The holidays are a wonderful time of the year to which most people look forward. People get to see family and friends they may only get to see on special occasions. There is excitement in the air, as well as the smell of turkey and pumpkin pie. The kids are filled with joy that makes everyone smile. The picture-perfect family sitting around the picture-perfect dining room table, beautifully decorated, the kids minding their manners, and everyone getting along peacefully is the snapshot for which everyone yearns.
It is a nice thought. In reality, most holiday gatherings are typically more likely to be compared to the famous holiday hit, A Christmas Vacation. The turkey, pies or rolls inevitably get burnt, this aunt is fighting with this uncle about something that took place over 30 years ago, and the kids somehow got into the markers or paint. The truth is, Thanksgiving and the holidays can be quite stressful, especially for those hosting the get-togethers. Here are three helpful tips for staying sane this Thanksgiving.
Leave the past in the past: There probably is not a family in existence that does not have some difficult issues. Fights probably occurred, things were probably said that were painful and may never have been forgotten. For one thing, carrying that hurt inside is enough to make anyone feel rage and anxiety at even just the mere thought of a holiday get-together. Even though people have surely been hurt by their loved ones, they need to allow themselves to heal for their own health and sanity. Try to let the past go this Thanksgiving and stay in the present. The website Anxiety Free Community suggests that people create simple mantras for themselves before this holiday occasion. Simple sayings to repeat silently, reminding oneself that this is in the past and that things are different now can help to calm and refresh a weary soul.
When all else fails, laugh: Someone at the Thanksgiving dinner table is going to bring up a sensitive topic. It is just a given. It happens every year, usually initiated by the same person, and listening to the debacle that ensues is like listening to nails on a chalkboard. Instead of chiming in to the political debate or discussion of why this generation of kids will destroy the world, stay quiet, ignore it and laugh. People need to laugh at how ridiculous their families can be. If they know the debates and arguments are coming, instead of it getting anxious upon their inevitable arrival, the situation can be viewed as pretty hilarious instead. Watch the family closely, and look at how heated they get about the same things, again and again. It is funny! Then, all anyone will need to worry about is bursting out in laughter at the dinner table.
When in distress, simple is best: Perhaps one of the most helpful tips for staying sane this Thanksgiving is to take a chill pill and simplify. People, especially those hosting the get-togethers, are under overwhelming stress to get things just right. Maybe it is the great aunt always sticking her nose in, explaining the right way to cook a turkey, or maybe it is the mother-in-law just waiting the criticize the smallest thing. Who cares? Holidays are a time for love, peace and joy, which is something many people forget in the midst of the crazy. No one needs the biggest turkey, or those five homemade pies, or the painstakingly-put-together gingerbread houses. Take it easy, simplify, breathe and enjoy.
Hopefully everyone will remember these three helpful tips to staying sane this Thanksgiving. It is important to remember that even though the holidays are stressful, there are certainly ways to maintain peace and make the holidays an enjoyable time for all. No one can stop the craziness their families will surely bring to the table, but they can maintain their own sanity at the very least.
By: Rebecca Savastio
Anxiety Free Community