How to Stress Less This Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving should be a time to reflect on all the things you are grateful for, but sometimes it can be one of the most stressful days of the year! For the many of us who feel like we have to do everything ourselves, there are ways to include your friends and family that can make them feel valued while simultaneously taking off some of the items on your to-do list. For the dishes you do handle, there might be recipes that you can try to make cooking a little easier on yourself. We have four things for you to try that can lead to a happier, less stressful Thanksgiving.
Delegate Your Meal
Cooking for a large group of people can be extremely stressful. Multiple dishes, varied cooking temperatures, and limited oven space can make the kitchen into a warzone. Make it easier on yourself by asking family and friends to bring appetizers, side dishes, or dessert. They’ll be happy to be able to contribute something to the meal and may have a favorite recipe that they’d like to share—it might even become one of your new favorites! If you’re a guest, ask your host if there are any specific drinks or dishes you can bring to make their day easier.
Try Easy Yet Delicious Recipes
When you’re making a turkey, side dishes and dessert, finding easy yet delicious recipes will make a huge difference in your prep time and ensure your guests enjoy their meal. We found 3 recipes that will put a simple twist on your usual Thanksgiving meal.
- Thanksgiving Sangria: Opening a bottle of wine is easy albeit a bit boring. Treat your guests to this simple sangria that is bursting with fall flavors like pomegranate, cinnamon, and apple cider. This drink takes minimal effort but provides maximum festive impact.
- Shaved Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts Slaw: Between classics like macaroni and cheese and creamy mashed potatoes, it’s important to include a vegetable in there somewhere. This dish can be made the day before and contains vegetables with a litany of benefits:
- Broccoli: Contains vital vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin K1, folate, potassium, and iron that help support normal immune function, normal tissue growth, normal cell function, and skin, bone, and heart health.
- Brussels Sprouts: These vegetables are low in calories but are full of nutrients, particularly fiber, vitamin K, and vitamin C. Fiber helps support gut health, vitamin K supports bone health and normal blood clotting, and vitamin C is an antioxidant that supports normal tissue and immune functions.
- Mini Brownie Turkeys: These brownies decorated like adorable little turkeys are sure to delight guests of all ages. We suggest preparing some for guests to enjoy immediately while leaving a few for kids to decorate. Adults will have time to indulge in their favorite pies while kids are able to enjoy an interactive—and delicious—activity.
Start Your Day with Me Time
Before the chaos ensues, take some time for yourself. While spending time with family and friends is extremely beneficial for your well-being, taking time for yourself is just as important. Take even just 20 to 30 minutes to focus on yourself first before you spend your day catering to your loves ones. Some of our favorite ways to spend time for ourselves are:
- Go for a walk outside
- Read a book
- Put your phone on silent
Easy Ways to Send Guests with Leftovers
The holidays are when all of your storage containers mysteriously go missing. Let’s face it; once Aunt Linda takes your home her container of turkey and mashed potatoes, you’re never going to see it again. We have two inexpensive and ingenious ideas to send guests home with leftovers while keeping your nice storage containers safely in the cupboard.
- Dollar Store Finds: There are so many amazing things you can find at the dollar store, one of which is plastic containers. Stock up on a container or two for each guest ahead of time so that you don’t have to touch your stash that you use on a daily basis.
- Disposable Muffin Pans: TikTok’s Brunch with Babs shared an ingenious way to send guests home with leftovers. Self-proclaimed as “everyone’s grandmother,” Babs takes a disposable 6 cup muffin pan and fills each well with a different part of her Thanksgiving meal. She puts a lid on it and guests can easily heat it up in their oven at home whenever they are ready.
At the end of the day, the most important thing about Thanksgiving is spending time with your loved ones. While something about your meal might not turn out the way you wish, your guests will really only remember the time they spent all together.
- Bjarnadottir, Adda. “Broccoli 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits.” Healthline. 2019.
- Link, Rachael. “9 Ways Brussels Sprouts Benefit Your Health.” Healthline 2022.