As Thanksgiving approaches, many people are experiencing different thoughts and feelings. Some make a sincere effort to be thankful, while most deal with stress related to the holiday season. Some face unusually difficult financial problems during the holidays. Some, for one reason or another, have trouble with family dinners. Some might be wondering how they are even going to be spending the holidays. Maybe their families live far away, or maybe everyone is too busy to get together.
Regardless of your situation, here are four tried and tested tips that can help you to have the best Thanksgiving ever—even if your situation is difficult and circumstances seem to be working against you.
Stop putting yourself down
Sometimes, we tend to judge ourselves the harshest. Maybe some of your holiday-related stress comes from deep-seated feelings of inferiority. Maybe you feel bad for something you did earlier in the year. Maybe you feel inadequate because you don’t feel like you have as much to offer.
In any case, stop putting yourself down. You are an incredible, amazing person. Don’t forget it!
Remember that money isn’t everything
Maybe you don’t have enough money to cook the ‘biggest’ turkey or to buy ‘shiniest’ new dishes for the family feast. Maybe you feel bad because you can’t afford holiday presents for family you won’t be seeing around Christmas time.
Always remember that presents are secondary to spending time together as a family around the holiday season. It won’t matter if you can’t buy presents! Your family loves you and appreciates you being there—regardless of whether you buy gifts or serve a smaller turkey.
The holiday doesn’t have to be ‘perfect’ to be perfect
The ‘perfect holiday’ is a myth that we take way out of context in most cases. The perfect holiday is a day that is positive—whatever that looks like. For some, that might mean a huge dinner with family. For others, it might mean a quiet night at home with their spouse watching their favorite TV show. In any case, try not to compare your holiday to someone else’s. Just try to enjoy whatever happens and make the most out of it that you can.
Don’t be afraid to be honest
If your family asks you to host the family dinner, you might feel a lot of pressure that you weren’t planning on. Or maybe your mother in law now wants you to bring four pies when you were only planning on making lemonade.
During the holidays, it’s incredibly important to be honest with each other. If someone asks you to do something that will simply not be possible, enjoyable, or feasible, don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ and to explain why you don’t want to do it. They will understand, and getting the truth off of your chest will help you to avoid needless negativity and stress.