By On November 4th, 2013

How To Plan A Stress-Free Thanksgiving


Holidays are meant to be joyous occasions and this is the time when friends and family members get together to share good food and good memories with one another. But for some people, holidays are reminders of their pains and failures. There is a high percentage of Americans who experience depression during the holidays, particularly during Thanksgiving.

Unfortunately, if Thanksgiving depression is not properly addressed, people might withdraw and forgo celebrating this joyous holiday with their families. There is no quick fix to treat depression, but if you are likely to suffer from it, there are ways for you to manage your depression so that you can still celebrate Thanksgiving in a meaningful way.

Plan Ahead

Holiday deadlines can be extremely stressful, and you might be caught with a lot of work prior to Thanksgiving day. It is important that you plan ahead and make use of your time wisely. To prevent yourself from being stressed out due to Thanksgiving, it is important that you finish tasks before the holiday, so that you can spend more time focusing on Thanksgiving. With your free time, you can also resolve some of your personal issues, so that you can release some of your negativities before the holiday starts. I personally like to read and pray for my family before the big day. “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”   

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)

Mark Your Calendar

Some people dread marking their calendars as the countdown of days can create stress. However, marking your calendar is a great way to remind yourself to make a plan for Thanksgiving. It is also a great way to exercise control of your emotions as you see the days go by. This will help prevent carelessness when it comes to planning your Thanksgiving activities.

Simplify Things

People expect to celebrate Thanksgiving lavishly, but there is no problem if you try to celebrate this event with simplicity. Big and complicated celebrations often present a lot of opportunities to go awry, but if you have a simple celebration, you minimize unexpected problems.  Consequently, you will be able to easily adapt to the situation and provide immediate solutions to unexpected surprises.

If you can remember, in our history classes they told us about the first Thanksgiving with the Native Americans and The Pilgrims.  They didn’t have much.  In fact, The Pilgrims just had their first harvest and they say that The Pilgrims sugars supply had dwindled. I don’t think they had sweets like pies, cakes or other dessert.  So try to keep it as simple as you can, and that will lessen your stress.

Ask For Help

Thanksgiving is all about the family, so there is really no point in you making all the planning and the preparations by yourself. Reach out to your family and ask them for help. Thanksgiving day is a good time for you to bond with your family, even if you are busy doing house chores or busy cooking the Thanksgiving dinner.  By delegating tasks, you can also minimize the stress that you feel during this holiday.

Reach Out To Others

Lastly, it is crucial that you learn to reach out to other people who are in need. You might not realize it, but you are more than blessed compared with other people who will be celebrating Thanksgiving in homeless shelters or in an orphanage. Thanksgiving is not only about the family, but it’s also about reaching out to your neighbors. There is nothing like giving a free Thanksgiving dinner to your less fortunate neighbors to uplift both of your spirits and realize the true meaning of this holiday.

Most Importantly Pray

When all the hustle and bustle is going on, the stress can start to creep up on you. Remember to stop what you are doing, go find a quiet place, and take a moment for yourself.  What works for me is to take some deep breaths in and out. Then I remember these verses from The Bible:

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” Proverbs 12:25 (NIV)

       “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)

Then I might say a prayer like this: God, Please help me.  I have a lot of pressures on me right now. Please take away my stress and give me strength. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

Happy Thanksgiving!


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