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Thanksgiving is all about gratitude. Feeling grateful for a year’s worth of blessings and
being thankful for what matters most to you. It’s not supposed to be an overwhelming
burden, yet sometimes that’s exactly what it becomes. There are plenty of reasons why
Thanksgiving can leave you feeling stressed rather than grateful. Reasons like

*Financial Stress
*Dysfunctional Family Members
*Health Issues
*Everyday Worries

Sometimes the holidays are a welcome break from everyday life and sometimes they
simply come at the wrong time. When Thanksgiving feels overwhelming it’s a great time
to set some limits that allow you to enjoy the holiday while protecting your time and your
sanity. Here’s how to set limits and keep the holiday positive.

Be honest about your situation– No two years are alike. Every year it’s important to
assess your situation and set any limits that make sense for what’s going on. If your
family is weathering a storm, there’s nothing wrong with modifying your holiday to
reflect the situation you’re in. Denying that Thanksgiving is coming at a difficult time
won’t help make life any easier. Be honest with yourself…and others, and you’ll have an
easier time setting limits.

Work within your financial budget– Sometimes it’s easy and fun to host everyone you
know for a bountiful feast while other times a rotisserie chicken and store-bought side
dishes fits more within your budget. Likewise, sometimes it’s easy to pay for travel to
see family while other years it simply isn’t. Work within your budget and set firm limits
that support your healthy decisions to live within your means. You may need to forgo
visiting family or hosting the holiday meal, but it doesn’t mean you don’t love and
cherish your time together. Don’t confuse love and loyalty with dollar signs.

Practice saying no– Saying no is hard for most people and it’s especially hard during the
holidays when the season is supposed to be about gratitude. You aren’t ungrateful for
saying no to things that add to your stress level. You simply can’t please everyone most
of the year and Thanksgiving time is no different. Practice saying no politely and firmly so
you are used to setting limits when the time comes.

Think out of the box– Thanksgiving is steeped in so much tradition it can feel weird to
step out of the box. If life is overwhelming, a non-traditional Thanksgiving might be just
what you need to cope with the season. Instead of traditional activities, shake things up
and try something radically different. Don’t worry if your extended family doesn’t agree
or understand. Setting limits with your time and how you celebrate the holiday can be
very healthy.

The holidays can be a magical break from reality, or they can pile on unnecessary
stress. It’s up to you to set limits and protect yourself from overdoing it. You must take
charge of your life and be prepared to do what’s best for you during the season and
throughout the year.