© elizabeth patch, all rights reserved

© elizabeth patch, all rights reserved

Thanksgiving brings it’s own unique stresses.
whether you are cooking at home
or traveling as a guest.
Preparing for a feast with dozens of traditional dishes
and a houseful of guests requires major planning
and hours of work.
Being stuck in traffic for hours,
or delayed/overbooked flights is no fun either.
And Thanksgiving can be a major triggering event
if you have eating issues
or insecurities about your body.

Here are 3 one-word coping strategies for
dealing with Thanksgiving stress:

1. For Thanksgiving hosts: Delegate!
Who says you have to do everything all by yourself?
Let everyone involved help you out!
Assign jobs and request that guests
bring part of the meal.
Chop, stir, set the table, load the dishwasher,
run out for more butter or wine.
Even children love to feel useful,
and giving your guests something to do
can help smooth over family tension and/or boredom.
(And there is no shame in buying prepared food either!)

2. For Thanksgiving travelers: Patience!
if you can’t change the situation,
you can change your reaction to it.
Becoming angry, resentful or frustrated will not
make the traffic flow any faster,
or the plane take off any sooner.
Millions of people are traveling for the holidays.
Millions of people are tired and cranky.
Remain calm and practice patience.

3. For Thanksgiving body/food issues: Prepare!
You can predict that someone is going to mention diets.
You can predict that someone will make remarks about
who’s gained and/or lost weight.
You already know that someone will urge you to eat more than you really want.
You already know someone will question your choice to be a vegetarian
or your choice to avoid certain foods.

Be aware (beware!) of these situations by preparing a non-emotional reaction.
You don’t have to explain or justify anything about your body or your eating habits.
(or anything else for that matter!)
Smile, make a simple statement and change the subject.

Please don’t talk about diets today, it’s a celebration!
Please don’t talk about my weight or my body (or someone else’s weight or body).
No thank you, it was delicious but I’m full.
No thank you, I don’t eat __________.

If you are the host and have a tendency to binge on leftovers,
prepare to send leftovers home with your guests.
If you are a guest , prepare a reason to politely refuse anything that you might binge on later.

Meet the abundance of food with full awareness while you eat.
Thanksgiving is a holiday feast,
and you are entitled to truly enjoy the food,
as much or as little as you wish!

And finally, no matter what happens:
keep a sense of humor!
Almost anything stressful about Thanksgiving can become a funny story when you talk about it next year…

I am truly thankful for all of my readers and Facebook fans!
Even if we never have the good fortune to meet in person,
I am grateful for each and every one of you.

More Thanksgiving Posts

A Serving of Stress for Thanksgiving (2009)
Another Serving of Stress for Thanksgiving (2010)