Mary Muscari, associate professor in the Decker School of Nursing at Binghamton University and author of Let Kids Be Kids: Rescuing Childhood, shares some tips to avoid stressed-out Thanksgivings.
You can keep stress from turning your Thanksgiving into a real turkey by following these simple tips from Muscari:
- Shop ahead of time for non-perishables and have your list ready for what you need to purchase right before the holiday.
- If you’re going to break out the good serving ware, getting it ready ahead of time. Don’t wait until Thursday morning.
- Have the entertainment ready – TV for the football fans, Wii, board games or DVDs for everyone else.
- Share the chores so that everyone gets to enjoy the day. If you can’t share them with family and friends, share them with Betty Crocker, Jimmy Dean or whoever makes something you can heat and eat.
- Yes, healthy is better, but this is Thanksgiving we’re talking about. If you can’t make it healthy, tasty and easy to cook, worry about being healthy some other day, Muscari advised. Lighten up what and where you can for Thanksgiving and pre-plan to cut back during the rest of the week. You can enjoy a serving of stuffing on the big day; just don’t stuff yourself with it all weekend.
- Minimize driving. You don’t have to visit every family member in one day – honest! Alternate years, or celebrate another day. Have mini family Thanksgivings one day a week during November and stay home and relax on Thanksgiving. Staying off the roads during the busy holiday rush is the safer option, as well.
- Remember the meaning of the holiday: It’s about giving thanks. In these difficult times, we need to be thankful for what we have. Make sure the kids know that. And when you have a moment, drop some food off at the nearest food bank for those who are not so lucky this year.