Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I hear a lot of women say they are dreading the day. They say they already feel overwhelmed by the volume of cooking (and cleaning up) and at the mercy of the calories and temptations they know they’ll be facing. Okay, a huge piece of Thanksgiving is about the meal… but the holiday is about so much more!
There are ways to not only “survive” Thanksgiving, but to actually thrive through it! Thriving happens when you take advantage and slow down, “to give thanks” and be mindful of all you have, like family, friends and an abundance of food. Here are a few tricks that I use to enjoy the holiday along with my family and guests:
- Delegate. If you’re having family or friends over, it does mean cooking larger quantities than usual, which can feel daunting. We are sharing the holiday with another family, so we’ll make larger quantities of food but split the responsibilities… I make a tasty turkey, but my friend is a way better baker. That way, we play to each other’s strengths AND get to enjoy each other’s company!
- Don’t stress about overeating. The food will be delicious, but keep in mind that you don’t need to stuff yourself. There will be leftovers, so that same great food will be around later to enjoy again.
- Chew. Take a little of everything, about half of what you normally would and chew it thoroughly. Chewing reduces choking incidents, aids in digestion, and allows your body to register satiety (feeling full) so that you don’t eat too much.
- Take a time out. If you’re feeling stressed by lots of people, close quarters, and things to do, remind yourself that it’s just food. Your company is there to be with you and that Thanksgiving is only one day out of the year. Take a moment to go into a quiet room, close your eyes and breathe deeply. Even if it’s only for 5 minutes, you’ll feel more refreshed and ready to tackle the scene again.
- Focus on the people you’re spending your day with, even if it’s the same folks you see everyday. Try to discover something new (a hobby, your ancestry, etc.) to talk about with them.
- If you need something to remind you of all that you have, volunteer some time for those in need. Whether you serve meals at a homeless shelter, foster a dog, or knit clothes and blankets for refugees, there’s a way to show appreciation for all that you have.
- And lastly, get moving! Don’t just watch sports on tv, get outside and play a game, rake leaves or go for a walk! You’ll be thankful that you did!
This list is what works for me, but if you have a tip for thriving through Thanksgiving, I’d love you to share it in the comment section.
I hope you all have a relaxing and joyful Thanksgiving!