dinner is really about all the work that is involved. Round up every single member of your family and put them to work cleaning and doing things that you won’t have time to do. Work off a list and check behind them once they claim they are done.
Consider going to someone else’s Thanksgiving – If you are annually the one in charge of feeding the family, allow someone else to do the honors. This might make it easier to de-stress while at the same time it will show others that it is not as easy as they might have thought. Take a break this holiday season if it is seeming like too big of a job.
Get organized in advance – Another huge mistake folks make at Thanksgiving is trying to do everything last minute. We live our lives that way sometimes and it is an easy mistake to make. Instead, plan out your Thanksgiving dinner in advance and demand to have a clear idea of who will be coming ahead of time. Don’t allow folks to hit you last minute with additions. You are not a mind reader.
Make it a group effort – If you come from a family of great cooks, have everyone join in. Assign a dish to everyone that wants to participate and you will have a Thanksgiving feast to remember! Just make sure you have control over what is being brought to keep the stress level down to a minimum. This can be complicated but it can also be a huge help when done correctly.
What are some of your tips for a less stressful Thanksgiving dinner?