Fall is here! The tree’s are changing color, the temperature is dropping, and the holidays are nearing. This can be exciting for some but leave others anxious and stressed. Now is the time to start preparing for the holiday season so we can thrive, not just survive! Here are a few tips to help manage your Thanksgiving holiday so you can enjoy the time with family and friends:
- Focus on the reason for the holiday. This is supposed to be a time of thankfulness and togetherness, whether that’s with friends, family, or coworkers. Don’t stress over what you eat or how much. Enjoy the day, savor the foods, ditch the guilt. You don’t have to ‘earn’ your food, nor do you need to ‘work off’ what you ate.
- Be OK with saying “No”. Whether that’s to food being offered, or to commitments. If your plate is already full, both literally and figuratively, it’s perfectly ok to say “no”. You don’t need to give a reason or explain yourself either. Have confidence in your choices and do what is best for you and your body.
- Trust your gut. If your body is telling you it’s full, don’t let Great Aunt Sally tell you that you Neeeeed to eat her famous chocolate pie that she made just for you. Kindly say “no, thank you” or “not right now”. Find a way to say “No” that will make you feel comfortable and won’t hurt feelings.
- Plan ahead. If you have special diet restrictions talk to the host so they aren’t offended if you say no, or so they won’t make something just for you that you don’t want or can’t have. That might also mean bringing your own alternatives to the meal. If your diet is gluten free, bring your own gluten free version of a side dish. Or if you are trying to watch your sugar intake, but you know Great Aunt Sally is bringing your favorite chocolate pie, volunteer to bring your own sugar-free version so you can still feel comfortable eating dessert.
- Self Care! Don’t’ forget in all the hustle and bustle that you need time for You. Schedule it into the calendar if you need to. It doesn't have to be a full day or even a full hour, do what you can. Block out 15 minutes in your day to focus on deep breathing, do some stretches, take a walk, get outside… whatever will help you to de-stress and get yourself back to baseline. It’s hard to pour from an empty cup. And of course, don’t forget about Sleep! Prioritize getting enough sleep for your body to do all the things you’re going to ask it to the next day.
Just remember that this is supposed to be a joyful time of year. The goal shouldn’t be to focus on the scale, but to spend the time with family and friends around the table.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!