Avoid Feeling Overwhelmed This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is here again and with it holiday stress.  Between the work that goes into getting ready, all the way through to your crazy relative shouting about politics at the table, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed. It’s no wonder so many of us throw back the cocktails and overeat pie.  Despite the challenges Thanksgiving can bring, you have the ability to remain calm and relaxed when you practice these few easy steps.

Take care of you first

Practicing self-care is an essential part of feeling rested and relaxed.  There is a reason airline safety instructions always tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first in an emergency.  If you are tired or over stressed, your ability to help or get things done turns right down. Taking time for you can increase your health, energy, and focus

Make a playlist or put on your favorite album

It doesn’t matter if you are working or working those muscles dancing around the house. Music creates an emotional response in your mind and body by releasing dopamine.  This feel-good chemical increases focus, motivation, and mood.

Take a walk

Shake off the dust from the day and get a bit of fresh air.  It doesn’t matter if you walk around the block or go to the park.  A sort stroll is all you need.  Physical activity releases endorphins, which triggers positive feelings in your body.  Increasing your physical activity also can help you get better sleep.

Enjoy a laugh

You could have a few friends over for game night, or chill on the sofa and watch your favorite comedy.  Laughing releases those feel good endorphins.  It reduces stress and helps you relax


It could be something as simple as making your bed in the morning or folding the laundry while catching up with your favorite drama.  You don’t have to be a clean freak, but making even a small effort to tidy things up can help you feel more organized, focused, and calm.

Give a hug, get a hug

Hugs have an amazing effect on your body and mind.  A long hug can increase your serotonin levels, improving your mood.  Hugs have been shown to boost self-esteem, increase your sense of happiness and relaxation.  Seriously, find someone to hug STAT.

Remember the good

Take a few moments to think about something that has gone really well for you.  You can even take out some old pictures or mementos.  When you take the time to replay positive or encouraging memories in your mind, it reconnects you to those feel good emotions.


You don’t need years of practice to find a comfortable place and focus on slow, deep, easy breaths.  Thoughts can come and go, it’s okay.  Keep focusing on your breath.  Why you’re at it, you can add in some positive mantras.  ‘I am worthy and deserving of peace and happiness’ and ‘No matter what anyone says, thinks, or does – I remain calm and relaxed’ are two of my favorites.

It doesn’t matter where you go or who turns up, you have the ability to remain calm, relaxed, and truly enjoy Thanksgiving.  Happy turkey Day!