Gratitude of Stress Planning for a stress-free Thanksgiving

Tips for enjoying your holiday with less stress and more gratitude

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I am a foodie and a family woman. My daily routine incorporates gratefulness at every opportunity. So believe me when I say that Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. I’m sure many of you feel the same way. We get excited about turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, football and family. So why do so many women also experience higher levels of stress around this exciting time of year?  

According to the American Psychology Association, women are more prone to increased levels of stress around Thanksgiving because they are responsible for the majority of the planning, preparation, execution and clean-up. I used to be one of the women in this group: a woman who loved the idea of Thanksgiving while loathing the associated work.  I’m happy to say that’s no longer the case. I love hosting Thanksgiving and everything about it because I’ve learned to de-stress my holiday. Here are five tips to help you do the same.

Decide what YOU want – Thanksgiving, for most people, is rooted in lots of family traditions, but all of those traditions are not necessarily for you. Think about what’s important to you and make a commitment to doing only those things. If you don’t like turkey, prepare something else. If you prefer a smaller crowd, invite fewer people. Create a Thanksgiving celebration that fits the needs and likes of your household, and invite others to be a part of what YOU are doing.

Set a budget – Expensive is relative. Do not allow outside influences to decide how much you spend on your Thanksgiving celebration. Create a menu and decorating scheme that fits in your budget and supports your personal finance goals. When Thanksgiving is over, life and financial responsibilities remain. So celebrate the day without derailing your bank account.

Welcome help – I’m not a potluck fan. It’s nothing personal, but the hostess in me just likes to prepare (or purchase) all the food served at my Thanksgiving celebration. For this reason, I created a list of ways that people can assist me without cooking. Setting the table, bringing a floral arrangement and creating a dinner music playlist are all ways to help that I welcome. Prepare a list of ways people can help you. Maybe it’s by bringing a dish, setting the table, cleaning or simply keeping you company while you cook. How will you allow others to help you this year? 

Formulate a schedule – You’re a busy woman, and life with all its responsibilities does not stop for the holiday. Instead of attempting to do everything the week of Thanksgiving, try creating a schedule that starts now. Here are some things you can do in the weeks leading up to the big day: plan your menu, shop for non-perishable foods, pull out serving platters, schedule your house cleaning service, prepare a “help” list, etc. Create a doable countdown schedule that works for your household.

Be thankful and have fun – No matter how you decide to celebrate Thanksgiving, be sure to enjoy this season of gratefulness without all the stress.