As much as we love the holidays, they can be terribly stressful. Whether you can’t spare the money, don’t like your family, or always eat yourself into a food coma, Thanksgiving is often tough on all of us for one reason or another.
Luckily, we’ve come up with a few simple fixes for some of the more common Thanksgiving problems to help you get through 2016’s Turkey Day tomorrow.
1. Don’t have enough money/time
Not everyone has the money or time to whip up a huge Thanksgiving meal. Even if you’re only asked to bring a dish or two, that may be difficult for you. But saying “no” to family and friends is hard, and perhaps they don’t understand why you might be struggling with it.
Luckily, there are tons of other ways you can help make Thanksgiving wonderful for everyone involved. If you can’t bring food or drinks, ask if you can help clean up afterwards instead – chances are everyone’s going to be too full to want to do it anyway. Or see if you can help keep the house clean, with so many guests running around.
And speaking of running around, see if you can help wrangle the children that are bound to come along. Parents want to relax and enjoy themselves, and not having to keep a constant eye on their kids is always a big help. All of these are great contributions you can make tomorrow (or next year) that won’t cost you a cent or minute of your time the rest of the month.
2. Getting out of awkward conversations
Ever been cornered by a relative intent on interrogating you while you wait for Thanksgiving dinner to be ready? There’s only so far you can run, and chances are they’ll catch up with you again, so it’s best to nip that problem in the bud. Try this is a polite subject change:
“I don’t want to think about anything too serious today, why don’t you tell me about X instead?” Let them know you just want to relax, turn your brain off and enjoy the holiday, and try to focus on pleasant things around your friends and loved ones. Thanksgiving can be a neutral place where politics and lifestyles are forgotten, it just takes some gentle maneuvering.
If your conversation partner isn’t willing to change the subject, let them know that you really are intent on keeping things light and that you’re going to see if any help is needed in the kitchen. No need for hard feelings or fighting, and no one can fault you for wanting to peacefully enjoy your holiday.
3. Avoiding the Thanksgiving food coma
Hands-down the hardest part of a holiday entirely focused on food, is not stuffing your stomach until you want to explode. So many delicious dishes for a single meal it makes you wonder why Thanksgiving isn’t a weekend-long affair. And when you’ve been waiting all day to eat, it’s natural to dive in and load three plates with turkey, ham, stuffing, yams, and the rest of the usual suspects.
So what can you do to make sure your pants still fit on Friday morning? For starters, pick your favorites! There are a few must-haves for everyone, whether you’re a fiend for green beans or crazy for cobbler. So make sure you get a plate with a little of everything you don’t want to miss out on, and see how you feel when you’ve cleared it. If you’re truly still hungry, grab a light plate of seconds, get some things you’re curious about, and see if you’re feeling pretty full at that point.
As for the rest of it, take some home with you for later! There are always tons of leftovers, and you don’t have to stuff it all into your mouth today. You can even ask ahead of time if you can take some of this and that home, so you can make sure it doesn’t run out and don’t feel obligated to enjoy it all right this moment. And for bonus points, take a walk after dinner. If you get along with your family, see if anyone wants to join you.
Hopefully these tips will help you all have a wonderful, fun, and fulfilling Thanksgiving Day tomorrow. And if you find yourself still struggling with family, stress, anxiety, eating, or anything else this holiday season, contact us here! We want to help you make good memories of good times.