Give Thanks for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving


Avoiding Thanksgiving Stress

Children can share the work of making Thanksgiving special.

Thanksgiving is all about gratitude, but there is also a lot of work involved in pulling off an enjoyable holiday for family and friends. Here are seven tips for taking the stress out of Thanksgiving:

1) Do as Much as Possible Beforehand

When it comes to hosting Thanksgiving, there are many things that can be done the day before, or even earlier. You can clean out the fridge, bake the pies, make the side dishes, prep the turkey, iron your linens, and set the table all beforehand, reducing the amount of work that has to be done on Thanksgiving Day. This will give you time to watch a parade, catch part of the football game, or even enjoy a glass of wine with your guests, a surefire stress reducer.

2) Don’t Go Overboard

Always remember: Less is more. Is it really that important that you agonize over the table setting or spend hours decorating the entire house? The same rule applies to food. Family favorites might be a must, but don’t overdo it with numerous side dishes or desserts. After all, there’s only so much food your guests will be able to eat.

3) Simplify Your Table Setting

Ask yourself, “Do you really want to ignore your guests after dinner because you’re in the kitchen washing a sinkful of dirty dishes?” If the answer is no, most stores now stock premium plastic and paper dishes, cutlery, disposable roasting pans and serving dishes. You can still create a stylish table and then just toss the dishes afterward, making cleanup easy and allowing you to spend that time visiting with your loved ones.

4) Put the Kids to Work

Instead of lamenting the fact that your kids are underfoot while you’re trying to pull dinner together, give them a job to do. Even young children are capable of setting the table, tearing up lettuce, mashing potatoes, and helping clear the table after the meal. You can also plan a special activity for them, such as setting out sugar cookies and lots of decorations — frosting, colored sugar, sprinkles, crushed candy canes — to keep them busy and get a jump on Christmas baking.

5) Split up the Work

The next time someone offers to bring a dish, take them up on it. Better yet, assign everyone a dish to bring (and provide the recipe if you want to keep the dinner uniform). They’ll likely be happy to help and welcome the opportunity to contribute to the feast.

6) Take a Walk

After dinner, there’s no better way to work off some calories, relieve stress, stretch out tense back muscles, and get some fresh air than by taking a 10-to 20-minute walk. Exercise is always a good idea to boost spinal health, particularly when you’ve just polished off a huge meal, and it can also be a chance to visit more with friends and family who weren’t sitting in close proximity to you at the dinner table.

7) Save Time for Yourself

After your guests leave, curl up on the couch and take some time to be thankful for your wonderful day spent with family and friends, pat yourself on the back for a job well done, and most of all, take a little time for yourself.
Despite your best intentions, your ambitions for a perfect Thanksgiving can cause you to overdo, leaving you stressed and drained. We hope these tips can help you avoid the stress this year! And as always, another very important part of living stress-free can be visits to a chiropractor to make sure things are working and functioning at their very best.
Image by Marcos Calvo Mesa.

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