4 Ways To Enjoy Thanksgiving, Guilt And Stress Free

Thanksgiving Turkey on the table surrounded by side dishes

Thanksgiving marks the official start of the “holiday season” – a time when our usual fitness, food, and stress resilience routines become sidelined in the hazy holiday rush.

With meals to prepare, travel, gifts to buy, and holiday cards to pose for, this season can increase our stress levels and put unnecessary pressure on ourselves. This increase in stress can cause us to sleep less as we try to get our to-do lists done, reach for a sweet treat instead of a planned meal, or glue ourselves to the couch instead of taking a 15-minute walk. All of these choices leave us with that lingering, guilty feeling we get when we know we’re not putting our wellness first.

Instead of approaching Thanksgiving with guilty feelings- like worrying that our slices of delicious pie will undo all our fitness, staying up and stressing all night to perfect our homemade meal, or pushing off our usual healthy habits until “the holidays are over,” consider approaching it with the same confidence we have during the rest of the year. Just because the stress of the holidays is pulling us in different directions doesn’t mean that it has to pull us away from the routines that keep us feeling good in our body.

Adrien Cotton in street wear walking with hands in pockets

Thanksgiving, and the holidays in general, can be a joyful time. They shouldn’t be viewed as a roadblock to wellness, connection with loved ones BOOSTS our wellness! Worry less about the food or the amount of reps you’d need to burn off the pumpkin pie and focus instead on keeping your stress as low as possible and getting your sleep. Enjoy the moment. Joy is so critical to our wellness.

Here are a few strategies to stick to our wellness routine and increase joy this Thanksgiving. Incorporating these simple habits will allow us to feel more energized, less stressed, and less likely to eat beyond our fullness- and we will potentially have the best, guilt-free Thanksgiving yet!

1. Make a family (or solo!) walk a new tradition.

Maybe it’s right at sunrise, between football games, or after dessert. Our bodies will thank us after a quality, leisurely, walk. Grab the whole family or set out solo, leave the devices at home, focus on breathing in and out with intention, and notice the beauty that surrounds us, including our loved ones. This will allow us to feel refreshed, energized and grateful that we prioritized our wellness on a day that could be a stressful whirlwind. BONUS TIP: Starting our day with exercise will likely result in less food guilt later!

Family walking together in autumn

2. Start or end your day with gratitude.

Gratitude is one of the most powerful tools to increase happiness! Thanksgiving is an appropriate day to tap into gratitude. There are so many things for which we can be grateful for. Our loved ones’ presence, food on the table, and an able body that allows us to enjoy these holidays. If we can bring more gratitude into our lives, especially during the stressful holiday season, we will be happier, more fulfilled, and more appreciative.

Practice gratitude daily written on a napkin next to a pen and coffee cup

3. ENJOY the food, yet enjoy the company the most.

We can allow ourselves to enjoy the homemade dishes that remind us of childhood and the meal that we probably spent countless hours preparing. Focusing less on the food and more on the company you may not share regularly helps to make the holidays joy-centric and less stressful.

Thanksgiving Turkey on the table surrounded by side dishes

4. Connect with loved ones, disconnect from devices.

There are few days when friends, family, and loved ones are all in the same general location. We should take this as an opportunity to connect with the real people around us, instead of what’s on our phone. Our magnificent brain THRIVES on connection. In fact, it cannot survive without it. Connection is vital to our growth and to our wellness. So, let’s view Thanksgiving, a time we typically spend with friends, family, and loved ones, as a time to connect.

Family walking and talking together

As you implement these four strategies to enjoy your Thanksgiving, it’s also a good time to incorporate other methods of improving your life into your routine. Have you or a loved one been quietly struggling with menopause symptoms? Are you having a difficult time falling and staying asleep because of them? No more suffering in silence!  Purchase my MASTER Menopause NOW Sleep Course to take control of this transition and feel better in your body. Improve your sleep and improve your life just in time to enjoy the holiday season, with me as your guide.

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