7 Tips For Surviving Thanksgiving

7 tips for surviving thanksgiving with grace and gratitude

Are you stressed out, over stimulated and irritable for the yearly Turkey Fest?

Turkey day always makes me a little nutty. Actually, the whole Holiday Season makes me nuts.

I’m not sure what sets me off.

I think it has something to do with my introverted personality and having to see friends and family that I only see once per year.

Every year people gather around the table and talk about their work accomplishments, or maybe their children.

I have nothing exciting to talk about, and even if I did, I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing it.

Thanksgiving, and the impending holiday season filled with parties, shopping, decorating, and <EEK!> entertaining are overwhelming for a person who likes to fly under the radar.

But what would happen if we spent more time on gratitude, and less time on stress? Is that even possible?

7 tips for surviving thanksgiving with grace and gratitude

Cut Back on Alcohol

One of the ways I deal with crowded places is by drinking wine. This is not a good thing.

I do not advocate drinking to calm your nerves. But I admit that in the past I have used alcohol to cope with my anxiety.

Alcohol in excess gives you a headache anyway. I’d rather enjoy the company of my friends and family with a clear head. My suggestions:

  • -Plan to engage in meaningful conversation instead of avoiding it.

  • -Offer to play a game with the kids.

Think of a nice glass of wine as a dessert instead of the main course.

Sleep More

I don’t know about you, but when I travel I don’t sleep well and I also don’t sleep enough.

Anyone else sleep on their spouse’s 30 year-old mattress for Thanksgiving? Ouch!

No?  Nobody? hmm…

Since I cannot change the mattress I will be taking my own pillows. I figure if I have to endure low back pain, I am at least going to keep my neck in good position.

You know, while I lie awake wishing I could sleep.

I invite you to join me in my pledge to go to bed around the same time you would any other Thursday. For me this means roughly 10 p.m. so I get a solid 8 hours before my son wakes me up.

Worst case scenario, you can try to catch a nap before the main event while the kids watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

(Am I the only one that loves the National Dog Show, too? OMG I cannot wait!

Avoid Eating Out Of Obligation

What I mean is, do not feel guilty if you have no desire to eat Aunt Peg’s Jello mold.

If you have a choice between Jello and something you like better, splurge on what you actually like.

If you don’t eat gluten, do not make yourself sick eating stuffing or bakery rolls.

And for God sake, if you are as grossed out as I am by candied yams do not eat them. You’re thighs will thank you for it.

Find Some Alone Time

If this means you need to lock yourself in the bathroom during your shower, then go ahead and do it.

I find that I am much more engaged and tolerant of my family when I have some time on my own.

Take a walk around the neighborhood if you can.

I was thinking I might find a quiet spot in my sister-in-law’s house to read and work alone.

Chances are I will be better able to entertain my son after some time on my own. Or a nap.

Leave The Cooking To Someone Else

This is not a new piece of advice, at least not for me.

If I had to cook this year, I would check out this Thanksgiving Menu Maker.

Over the years I have always had family members or in-laws to do this. I never volunteer, and frankly, I don’t think anyone wants me to.

I wouldn’t know where to start and I get schized out when I know company is coming.

Use the time you would spend cooking to relax and give yourself some down time.

Ask your family if you can take a break this year from hostess duty. You might be surprised how many people offer to help out if you explain you need a year off.

Avoid Black Friday Shopping

I know some people enjoy this. It is basically my version of hell.

Ah the Holidays..Crowded places, angry people, lines, and the smell of desperation.Click To Tweet

Unless you are extremely enthusiastic, I would not bother waiting to shop until this famous day.

One word. Amazon.  Here are my amazon gift lists to make your life easier.

Amazon is not a small business but it is convenient and it will save you multiple trips to the mall for gifts, decorations, wrapping supplies, tree lights, stocking hangers…you get the idea.

I There are plenty of deals leading up to Black Friday, and there is a new push for Small Business Saturday. I would much rather buy from a small business than a mall retailer anyway.

My last tip is the most important of all.

Have an attitude of gratitude

Thanksgiving is about being grateful for the people in our lives. It is not really about the meal itself.

Thanksgiving is a time for us to reflect on all of the inspirational, wonderful people that fill our minds and hearts.

You might not have the house you want, or the car, or the job you dream of. But chances are you have people in your life.

People who inspire you.

People who frustrate you.

People you love, and who love you in return.

Life would be so boring if it weren’t challenging. Humans would be well…animalistic if we were not sentient beings with feelings and the ability to reason.

If all else fails, there is always pie!

What are your tricks for surviving Thanksgiving?

Do you enjoy the meal itself?

Am I the only person that finds it stressful? (let me know!)

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  • annlynn

    Does anyone else struggle with the TV being constantly on? We are not background TV people at our house but everyone in my husband’s extended family seems to be. And I cannot not watch a TV if I can see it. Doesn’t matter if it is something I find uninteresting I just am drawn to it.

    I am also making a goal of getting out to take a good walk everyday we are there, I know it will help so much.

  • Liz

    Annlynn, Thank you so much for commenting!
    I wasn’t sure when I wrote it if anyone but me found Thanksgiving overwhelming.
    My sister-in-law never watches tv but it is always on for Thanksgiving, All day! Weird, huh?

    I love to walk but the neighborhood we stay in is very small, few houses and one road. I think I might explore the wooded area.

    Do you host Thanksgiving yourself?