We are only one day away from the big T-giving which means many of you are already home with your families, running through an airport or stressed about how you are going to get all your work done, run a Turkey Trot and make it to #thanksgiving dinner. Though this year is looking to be extra stressful with travel expected to be worse than ever this year (Airlines for America projects that 27.3 million passengers will travel around the world on U.S. airlines between Friday, Nov. 18, and Tuesday, Nov. 29) and families stressed out by politics. But just because there may be a lot of tension surrounding you, it doesn't mean you can't get through this time in one piece and even have a little fun. Here is your survival guide for Thanksgiving.
If the meal conversation does become a little lively over politics here are some ways to deal with it. Beverly Hills family therapist Dr. Fran Walfish says "Listen and allow each person a turn to be heard, acknowledged, validated, and felt to be accepted, flaws and all.” Limiting the alcohol flow may also help. Julie de Azevedo Hanks, Ph.D., L.C.S.W. told Shape.com, "We all think we're being really rational about things, but no one is. There's so much emotion driving a lot of these intense responses. I like to think that every criticism is an emotional plea... Hear the emotional piece that they're wanting you to hear. Because, really, at our core, we all want the same things: to be respected, heard, valued, understood, we want to know that we matter to someone." And if you feel like it is about to get really bad make an exit.
Need to escape for a bit? Go on a run! Mile High Run Club founder Debora Warner (see our awesome interview with her here) says do something every day, even if it's just 10 or 15 minutes. As they say, the only bad workout is the one that didn't happen. But do remember to be safe especially as it is getting darker earlier these days. She says, "Run where the runners are! Get a running buddy. I was a scuba diver for many years, and the rule of thumb is that no one dives alone-ever. Have more than one running buddy who can keep the pace with you. If you must run alone bring a phone + a road ID, and stay visible to other people and/or cars. Opt to run indoors if conditions don't feel right," she told Levo.com.
Take Advantage of the Free Time
Unless you work for Ebeneezer Scrooge, for many people this is actually a pretty easy week so take a load off. Or if you want, work ahead. Plan for the holiday rush which will inevitably be crazy. Also take advantage of the fact that your neighborhood has probably emptied out. Run some errands, go to the gym, etc.,
For the college crowd and the right out of college crowd Thanksgiving is a super fun time to see old friends. And if you are single, Thanksgiving Eve is apparently one of the best nights to meet a potential partner. According to dating apps such as The League, which reports that its users are 30 percent more likely to be active online the night before Turkey Day. Plus, a date is always a nice distraction from binge watching or family time.
A moment of zen can be a real life saver during a long jam-packed weekend. And clearly a lot of people think so as Pinterest revealed that mental fitness and meditation workouts were searched 45 percent more often this year. Meditation can quickly reduce stress, negative emotions and even make you more compassionate (which can be super helpful with relatives.) Get some great tips on how to get started here from @Patricia Karpas
And if all else fails, binge watch Gilmore Girls: A Day in the Life on Netflix starting on Nov.25. They have family issues too but there's are much more fun to watch.