HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — Halloween is behind us, and here comes Thanksgiving. 

You’ve got shopping to do, a big meal to prepare, a house to clean, and guests will be coming. Just thinking about it adds up to stress, but in today’s Mommy Matters, we’ve got five ways to fend off the holiday headache and keep your sanity.

  • The first one is the simplest but the hardest to do for most of us. Just say “no.” Yes, you can do that. You’re allowed. It’s okay to say, “no, I can’t be there.” It’s okay to say, “no, I’m too busy to cook a dish for the potluck.” It’s okay to say “no, I’m not hosting Thanksgiving at my house this year, but I’ll be glad to make a side dish to bring to your dinner.”
  • Another stressbuster: plan ahead. Scheduling Thanksgiving events can get tricky with stepchildren and extended families. Sit down now and determine who’s going where at what time. If you’re hearing “I don’t know yet” from others, decide what time you’ll be having dinner, tell them, and let them work around you. If someone can’t come, schedule time after Thanksgiving to spend with them.
  • Plan your spending. Make a grocery list and stick to it. Stores like to tempt you to make impulse buys by setting up displays at the end of aisles. Don’t give in. Just buy what you need. 
  • When everyone gathers for the big meal, respect differences. We all have different views, especially on politics and religion. It’s okay to say, “I respect your opinion but I don’t agree. Let’s change the topic.” You may have to say it several times. Break the tension by asking everyone to share what they’re thankful for.
  • Take a break. Do something for yourself. Go for a walk, take a nap or read a book. Give yourself some quality time. Even just giving yourself a break for ten minutes will help improve your mental health and relieve stress.