I hate Thanksgiving. I break out in hives just thinking about sitting around a table with relatives and family. Thanksgiving stresses me out!
Every year, there is an issue with sitting arrangements. Last year, a couple of family members were having mini-meltdowns because they refused to sit next to the drunken uncle, overbearing father, and the uncle who incessantly talks politics and conspiracy theories.
Does your family stress you out during the Turkey Day festivities?
If so, here are some easy to follow tips to avoid Thanksgiving stress:
• Go on vacation
My absolute favorite tip is to leave the drama behind. Leave town. During this time of year, rates are pretty reasonable for skiing and even a beach vacation.
One of my girlfriends heads to Orlando and she can’t believe the short lines. Another friend takes her family to New York City for sightseeing and shopping. My husband and I invade the beach every other year to break the stress pattern of family drama.
The goal is to immerse yourself in a positive environment.
• Devise an exit strategy
Sometimes we have to protect ourselves emotionally and you need to set up an emotional border.
"Recognize if somebody says something rude or insulting to you, their statement reveals more about them than you," Joyce Marter, a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC).
"Imagine you are separated from them by an invisible shield and all their negativity just bounces of it."
Also, you can decide in advance what time you plan to leave.
• Spend Thanksgiving at a public place
Go out and split the bill equally. If things are financially tight, try a place for breakfast or brunch. Most of the time, everyone is on their best behavior in a public restaurant or location.
• Decline the Invitation
If you are just not emotionally up to it, don’t go. There is nothing wrong with declining an invitation. One of my most memorable Thanksgiving Days was pre-ordering a Turkey Day feast, making a fire, and watching movies in my pajamas.
• Volunteer at a soup kitchen