Reducing Holiday Burnout this Thanksgiving

Posted Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

Enjoy your family and fight stress this Thanksgiving

Sometimes it’s hard to say how the holidays go so wrong. We gather together to share a meal, watch some football, and relax from our busy lives. However, somehow Thanksgiving can leave us feeling like the turkey is getting the better end of the bargain. Here at Modernistic we have a few tried and true tips for reducing holiday burnout, which work for even the most frazzled hosts and hostesses.

Make Sure to Get Enough Rest.

Many of us are already trying hard to keep pace with our busy lives. Whether you’re in the nine-to-five grind, or stay-at-home mom extraordinaire, there never seem to be enough hours in the day. The holidays bring a whole new set of tasks and commitments on top of our ordinary schedule. This November, be sure to stop and rest. Sit and read a favorite book, schedule a massage, or spend some time with a friend. Make sure you have the emotional reserves to deal with the inevitable aggravations that come with the holiday—long lines, overbearing in-laws, and hyper children. Also get as much sleep as you can. Santa’s elves may be able to work all night, but you will only be at your best with some solid shut-eye.

Remember to say ‘no’ sometimes.

It can be hard to turn down invitations or requests for help or for the latest toy. However, you need to sometimes put your own needs first. Have healthy boundaries about your time and money. Know when you need to say ‘no,’ and don’t allow holiday guilt to overwhelm you. None of us can do everything, and when we try we will simply end up exhausted and resentful. Think about what is important to you and save your energy and money for that. Hopefully you will savor each meaningful commitment, instead of flying between engagements with barely a moment to down a holiday cocktail.

Recognize when your expectations are unrealistic.

We all anticipate different things during the holidays. Especially as our families grow we have to manage different sets of expectations and family traditions. It’s easy to be disappointed, heartbroken even, when things don’t go quite as we hoped. Despite the cannon of holiday movies that promise happy endings amid softly falling snow, real life rarely lives up to our expectations. Think about what you want from the holiday season. Evaluate your expectations and decide whether you need to adjust those ideals to better reflect your life now.

Ask others for help.

In many families some people consistently seem to do more than their share. Maybe they are better equipped to manage the tasks that come with making it a happy holiday. Or maybe they have just always assumed a more responsible role. Still, taking on more than your share of the chores will quickly wear you down and you’ll begin to begrudge others who don’t share the load. Be proactive in asking for help. Maybe your younger brother can’t cook, but could he bring some wine, or be on dish duty? Politely making clear that you need and expect others to help will go a long way towards reducing holiday burnout.

Prepare some of the food ahead of time.

Aside from the turkey, many Thanksgiving foods can be prepared in advance. Do as much washing and chopping of vegetables as you can in the days leading up to the holiday, and store them in individual Ziploc bags in the crisper. Most casseroles can be made weeks ahead of time and frozen, so that all you have to do on the big day is move foil wrapped trays into the oven. And if you are one of the gourmets that makes your own cranberry sauce, it will keep in the refrigerator up to two weeks. Instead of a frenzied six-hour shift in the kitchen, you could make preparing an outstanding meal look as simple as mashing some potatoes and basting a turkey.

Let the professionals do the work for you.

Many of us feel like our budgets are stretched to the max during the holidays. Hiring help might seem like an extravagant indulgence. However, the time and peace of mind you can regain is often worth the expense. Many of us feel pressure to deep clean before our guests arrive, but it can be physically grueling as well as time-consuming. Consider whether you can hire a cleaning service for a day sometime before Thanksgiving. Then you can spend your time cooking or visiting with your guests instead.

To really make the whole house sparkle think about scheduling your regular carpet cleaning right before Thanksgiving, so that your living spaces look their best. Not only will this be aesthetically pleasing, it will be a gift to your guests will allergies as well, who benefit from less dust and dander in their living space. Contact the professionals at Modernistic, then stop and smell the poinsettias this holiday season.

Modernistic, serving Midland Michigan for 40 years