Perhaps the most stressful part of the year is already upon us. Within just a matter of weeks we have Halloween; kids need costumes, children need candy, someone has to take adorable pictures of the dog in his pumpkin suit. Next up is Thanksgiving; clean the house, cook a giant bird, make everyone’s favorite type of veggie, a low carb dessert of some kind, and then you have to start cleaning out the car for some Black Friday shopping.
This last bit leads us directly into Christmas which is even more cooking, cleaning, and running about. Before you start hyperventilating just thinking about it fear not! We’re here to help with these tips on how to host a stress free Thanksgiving. These should help you make it through the holiday without losing your mind!
This may seem like a fool’s game but sometimes it can pay to just stop for two seconds. Close your eyes and take a deep breath! I also mean to say “don’t do more than you need to do”. Chances are that the people coming over for dinner already know that your kid leaves their toys everywhere when they’re excitable and overstimulated.
Don’t worry about picking them up again and again; no one has ever died from seeing a toddler’s toy trains in a mess. Do what you need to do and nothing more. You will enjoy the holidays much more if you are spending your time with family doing things you love instead of cleaning, over cooking, and stressing.
Planning is Key
Have a game plan. Know how many people you need to cook for, know what time everyone is arriving, let your mom bring the stuffing. It will all help, even the small things. If someone wants to bring something, let them. If you plan you will know who is brining something and you won’t end up making a green bean casserole as well. If you are not a planner, or you feel like you don’t need to plan, try it anyway.
You might be surprised how a simple game plan for the day can change your outlook. If you are consistently checking things off of you’re to do list you will feel on track and focused; both of these things will help keep you from feeling stressed. Planning can keep you from sneaky surprises that lead to the most stress during the holidays!
When your family is all seated around the table scooping mashed potatoes and passing the gravy you are likely still in the kitchen, rushing around refilling drinks, etc. Stop that! Sit down with your family. You’ll miss the happy smiles and the delighted squeals if you are not at the table when everyone starts to eat their favorite meal of the year. Join them, engage in the wonderful spirit of thankfulness and joy; you might be surprised at how much stress can lift when you just stop and sit down.
If your first instinct is to become flustered and upset when something goes not quite as planned the Thanksgiving can be overly stressful for you. There is no doubt that someone will eat the last biscuit, the dog might trip you and end up licking the turkey, grandma will drop her cranberry sauce on your white lace tablecloth, SOMETHING WILL GO WRONG. Instead of becoming immediately frustrated…Laugh!
This life that we’re living is so short and you will likely not get another chance to handle this exact situation; don’t be the person who ruins the entire day by lashing out or falling into a moody state of grouchiness, be the person who starts the belly laugh and soon everyone will be laughing with you…or at you…either way is better than everyone being upset!
All in all the most important thing to do is remember not to take the day too seriously! Your family has no desire to see you be stressed and you will get to ENJOY the holidays instead of loathe them if you put in some extra moments of planning, keep a light heart, and do what you can, not what you think you should!