Thanksgiving is the kickoff event to the warm and cozy holiday season, but sometimes the stress of hosting, gift giving and trying to make everything perfect leaves you feeling anything but thankful.

If you’ve got a tough crowd, a full schedule, or need all the willpower to resist a second helping of Aunt Bette’s pie, here are some tips you can use to help see you through.


You love your family, we know. But that doesn’t mean you always see eye to eye on every topic under the sun.

Take some time to visualize positive interactions and how you want to behave. This will help stop you from stressing about disagreements that haven’t and might not-happen. Also think about how your questions can come across to others. Go with open-ended ones that let them fill in the blanks rather than pointed ones that might demand an answer they aren’t comfortable giving.

Go easy on the alcohol
A glass of wine might help relax you, but a couple more might get the lips feeling loose and your emotions running high. Give yourself a break.

If hosting the perfect Thanksgiving is your goal, make sure you take the time to manage your expectations, ask for help if you need it and think about who it is you want the weekend to be perfect for. For most, the perfect weekend is time with family, so as long as you don’t burn the turkey (and even if you do) when you’re with the ones you love, it will still be perfect.


Oh those holiday favourites! What’s Thanksgiving without the staples you’ve always had and loved? Thanksgiving without the side helping of guilt is totally doable.

Don’t skip
Skipping meals in favour of indulging later is only setting yourself up for failure. Staying comfortably full throughout the day will help you not to binge at dinner. Then you’ll still be able to have moderate amounts of your favourites (and leftovers for more enjoyment tomorrow!).

Make sure no matter how busy you are throughout the weekend that you’re still drinking your water. Staying hydrated will make it easier to tell how hungry you are and when you’re satisfied.

Avoiding holiday treats isn’t much fun and might harm you if you’re hoping to make a lifestyle change for good. Evaluate which menu items you really look forward to and have it! If you deny yourself you might end up binging later in a moment of weakness.


No, breaking the wishbone with your Uncle Ken doesn’t count as a workout.

Every little bit counts
Even if it’s just getting the family up off the couch for a stroll around the block after dinner, a little bit of exercise is better than nothing. Squeeze in some calf raises while you brush your teeth, kitchen squats and lunges while drying dishes, or even volunteer to take the kids to the park (a bonus if you need to get out of the house).

Schedule it
As soon as you know where you’re supposed to be and when, book in your exercise. You can have everything ready to go beforehand and even work it into running errands. Better yet, make an exercise date with a cousin or friend who’s in town so you’re getting in a social visit without missing a workout.

Whatever happens over the holidays, just remember that it’s all part of the journey. No path to health and fitness is a straight one and making change is a process. Enjoy yourself and have a safe and happy holiday.