3 Tips for a Stress Free Thanksgiving
According to Charles Whitfield, author of “Healing the Child Within,” 80 to 95% of us grew up in dysfunctional families. Don’t worry, at least you know you’re not alone! You also have options.
Thanksgiving can be a truly joyful time of year, but it can also be stressful for those of us with families who push our buttons. Many blogs offer tips for how to make room for extra food in the fridge and not undercook the turkey to curb anxiety.
Instead here are three creative ways to reduce stress and increase well-being by handling those pesky family dynamics that creep up during the holidays.
Stress Free Thanksgiving Strategies
1. Express yourself uniquely Instead of falling into an old family role at the holiday dinner table and holding your thoughts back, talk about something that excites you. This often breaks the mold and allows others around you to respond more authentically, too.
2. Unplug and recharge If you feel overwhelmed, take a walk around the block. You’ll renew your energy and make room for a great idea to pop into your mind out of nowhere for how to effectively tackle the challenge when you return to “the scene of the crime.”
3. Shake up your routines Do something different this year. I just moved to Atlanta and I’m taking my mother out to a posh restaurant. It’s our first time, and I know we’ll enjoy it.
There’s no use in fighting it. So why not embrace it and make it a fun game? When you find yourself wanting to pass judgment, pass the cranberries instead. Happily extend that bowl of bright red goodies to your little brother with a big smile on your face, despite the fact that he’s been annoying the crap out of you for the past two hours.
Then take it up a notch by telling him why you’re grateful for his existence. Reach in. You’ll find a reason; I know you will. Maybe you like the shape of his head, the sound of his laughter, or his silly stories. It will increase the production of serotonin in your body and make you feel great. Best part? It will do the same for him. (Or your sister or mother… you get the idea.) You’ll all be high on kindness. I can’t think of a nicer way to spend the holidays, can you?
Have a happy, healthy and stress free Thanksgiving!