No Stress Zone: Do Thanksgiving With Ease

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“Cook the turkey and ham, see if Cynthia is baking the pies, clean the house, make sure I have games for the kids, call Uncle Joe to pick up Grandma in time for dinner, yada, yada, yada. . .”

That’s the inner monologue of most of us super-mamas as we prepare for Thanksgiving. While the Butterball turkey commercial shows serene moms preparing meals in anticipation of a peaceful family Thanksgiving meal, that scenario is far from true for most of us.  Honestly, for many of us the holidays are just plain STRESSFUL!

And there’s good reason!  Holidays bring lots of pressure.  Often sparks fly as family members who feud all year gather together for hours at a time.  There’s a huge pressure to prepare a delicious meal.  And then there are dozens of screaming nieces and nephews running around the house.  Not to mention the finances involved with big family gatherings.  And guess who gets to coordinate it all?  That’s right, mama – it’s you!

According to the Mayo Clinic, holiday stress is extremely common.  But you don’t have to just smile, and pretend to be the holiday version of Wonder Woman.  There are several easy things you can do to de-stress your Thanksgiving.  Here are a few tips:

Own your feelings.  If you have a case of the “holiday blues,” it’s okay.  Acknowledge your feelings.  Faking happiness during the holidays won’t help you become happier.  But taking time to recognize your own feelings are the first step to feeling better.

Don’t try to be a superhero.  Thanksgiving is about gathering with family and friends and giving thanks.  It’s not about stressing yourself out to have a perfect holiday.  Be sure to delegate various holiday preparation tasks to family members.  There’s no reason for you to do everything yourself.

Let bygones be bygones.  Thanksgiving is a great time to lay aside differences with family members.  Instead of spending time fuming over past arguments, focus on how thankful you are to have your family altogether.

Make a budget and stick to it.  You can’t buy holiday happiness, so don’t grow broke trying.  Stay within your means when shopping for the Thanksgiving meal.  And if the projected bill seems overwhelming, call on other family members to do their part.

Keep up your healthy behaviors.  Continue to eat right and exercise as Thanksgiving approaches.  It will boost your mood and help you handle stress.  According to Psychology Today, regular exercise has the same effect on brain chemistry as prescription antidepressants!

So now you’re ready to take on Thanksgiving.  Be sure to pass the turkey, but skip the holiday stress.

Mommies, what’s your favorite tip for staying cool during the holidays?

Yolanda Darville is a mom, writer, communications strategist and blogger focusing on philanthropy and empowering women.  Learn more about her on her blog www.bahamamommyinc.com .

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