Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of the year, and it’s no wonder that so many people consider it their favorite holiday. After all, this is the time where people get together with their families with the common goal of being thankful for their food and loved ones. It’s also a great way to introduce the upcoming holidays. And then there are all the traditional Thanksgiving staples, like watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and eating a delicious turkey.
But with so much going on during this day, it can be tough to get and/or keep your mind in order. For this reason, preparation is key. Thanksgiving is full of great moments with your family, but it can be hectic if not balanced correctly. Here’s how you can prepare your mind and body this Thanksgiving holiday.
Participate in a Marathon
A marathon is a great way to help contribute to a good cause, as well as participate in an event that can make you feel accomplished upon completion. With so many other people running the marathon, you’ll never feel as if you’re in the journey alone, and you’ll get all the emotional support you need.
You’d be surprised to find out how many marathons are happening in your local area if you conduct a simple search. For instance, the Thanksgiving 5K in San Diego is an annual event that brings in thousands of participants, and has plenty of other activities, like a beer garden and costume contest. Keep an eye out for what’s happening in your city.
Prepare Meals Ahead of Time
One of the biggest sources of stress is preparing your Thanksgiving meal. After all, you’re working with potentially dozens of different plates, all of which require different cooking times and temperatures. Even when you aren’t cooking for such a large family, you still have to exercise multiple levels and degrees of multi-tasking, and this can be difficult for even just a family of four.
To prepare, you should buy your groceries early to avoid the shopping frenzy, and only save fresh items for last minute. Where possible, chop your vegetables and give any necessary recipes a once-over. If you have a large gathering, invite others to bring food as well. However, if you want to take charge of all the cooking, that doesn’t mean your guests can’t help you; have the set the table, do some chopping, take things out the oven, etc., during the day of. Not only will this help you stay less stressed, but it allows your guests to feel more included and a part of the process.
Hire Some Help
In today’s world of “there’s an app for that,” it’s easier than ever to get a little extra help pre or post-Thanksgiving festivities. If you need help giving your home a deep cleaning, why not hire someone on an app like TaskRabbit? Or research a local professional cleaning service? These services can surprisingly be cheaper than you thought. And with a few extra hands on such a busy day, you can level out your dress and better prepare yourself to take charge of this holiday.
Say What You’re Thankful For
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, although the holiday revolves around food, the holiday itself is about being thankful for what you have, even if it isn’t perfect. Because of this, it’s a tradition in many households to go around the table and speak on what you are thankful for.
If you would rather not share your lengthy list of thanks, then consider writing it down. Studies have shown that writing down what you’re thankful for, or keeping a gratitude list, can help you better manage your stress—and can actually help make your life better overall.
For instance, a study conducted by a professor of psychology at the University of California at Davis found that participants who wrote what they were grateful for each day exercised more, had more energy, and reported less pain. They also slept an average of 30 minutes more each night. And lastly, gratitude increased feelings of happiness and decreased feelings of depression.
Do Some Gratitude Meditation
As previously mentioned, practicing gratefulness can help you have a smoother holiday. Many people feel overwhelmed by the thought of starting meditation, however, with just ten minutes of your day, you can be well on your way to learning the art. Get started by downloading one of the many great meditation apps on the market, and dedicate just a few minutes daily.