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Ask Dr. Nandi: How to lower Thanksgiving stress

Posted at 5:03 PM, Nov 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-22 17:03:42-05

Many of us are looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with our friends and family tomorrow.  But like all festive holidays, stress can be a part of it too.

I love a good Thanksgiving feast with turkey and all the trimmings. But it can be very stressful for the family that’s hosting.

There’s a lot to get done like choosing the menu, buying groceries, cleaning the house and, of course, all the baking and cooking needed for the delicious holiday meal. 

Stress can easily sneak in and change a festive day into something grueling and exhausting. I suggest you lower your stress by delegating. 

Ask guests to bring a side dish or dessert, serve drinks, set-up the dinner table and help tidy up after the meal.

You’ll feel more in control with a plan in place. Also, try to prepare what you can tonight. 

That’ll give you downtime tomorrow so you’re not spending the entire day in the kitchen. Your mind and body will be grateful for the breaks you take, leaving you feeling less overwhelmed and tense. 

And to help you lower stress even more, here are my prescriptions:

Partha’s RX:

1. If you’re worried about roasting a large turkey, take an easier route and cook breast and leg pieces instead. Be sure to cook turkey to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. If you have a small kitchen, ask guests to bring cold or room-temperature items. You’ll have fewer cooks in the kitchen right before the meal is served. 

3. If you find yourself swamped and running behind, skip making a side dish. It’ll lighten your workload and your stress level.

4. Embrace the fact they’ll be chaos and things can go wrong. Instead of being distressed, take a deep breath and try to find humor in the situation.

Thinking negatively can trigger your body’s stress response. Try to think positively and keep things in perspective. There’s more to Thanksgiving than a perfectly laid-out holiday feast. 

It’s about giving thanks as well. So focus on what’s truly important, and that’s quality time spent with loved ones.