You are in: KNOXVILLE
- STRESS MANAGEMENT Stress and Holidays: How to Plan for a Thankful Thanksgiving ~ Lisa Birnesser
The Thanksgiving holiday brings back fond memories from many years ago. Mom and dad would bundle up the kids and travel to my grandparents’ home. Dad would always sing “Over the River and Through the Woods” while we were driving to spend time with kin. My grandparents were so rich with the gifts they gave from their hearts. We would squeeze upwards of 25 people in their tiny home. I was so excited to see our family from Ohio since we only connected during the Thanksgiving holiday. These are fond memories that I hold dear in my heart.
Holidays can create beautiful memories at the same time as cause stressful situations. Here are some tips to keep the Thanksgiving holiday a treasured memory:
Plan for Dinner, Dishes, and Decorations. All fabulous feasts start with a good plan. The plan includes a menu, guest list, decorations, table setting and cooking and clean up duties. If you have people who want to easily communicate with each other, create a Dropbox account. It’s an online program where you can share files between dinner attendees who are helping with the menu and more. Create files for your plan that everyone can contribute to make the perfect meal. Great planning also includes asking for help. Create a sign-up sheet so people may bring dishes. I always love to try a new recipe before a big event. This prevents having a mediocre dish for dinner.
Put the Give Back in Thanksgiving. Give to another person or family this Thanksgiving season. When stressed, we get so focused on the big day event that we forget those who may not have something to eat or a place to go. One of my favorite things to do is ask someone to spend the day that would otherwise be alone. Share toys at a local children’s hospital or bring homemade food and goodies to a nursing home facility. Give to another person less fortunate than you when you are feeling obsessed about the perfect holiday. Your perspective will immediately change.
Make Time for You. Open your date book and look at the next two weeks. Do you see any recharge time planned for you? Plan a 30-minute massage, reading or relaxation time. Break up the time with refueling your energy tank. Do what it takes to give back to you.
Look at Your Expectations. Some folks search for that perfect holiday. It’s the Thanksgiving with the ideal table setting, food, guests who all get along and nothing goes wrong all day. Check your expectations to make sure you have left space for life to happen. I love my childhood Thanksgiving memories but I can’t recreate them. Families change over the course of many years. Setting the expectation bar to high sets you up for misery. Be present in the moment of Thanksgiving.