The Holiday season is in full swing, and we’re kicking off with Thanksgiving next week. Holiday movies and commercials always paint Thanksgiving as a time of immense joy, where families come together to laugh, sing, and dine in perfect harmony. But sometimes it feels like it doesn’t quite work out for your Thanksgiving fête. That’s because no family is perfect. Our expectations are already set by cultural norms of what the holidays should be and not what they actually are.
So, in the spirit of a happy holiday season, let’s revisit this awesome article by writer Addie Broyles, filled with tips on keeping a level head during a particularly noisy time of the year.
Keep a healthy relationship with food
No one is ever going to argue that food isn’t the best part of Thanksgiving. But if you’re going into a high-stress environment, make sure you aren’t loading up your plate to make yourself feel better. That isn’t to say that the spread isn’t meant to be enjoyed, but if you find yourself going overboard make sure it isn’t a reaction to a disliked relative or unpleasant feeling.
Be aware of what makes you upset
Before you even begin the feast, it may do you well to address some stressors before hand. Maybe you’re starting to get upset about your end of year finances as the travel costs and gift shopping expenses begin to tally up. Others may suffer from seasonal affective disorder, and suffer from a melancholic mood during the waning days of autumn. If your feelings are taking a turn for the worse, consider going outside for some fresh air— or a jog if you can manage it! Release some of those feel-good endorphins to give you a boost before the pending holiday party.
Have a comeback ready
Do you have a relative you just know is bound to say something that offends the sensibilities of many a person at the table? Every year you clash on politics or religion, and the ensuing argument seems to bring down the vibe for everyone. Instead of taking the bait, consider working on a reply ahead of time. Take the high road away from an argument, and dismiss any negative comments with your canned answer.
Get some alone time
If you’ve done everything in your power to avoid dinnertime drama and you’re still feeling on edge, realize that there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a breather and removing yourself from the equation entirely. If you’re in a familiar place like your or a parent’s home, Broyles suggest soaking down with a bath. You could also go for a post-dinner walk, or retreat to your childhood bedroom for a meditation session.