7 Simple Tips For Surviving Thanksgiving With Your Family

Thanksgiving is just two days away which means family, food, and all your favorite holiday festivities are right around the corner. While we’re big believers in enjoying the holidays (and all our days) guilt-free, we’re also big believers in *not* feeling physically glued to the couch. SO, to help compliment the minor tryptophan coma brought on by the stuffed turkey, cheese plate, bottle of wine, and entire apple pie we may or may not consume over the next few days, we’re revisiting our sexy and spirited guide to surviving the holidays with grace and style. Join us. Here are 7 timely tips to avoid the annual holiday stress fest. Got more to share? Tell us your best tips in the comments below. Meet you there.

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HOW TO SURVIVE THE HOLIDAYS:

1. ESTABLISH CLEAR BOUNDARIES BEFOREHAND.

Clearly communicating what your needs and limits are beforehand—and honoring them—is so important, especially if you’re spending the holidays with family. It’s the thing, like THE thing, separating you from having an enjoyable holiday experience or one that throws you into an entire carton of ice cream and a tailspin of tears, rage, and resentment.

This means setting physical boundaries like telling your mom that you won’t be sleeping on the couch this year—you need a bed—as well as non-physical, sanity saving boundaries like forgoing after dinner drinks with your co-workers for yoga instead. You might have to repeat yourself, that’s OK, repeat as needed. There is nothing selfish about honestly asserting your needs.

For us setting boundaries looks like passing on certain foods (anyone with an Italian grandmother knows this is strictly forbidden), and starting our days with non-negotiable “me time”. It also means being OK with disappointing our family at times. I think it’s safe to say they’d rather us there than the very reactive 16-year old monster selves we turn into when we don’t practice what we preach.

2. GIVE TO YOURSELF, FIRST.

Do not sacrifice yourself or your sanity. Honor your needs, first. If you’re people pleasers like us this is especially hard. You’ll likely feel guilty for not doing what other people want you to do but when you don't take care of your basic needs first—however selfish you feel—you are making the conscious choice to deplete yourself, which, if you think about it, isn’t good for anyone.

3. SAY NO.

Because no, you don’t actually have to do all the things you *think* you’re supposed to do. This holiday season replace the word obligations with choices.

4. BRING FOOD YOU LIKE TO EAT.

Especially if you know “healthy” isn’t on the menu. We’ve learned this the hard way. Never go anywhere unprepared. Which yes, is more work, but if it’s important to you DO IT. Bring something you can share like:

EXAMPLES OF RECIPES:

A huge pot of comfy cozy soup.  
The ultimate veggie-ful lentil loaf.   
Rosemary brussel sprouts quinoa salad. 
Everyone’s favorite cinnamon apple crisp.
Or a family sized macro bowl and these classic chocolate chip cookies. (They’re always a crowd pleaser.)

Speaking of food…

5. EAT EVERYTHING!

Eat and enjoy absolutely everything you want. Healthy living starts with actually living, remember?

6. LAY OFF THE SOCIAL MEDIA.

If you need another excuse to digital detox besides the simple fact that you’re on your phone 24/7, this is it. Do you really need to see another *ugly* Christmas sweater or holiday themed pie?

7. GET GRATEFUL.

For all of these reasons.

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