Practice “Safe Stress” this Thanksgiving
Of all the holidays this is the one that probably causes more stress than most of the others put together. For several reasons:
1. It is an inside event. Even in warmer climate, the Thanksgiving dinner is held at the dining room table rather than at a picnic table. It is harder to leave, and everyone is really close together.
2. There are so many games on the tube and depending on whose house has the turkey, you may have to watch teams that really don’t matter to you.
3. This is about FAMILY and often LOTS of family gather together; the ones you like and the ones, well, that make you crazy.
4. Almost everyone has an image of “the perfect holiday” with everyone smiling and enjoying all the comments and jokes and discussions; yet this rarely happens.
5. The dinner starts too early and ends too late and then, of course, most of us have to handle the indigestion from too much everything.
Okay, here are some suggestions for how to stay in the “safe stress zone” and not get all bent out of shape by the kaleidoscope of Thanksgiving bloopers sure to happen.
1. This holiday is NOT about you. You are only one part of the equation. Once you start to look at the time together as a puzzle and your job is to connect the dots, it becomes more play than pain.
2. It is a time to learn about those who are your kin by listening and asking questions. Here is a hint: the elder folks love to talk about “the good old days” so, ask them. Let them talk about holidays when they were young. It will make them feel good and you may just learn something along the way.
3. The younger ones want to be included and you can do that by asking questions. They are in the here and now, and so questions about what they plan to do tomorrow will get them going.Continued on the next page