Managing the Mental Load of Thanksgiving
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By Bromwich+Smith Staff | 559 words | Reading Time: 2 minutes and 47 seconds | Date: 2022/09/30
Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and while this is a holiday focused around gratitude, there are often many more emotions surrounding this occasion. This year, World Mental Health Day falls on the same day as Canadian Thanksgiving, and that’s no coincidence. Many people struggle with their mental health during the holidays and need tools to navigate the season.
Let’s explore some of the challenges around holidays like Thanksgiving, and look at some tips to mitigate the stress: mentally AND financially.
Stressor: Holiday Spending
What’s a holiday without holiday spending? Costs add up when it comes to Thanksgiving, and if you’re setting the table this year, you can expect food costs to be higher than normal. While you may not have budgeted for feasts in the past, food expenses can really add up due to inflation. It’s a good idea to menu plan, check costs, and make a budget for how much you can and should spend. If a big turkey dinner with all the fixings is simply out of your budget this year, don’t fret. Ask your guests to bring a dish to contribute, and help spread out the costs.
Stressor: Great Expectations of Hosting
If you’re hosting family or friends for the holiday, you might have more on your list than just dinner. This could involve having people stay in your house overnight, or being the gathering place throughout the weekend. Cleaning, cooking and decorating are just a few of the expectations of the host, but ultimately, it’s always up to you to decide what you want to and can do. Don’t overextend yourself - or your space - and use this time to be clear on your boundaries and stick to them. Say no to parties and events that you don’t want to host, and say no to anything that’s not in your budget.
Stressor: Maintaining Routines
Gaining a few pounds may be a seasonal rite of passage for some, but changes in diet, exercise and routine can be a source of stress and can lead to the worsening of mental, physical and emotional conditions. Practice consistency by sticking to a routine that keeps you able to effectively manage your stress. You can plan events and hosting obligations around your commitments to yourself, and prioritize what you need to feel your best over the holidays.
Stressor: Holiday Blues
During the holidays, many people focus on the joys and celebrations, but for many others, holidays can be a difficult time. Some people struggle with the loss of a loved one, or the financial stress from holiday spending, or missing people that you aren’t able to celebrate with. If the holidays trigger anxiety, sadness or depression, know that you are not alone in these feelings. It’s important to acknowledge how you feel, and find someone to talk to whether it’s a trusted friend or a therapist. By recognizing your holiday triggers, you can make a plan that will help you combat the seasonal stresses. Practice gratitude for what you do have and cultivate the practice of gratitude beyond the season.
While certain stresses go away after the holidays, financial struggles can last for longer. If you need to regain control of your finances and get your life back on track, reach out for a free, confidential, no obligation consultation. Bromwich+Smith’s Debt Relief Specialists are available by phone at 1.855.884.9243 or request a call back at our contact us page.