How to Have a Less Stressful Thanksgiving

Lara Owen, author of "Growing Your Inner Light" had advice for having a happpier Thanksgiving.

1) Keep a journal
Write down everything that you want to do on the day, when things need to happen, who is coming, what are you making, etc. This will be your game plan, and you won't forget anything in the chaos of the day. Knowing that you have it all written down will let you look at everything from a more objective perspective.

2) Talk It Over
Sharing everything that you have to do will allow other people to help you. Once they know what you have to do, they can see how what they do will fit in to the bigger plan. Also, talking it over with another person will help you go over everything yourself to make sure that everything is written down and accounted for.

3) Express Your Emotions
All the stress and pressure leading up to this time of year can be completely overwhelming. Don't bottle it up and wait for it to come out at the most stressful time. Take some time to let yourself feel those emotions. If you feel like crying, let yourself cry. If you feel angry, beat on a pillow. This might sound silly but it really does work. We are physical creatures, and making an accompanying movement to match our feelings helps release stuck energy and thoughts, thus clearing the mind for other things, like what your mother-in law might say this year about your table setting.

4) Get Over Procrastination
Make a list of things you are procrastinating on—putting in the order for the turkey because you aren't sure which size to get, deciding on a stuffing recipe because no one seemed to like the one you made last year. Then write down what you can do about them and when you can do them. Note if anything seems too daunting and think about whom you can ask to help you with it. Sharing the load can make everything work much better. And sometimes just accepting this and allowing someone to help makes it easier to do it for yourself the next time around or to plan more realistically so that you don't have more on your plate than you can handle.

5) Beliefs
Do you have any beliefs about your family? Are you gathering them all together because you are obligated to or because you want to? What is making you feel the way you do? Is it fear? Is it anticipation? Do you feel capable of dealing with all the emotional baggage that comes with the holidays? Why or why not? Asking these questions will help you approach the day with a clear sense of your own emotions and beliefs.

6) Worries and Anxieties
Make a list of everything you are worried about. Then put it away for a day. Come back and take a hard look at it. Are any of these worries based in reality? If they are, take any action you need to take. Make a list of what you will do. Then burn the first piece of paper with all the worries on it and promise yourself to let go of bad worry habits and of thinking the worst. That way all of your worrying will be out of the way, and you can focus on enjoying being with your family.


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