Preparing for Thanksgiving Break
Thanksgiving is right around the corner! With the holiday coming you may be wondering what you are going to do and how you’re going to handle it. Thanksgiving is the time to give thanks for many things. However, like any other holiday, it can be very stressful and overwhelming at times. So how can we handle the stress and chaos that can come with holidays? Here are some top five tips to takeaway to minimize the stress for parents and families in order to enjoy the holiday together.
Tip 1: Express Your Feelings
When stress is building up and reaching its peak, it can be hard to stop and regroup. Take the time to acknowledge your feelings. Feelings should be recognized and taken care of regardless if it’s sadness, anxiety, worry, etc. It is okay to express your feelings. Thanksgiving is about love and gratitude. Yet you don’t have to force yourself to be happy all the time just because it’s the holiday season. Reach out to your support system. It is always helpful to have someone to talk to about your concerns and worries. Checking in with others will allow you to also check in with yourself.
Tip 2: Be Realistic
Thanksgiving is hopefully a happy time, but the holidays don’t need to be “perfect” every year. Being realistic is a good way to start, because as wonderful as holidays can be, there can also be challenges. Some traditions will change, and families will change and grow. Be open to creating new memories. If possible, set aside differences with each other until a more appropriate time for discussion. Being a support for one another is a great way to get through the holidays, especially if things start to go awry…you know, if the turkey is too dry or the dressing is too soggy!
Tip 3: Take a Breather
Take time for yourself. Don’t let the holidays become something you dread. Doing some planning ahead time and positive thinking can reduce the stress. Sometimes having time for yourself can be hard to find when you have the kids home during Thanksgiving break. Find a time to schedule yourself a breather while also giving your kids an activity to work on to keep them productive. For example, you can do a craft activity and make a turkey with feathers and crayons. Kids are always used to doing a lesson or activity in school. At home, you can implement some crafts ideas which are always fun activities to keep their little hands occupied.
Tip 4: Teach About Gratitude
Recognize teachable moments and take the time to teach the kids about gratitude. At times preparing for the holiday can make it a bit harder to find things to appreciate, but there is still plenty to be thankful for. Have a conversation with your kids about their understanding of gratitude. This type of conversation will help kids on the lessons of empathy which is the perfect fit for this holiday.
Tip 5: Plan with the Kids
The kids are going to be home for a few days. Prepare yourself to plan and balance your schedules and their schedules. Maintain structures with the kids on bedtime/curfew and wake time. Look for activities that will suit them and give them something to do with their time. Allowing them to do small jobs and chores to help prepare for the dinner. It is good to let the kids be involved and learn how to help around the house.
Great Valley Publishing Company, I. (n.d.). News. Managing Family Stress During Children’s Holiday Breaks. Retrieved November 22, 2021, from https://www.socialworktoday.com/news/dn_122313.shtml.
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2020, December 11). Tips for coping with Holiday Stress. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved November 22, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20047544.
The New York Times. (2020, October 9). How to celebrate Thanksgiving during the pandemic. The New York Times. Retrieved November 22, 2021, from https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/blog/celebrate-thanksgiving-coronavirus/.
Preparing for the holidays during COVID-19. Mental Health America. (n.d.). Retrieved November 22, 2021, from https://mhanational.org/preparing-holidays-during-covid-19.
Prepared by PCAIN Intern Franchessca Cardenas, Nov 2021