Between cleaning your house, preparing the holiday meal and dealing with family, Thanksgiving can quickly go from celebratory to stressful. Here a few ways to keep stress at a minimum:
1. Ask for help.
Divide and conquer your to-do list with the help of family member or guests. Don’t hesitate to ask for help with food prep and other chores around the house.
2. Take a deep breath.
Practice deep breathing. Taking deep breaths when you get stressed out can lower your heart rate and help your body naturally relax.
Try the 4-7-8 method recommended by former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Andrew Weil – breathe in slowly for four counts, hold for seven counts, then exhale for eight counts.
3. Enjoy the atmosphere.
Prepare a feel-good Thanksgiving playlist with music that will make cooking fun and keep your guests in a good mood.
Take regular breaks from preparing dinner to chat with friends and family or simply to rest your feet.
4. Make time for a turkey trot.
Get some exercise earlier in the day, before you sit down at the dinner table.
A brisk 30-minute walk can burn between 100 and 200 calories and help get you on the right side of the day’s calorie count. And not only that, exercise of any kind helps trigger your body’s natural stress-relieving responses.
5. Keep the meal manageable.
If you’re hosting this year’s feast, don’t stress about trying to please everyone. Keep the meal simple and don’t overextend yourself trying to prepare too much.
If guests want a certain type of stuffing, a particular side dish or a special kind of pie that you weren’t planning to make, ask them to bring it.
6. Don’t beat yourself up.
Think about your health this holiday, but remember, it’s just one day. If you do go for that second slice of pumpkin pie or extra helping of stuffing, it’s not the end of the world. Enjoy yourself and the company of friends and family on Thanksgiving, while resolving to make healthy choices part of your year-round lifestyle.