Stress has so many opportunities to attack during Thanksgiving. Planning the meal, fighting through hoards of people to shop for food, cooking, and hosting the big dinner are just a few of the things that could be more than a person could handle.
Since Thanksgiving has the tendency to bring on a lot of stress I thought it would be great to share with you some of my tips for minimizing that stress during this wonderful holiday!
10 Ways to Minimize Stress During Thanksgiving
1. Planning is Key
Planning is an important part of my life. As a stay at home mom if I don’t write something down in a place that I can remember I forget. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone grocery shopping and forgot the most important ingredient for the dish I was cooking that night.
Save yourself some Thanksgiving grief and take 30 minutes to plan it out. Are you hosting this year? Discuss your menu with the family for ideas. Write down a rough plan that includes how many people you are hosting, the menu, shopping list, and party supplies that you think you will need. Finalize your list before you go shopping so nothing will be forgotten.
Don’t forget essentials that you might need for meal prep, serving, and after your holiday meal.
2. Check Ads for Deals and Coupons
Cutting costs is sure to reduce anyone’s stress during the holidays. Make sure to check your grocery ads, coupon sites, and newspaper for money saving deals and coupons that will help you with your Thanksgiving shopping.
3. Keep it Simple
Don’t make your Thanksgiving meal complicated with complex dishes and fancy decor. Rather, keep it simple and fun.
In my experience you always end up making more food than you end up needing. So, think about that, do you really need 5 pies for a gathering of 10 people? Minimize stress by cutting out work you don’t need to do.
Don’t be afraid to let people help you out before, during, and after your Thanksgiving meal. Make a chore list for your kids and husband. Have them help you get the house ready so you can focus on cooking and planning.
Give them jobs like peeling potatoes and chopping vegetables. Working with your family to make the meal makes the holiday more fun and worthwhile anyway. Don’t forget to include everyone in the clean up after the meal.
5. Make it a Potluck
If you have a lot of family and friends coming, why not make it a potluck? You can still focus on the big stuff, like the turkey and stuffing. But, let your family and friends help out by bringing a salad, side dish, or dessert. This will reduce the time you have to spend in the kitchen and open up more time for you to spend with your family. Plus, there won’t be as many dishes to do afterwards.
6. Prepare for Upset Stomachs
You are about to have a holiday feast, so it’s only natural that someone at your dinner party may get an upset stomach afterwards. My husband is lactose intolerant, so it helps to be prepared with Lactaid before he digs into the mashed potatoes. It helps to keep him from getting a stomach ache and allows him to eat his favorite milk containing dishes.
We stock up on Lactaid and Pepcid AC before holiday meals to prevent stomach aches and heartburn from ruining our holiday fun! Make sure to check the medicine aisle at Walmart for great deals on both Lactaid and Pepcid AC!
7. Take Care of You
Don’t forget about yourself in the hustle and bustle of the holiday. If you include something like exercise, reading, crafting, or catching up on your favorite TV show do it.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the errands and activities that the holidays require and forget about yourself. Taking time for yourself is important and part of staying low stress.
8. Go Casual
Have a casual Thanksgiving this year. You can do this by making it picnic style in the backyard or getting paper plates instead of using your fine China.
This is another go to tip to get you out of doing as many dishes. Less dishes makes for less stress, right? At least for this mom it does.
9. Make Desserts Before
Make it a goal to have all of your desserts made before Thanksgiving day. Can you make cookies a few days before or pies the day before. This gives you more time to focus on perfecting your Turkey and hosting your guests.
10. Be a Guest
The simplest way to reduce stress on Thanksgiving might be to give up the hosting duties for a year and let another family member take the reigns.
Being a guest at Thanksgiving means you won’t be slaving away in the kitchen all day and you will definitely save on shopping for the big meal. The only downside to this may be the lack of yummy leftovers in your fridge.