Making Thanksgiving Less Stressful

The holidays are supposed to be a time when we can relax and enjoy time with loved ones. However, all too often they become frenzied and stressful. Make this year the exception. Here are 5 tips to make your Thanksgiving run smoother.

1. Write Out Your Menu

Most of the advice for a stress-free Thanksgiving boils down to two words: ‘Plan Ahead’. To ensure you have all the ingredients you need and the time to make it all, it is helpful to plan out your meal a week before the big day. Writing out your menu also helps you know what to tackle and when. You can be sure that you don’t accidentally leave the sweet potato casserole in the oven or forget about the apple pie your promised would be served.

2. Spatchcock Your Turkey

The turkey steals the show during Thanksgiving, but it doesn’t have to steal your oven the entire day. Did you know you can cook a gorgeous turkey in less than 2 hours? The technique of spatchocking , flattens your turkey and helps it cook must faster. The result? Deliciously a juicy turkey that doesn’t take all day.

3. Accept Help

There is no reason to try and out-do Martha Stewart and be a Thanksgiving superhero. Part of the joy of Thanksgiving is bringing everyone together–and that’s not just for eating the meal. Involve guests and your kids in the prep-work. People feel more included when they have a job to do and even the youngest children can help set the table, make place cards or help stir a side-dish. Consider asking each guest to bring a side or select 1 or 2 meal components that you’ll purchase pre-made rather than making from scratch.

4. Surround Yourself with Loved Ones

Part of the stress of holidays comes in feeling like you need to please everyone. Don’t feel pressured to entertain everyone or make it to the big get together. Instead, celebrate with a few close friends or family who don’t care about perfection. Also, stick with tried-and-true recipes that you’ve tested and love. Make the day a celebration of all the things that fill you up, rather than ware you out.

5. Give Thanks

With all the holiday hustle and bustle, it can be easy to forget about taking time to be thankful. Intentionally carve in time to be grateful on Thanksgiving. This could look different for different families. Perhaps you decide to make plans to serve at a local shelter, deliver a pie to an elderly neighbor, or take turns sharing what you are thankful for this year at the dinner table. Whatever it is, taking the time to pause and show gratitude will help you refocus.

With these simple tips, you can keep your stress levels down and your tryptophan levels up!

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