The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has suggestions to reduce holiday stress.
Judy Martin, DHHS Deputy Director of Community and Environmental Health, says one person cooking the entire Thanksgiving meal is unrealistic.
“If you can share the responsibilities and have other folks bring side dishes or bring the pies, that’s a good thing,” she tells Nebraska Radio Network.
You should try to keep your commitments in check and don’t over-extend yourself.
Martin says the holidays are really about quality time with your family, not spending so much time on the cooking and the cleaning of the house.
When it comes time to break bread, have moderation on your mind, not over-indulgence.
“What we encourage folks to do is choose things like fresh fruit as a dessert or substitute for candy you might be tempted to grab,” Martin advises. “Certainly, we encourage people to limit fat, salt, and sugary foods.”
Keeping the same sleep schedule and exercise routine will help fight stress as well.
“Get outside if the weather permits and do something active with your kids,” Martin says. “Try to maintain the routine you have. If you’re already physically active, maintain those routines. If you aren’t physically active now, use the extra time off you may have to increase your movement.”
It is recommended that adults have 30 minutes of strenuous activity each day, while kids need about an hour.
Martin says Thanksgiving hosts need to watch how much alcohol their guests have too.
“We certainly would not want to have folks out drinking and driving at all, and don’t let any of your guests at your home, if they’ve been drinking, to have them drive, but offer them a place in your home, if they have had too much to drink.”