Attending or hosting Thanksgiving can be so incredibly fun, but it can also be stressful. Almost all families have some challenging relationships or individual issues that emerge at family gatherings. Some of our suggestions to make things easier for you and more mindful and enjoyable are:
Slow down and consider what would be helpful.
If you’re hosting, you CAN ask for help from family and friends. In fact, guests typically want to be helpful in some way. Take a load off by asking someone else to help prep food, set the table, serve drinks. You don’t have to do everything. And if you’re attending a celebration at someone else’s home, offer to help and recruit other to do the same. Many hands make light work, and it can be kind of fun when you’re doing things together.
Ditch the idea of perfection.
Don’t we all want a Norman Rockwell scene in our own home for the holiday? If we set up this expectation, it only leads to a mental comparison: what really is, versus an idealized version of what we think our holiday should look or feel like. Accept the reality: Uncle Joe might drink too much, your siblings might share some attitude, you might have trouble staying pleasant under pressure. You can feel angry, sad, or frustrated; but take a breath and decide where you want to put your energy. We don’t choose who our family members are, but we can choose to try to accept who they are along with their faults – and our own.
Many people hold off eating breakfast or lunch until the big turkey dinner is served. If you’re prone to getting hangry (and who isn’t), eat small, healthy snacks throughout the day. It’s better to sit down at the table slightly hungry rather than starved. When you eat with your loved ones, take your time to savor the food and the conversation. It’s easy to get distracted with the sheer variety of tasty dishes and the liveliness of the conversation. It can be a bit chaotic, really. Take small bites, chew slowly, and taste the flavors. This aids with digestion as well as making the most of your meal with loved ones.
Find things to be thankful for in each stressful moment.
We all acknowledge those big parts of our life that we are so thankful for: family, a home, a job, health. It really is helpful for our mental and emotional health to avoid taking these for granted. In those moments throughout the day when we start to feel stressed, or anxious, or frustrated; try to remember something small to be thankful for: a working dishwasher, Uncle Joe’s hysterical laugh, the fall foliage you can see from your kitchen window, your cousin’s homemade cookies (and a good hiding place for a few leftovers).
Happy Thanksgiving from the team at Dimensions Home Health Care!
If you’re looking for skilled home health care in northern IL or southern WI, we’re dual-licensed and happy to help. Give us a call.