Girls' Guide to Surviving the Holidays: Thanksgiving edition

We've reached the time of year when everything starts to move faster. School projects are due, finals are looming, vacations are being planned and family time can sometimes get a little overwhelming. Maybe your dad gets super stressed about cooking the perfect turkey. Maybe mom switches into overdrive to shuttle the family to and from all the relatives' homes. And what about your siblings? Chances are they're getting a little cranky too, especially if a road trip is on the horizon!

What's a girl to do when all the hustle and bustle begins to go from fun to overwhelming? Here are a few tips for how to make it through Thanksgiving with a good attitude and plenty of fun!

  • Talk to your parents ahead of time about setting aside an afternoon or evening with a friend to do something special outside of family get-togethers. Remember, pick a time to talk when Mom and Dad are relaxed, stick to the topic at hand and be willing to compromise.
  • Get outside in the sunshine every day for at least 20 minutes. Take the dog for a walk, visit a neighbor, or even just snooze in the backyard for a bit. Fresh air and sunshine, as well as a little light exercise, can help keep your spirits lifted even when everyone else falls asleep snoring in front of the Macy's Day Parade.
  • Create your own special dish to share with the family! It's more fun to sit through a big meal when you've had a chance to spice it up with your own creativity. Talking with Mom & Dad ahead of time about your dish will help make sure that ingredients are purchased and space is made available. Bonus points if you come up with a make-ahead dish that your family can enjoy while the big meal is cooking or while traveling to your relatives. 
  • Don't be shy about asking for a break when you need one. Have a gameplan with your parents so that you can avoid a meltdown by having a quiet, private space to read, breathe, call a friend or write in your journal. Emotions run high over the holidays (for parents too) and having a plan in place will show your parents that you're really taking good care of yourself, and will give them the confidence in you to know that when you say you need a break, you mean it!
  • Come up with a mantra to get you through the high-stress moments when the stuffing gets eaten by the dog, or grandma burns the sweet potato casserole, or your family gets lost on the way to your aunt's house. Try this one:

Staying calm and cool is my golden rule.

  • Remember that no matter how crazy Thanksgiving can get, taking a moment to express gratitude can brighten your day and remind you what the holiday is really all about.