Don’t let stress be a side-dish at your Thanksgiving table

Thanksgiving is seen as the most family-oriented holiday, when people come together. Ironically, this can make it the loneliest and most stressful holiday for many. This article in Psychology Today outlines why Thanksgiving can be a perfect storm of expectations and worry — and why traditional gender roles often isolate women, especially, and make family relationships feel like holiday obligations.

It can help to first realize that if you are feeling loneliness, depression or anxiety as Thanksgiving approaches, there are good reasons. Once you are aware of the potential stressors, you can make efforts to navigate them. It’s best to have a plan in mind ahead of time, before you find yourself in the middle of a meltdown.

The Mayo Clinic offers these 10 pointers to help reduce holiday stress (click here to read the full article):

  • Acknowledge your feelings: Remember, being unhappy during the holidays is not a crime.
  • Reach out if you feel isolated: Seek out a friend, support group, social event or community.
  • Be realistic: Holidays need not be perfect, and traditions can be skipped or reinvented.
  • Set aside differences: Choose grace and understanding over arguments.
  • Stick to a budget: Knowing your limits when shopping for food or gifts will ease your mind.
  • Plan ahead: No one likes last-minute scrambling!
  • Learn to say “no”: Saying “yes” to too much can leave you overwhelmed and resentful.
  • Don’t abandon healthy habits: A free-for-all will leave you feeling stress and guilt afterward.
  • Take a breather: Make time for yourself, even if it’s a quick 15-minute break.
  • Seek professional help if you need it.

And don’t forget that our Helpline is available by calling 877-884-6227, even on Thanksgiving, and can be a first step.

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