How to Have a Stress-Free (And Positive) Thanksgiving This Year
Ah, Thanksgiving — a time to be grateful, feast on delicious food, and spend quality time with our loved ones. It’s such a relaxing time for many who celebrate the harvest season and the season of “giving thanks”. But, unknowingly, the season of gratitude giving can become a stress-inducing marathon for many.
With the stress of cooking, cleaning, and trying to be the perfect host with the almost perfect holiday atmosphere, the time to “give thanks” can become the time to “be stressful”. But fear not!
This year, let’s turn the tables on Thanksgiving stress and focus on having a stress-free (and positive) Thanksgiving celebration — all complete with delicious food, holiday celebrations, and gratitude giving — without the added stress of cooking, cleaning, and holiday whatnot!
What Stress Can Do to Holiday Celebrations?
Stress and holidays are like water and oil; they don’t mix well. The pressure to create a flawless holiday celebration can take a toll on your mental, emotional, and physical well-being, turning a joyous and grateful occasion into a nerve-wracking experience. From burnt turkey to family conflicts, stress can hover over your head like a dark cloud shadowing your holiday cheer.
When stress takes the spotlight, the joy of the holiday vanishes. Instead of savoring the holiday atmosphere and long-awaited company of your loved ones, you find yourself preoccupied with worries and seemingly never-ending to-do lists.
Holiday stress can also strain your relationships, turning what should be a time of connection into a source of tension. With the sheer amount of tasks — from cleaning to cooking — you might even become too overwhelmed, making it harder for you to enjoy the celebration.
The holidays can be emotionally frustrating, and added stress can only worsen the feelings of anxiety and sadness. Struggling to meet unrealistic expectations might also contribute to a negative impact on your mental well-being.
10 Tips to Have a Stress-Free Thanksgiving
1. Plan Your Thanksgiving Early
To have a stress-free Thanksgiving, you need to create a plan for the holiday. Make a checklist of everything you need — from cooking ingredients to holiday decorations. This way, with a plan in hand, you can avoid the last-minute hassles and quick trips to the grocery store for frantic buying, also avoiding additional financial stress.
2. Delegate Your Tasks
You don’t have to do everything alone. Ask your loved ones for help to host a stress-free Thanksgiving. Whether it’s chopping veggies, setting the table, creating a holiday playlist, or sharing the workload, ask for help. With this, you can make the most of your holiday without the added stress of doing it all alone.
3. Allow Room For Imperfection
Perfection is overrated, trust me. Your turkey doesn’t have to be the perfect golden brown, and your decorations don’t have to be all fall-related. It’s OK to have lumpy mashed potatoes or simple fall decorations. Remember, memories aren’t supposed to be perfect; they are always imperfect and unexpected. So, embrace imperfection this Thanksgiving.
4. Set a Cozy Mood
Set the mood with soft lighting, warm colors, and soothing music in the background. A cozy mood can turn your event into a memorable as well as comforting one. Plus, if you’re worried about being stressed, then setting a “Hygge” style atmosphere will help you feel relaxed and stress-free.
5. Focus on Gratitude
Thanksgiving is about being grateful for people and experiences in your life. It’s about giving thanks, so do that. Take a moment to reflect on the positive aspects of your life this Thanksgiving. Expressing gratitude and being thankful can shift your mindset and bring a sense of peace.
6. Remain Mindful
In the middle of all this hustle and bustle of the holiday celebration, take a moment to be present. Enjoy the market decorations, enjoy the fall aromas, savor the different flavors, and cherish the company of your loved ones. Mindfulness can be one of the best tools to combat stress.
7. Take Moments to Breathe
Don’t forget to take a few moments to breathe and care for yourself. Whether it’s taking a short walk while listening to your favorite playlist, reading a book in a quiet corner, or taking a power nap in between preparing for the day, do it. Taking breaks can recharge your energy and help you stay centered and stress-free.
8. Cook Simple Recipes
To have a happy Thanksgiving, you don’t need to create a feast. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving, then don’t prepare meals that would be too complicated to finish. Simple recipes can be equally delicious and can save you from unnecessary stress in the kitchen.
9. Have a Backup Plan
Know that not everything might go as you plan. Keep a backup plan for unforeseen circumstances such as a sudden weather change or a kitchen appliance not working properly. It’s OK for things to not turn out the way you want them to, but it’s always better to have a plan in hand if things don’t turn out the way you had planned.
10. Share Joy And Enjoy the Holiday
To have a stress-free Thanksgiving, you need to create a stress-free environment where you can enjoy joy and laughter. Share stories, play games with your loved ones, and enjoy the company you have at home. After all, Thanksgiving is all about creating connections and sharing moments that make your holiday special.
Cheers to a Stress-Free Thanksgiving…
This Thanksgiving, let’s try to trade stress for joy, chaos for peace, and perfection for authenticity. With these simple stress-free Thanksgiving tips, you can make your holiday stress-free and positive. Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be stressful and filled with anxious thoughts; it’s a celebration of memories and gratitude. So, create moments that leave you feeling at peace and grateful.
We wish you and your loved ones a positive and stress-free Thanksgiving this year!