6 Tips for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving

James Colquhoun JAMES COLQUHOUN

I love Thanksgiving. Isn’t the idea of it just incredible? It’s a holiday about giving back, and being truly grateful for the people and the things that you have around you. I think that’s a pretty good reason to celebrate.

But celebrations aside, it’s very easy to get swept up in the stress of the holiday. After all, cooking a delicious banquet doesn’t come easy, or sometimes relatives don’t always see eye to eye. If you can get through the holiday season relatively stress-free, then you’ve done a wonderful job. If you’re someone who is prone to stress easily, don’t worry, here are six tips for a stress-free Thanksgiving.

1. Plan Your Menu In Advance

Just like meal prep, planning your Thanksgiving menu well in advance takes a massive weight off your shoulders. If you’re not sure where to begin, check out our Thanksgiving menu planning guides - we’ve done all the hard work for you.

2. Prepare Food Ahead Of Time

Where you can, start preparing your delicious dishes ahead of time. It will make your day go smoothly when you’re not whipping up a last-minute cranberry sauce at the 11th hour (which by the way, this recipe is delicious and can be made up to three days in advance). That way when the guests arrive you can just whip out your food and enjoy it with everyone.

3. Allow Yourself Time To Rest

Rest is the antidote to stress. It often feels like when there’s a lot on your plate, rest is the last thing that will help you get the job done. But the opposite is actually true. Taking time to rest, focus, get a good night’s sleep, and time for yourself 

4. Practice Conscious Breathwork

You know my favorite tool in times of stress? It’s the one already inside me; conscious breathwork. This can come in the form of meditation, or something as simple as taking a relaxing, mindful breath in times of pressure. Burned your tofurky? Take a deep breath and then respond. This simple, mindful practice encourages the body to switch on the rest and digest system, alleviating stress from the body. 

5. Agree To Disagree

We all know how family get-togethers can be awkward. Sometimes you have a family member say something that you believe is out of line, other times, you might find yourself disagreeing with their point of view. There is a lot of tension in the world right now, and learning to appreciate those who have a different point of view is a lifelong skill. But to remove the stress from the day, agreeing to disagree is an approach that will change the course of Thanksgiving.

6. Avoid Foods That Trigger You

This last one should go without saying, but it’s something I like to emphasize. Physical stressors on the body almost always grow into psychological stressors. Thanksgiving can be a time of indulgence, and that’s okay, as long as you know your limits. For example, if you know that gluten makes you cranky and bloated, reach for dishes that are gluten-free. These days, you don’t need to worry about being fussy, everyone has different dietary needs and they’re all respected. Getting through Thanksgiving while being kind on your digestive system is key to a stress-free day.

How will you be celebrating this Thanksgiving? Share in the comments below!


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