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Tea TimeThanksgiving is fast approaching!  Work is busy, especially if you’re preparing to take a few days off to spend with family.  The grocery store lines are getting longer as everyone is shopping for turkey, sweet potatoes, cranberries and other yummy goodies.  You’re worried whether you’ll have enough time to get the house clean enough to pass the Mom inspection, concerned whether the new stuffing recipe is going to turn out ok, or wondering if your flight will be on schedule.

Whew!  While most of us love the hustle and bustle of the holidays we also recognize how stressful they can be.  It’s time to take a little break to unwind with a few simple techniques.

  1. Let the Kid Inside Come Out. Pull out some gummy worms, Smarties® or chew some Bubblicious/Bubble Yum.  Play with your kids, little cousins, or the nephews and nieces.
  1. Enjoy Aromatherapy & Essential Oils. Use a few drops of essential oils to help calm you down and lift the stress by enhancing your sense of smell.  Essential oils are the natural chemicals extracted from plants, flowers, etc.  They contain natural vitamins, antioxidants and offer healthy benefits to relax, calm, sooth and refresh the body and mind.  Scents like lavender, rose, vanilla and sandalwood help melt stress away. Add to an aromatherapy diffuser, your bath, or mix with a carrier oil (e.g., Jojoba Oil, Almond Oil, Vitamin E Oil, etc.) if applying as a body oil.  Add a few drops of peppermint, lemon or pink grapefruit oil into your household cleaner for a crisp, fresh scent.
  1. Break for Tea Time. Make yourself a cup of hot tea using seasonal tea blends containing ginger, cinnamon, orange, cranberry, nutmeg, or pumpkin spice.  Serve it in a proper tea-cup with saucer then sip slowly as you savor the aroma, warmth and taste.  The day after Thanksgiving host a Thanksgiving Tea Party for the special ladies in your life—your Mom, sisters, daughters, Aunties, Grandmothers, cousins, nieces— and serve turkey sliders using leftover turkey and cranberry sauce, cranberry scones or pumpkin bread (or some of that leftover pumpkin or sweet potato pie) with a nice salad or veggie tray.
  1. Speak Good Thoughts. Change your perspective by speaking positively “I know I’ll get everything taken care of” instead of speaking negatively “I’ll never get everything done”.
  1. Journal It. Instead of having a million little lists scattered here and there of what you need to do, journal it all in one place.  Whether you do it on paper, on your tablet, or using a notepad app on your cell keep your list consolidated where you can easily find what you need to do.  Make sure your list includes allowing adequate time to allow a frozen turkey to defrost!
  1. Get Organized. I’m a planner and I love to do whatever I can ahead of time so I’m not so rushed and stressed at the last-minute on Thanksgiving Day.  To start, I usually make two shopping trips:  the first is about two weeks before Thanksgiving where I shop for the nonperishable items (e.g., spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, yeast, stuffing cubes, etc.) and even a few perishables that I know won’t spoil like fresh cranberries, oranges, sweet potatoes and fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme and sage.  My second grocery trip is for the perishables (e.g., fresh vegetables, salad greens, turkey, etc.).  I also like to pre-chop the veggies (i.e., onion, bell pepper, celery) for my stuffing a few days ahead and store the pre-chopped veggies in the fridge.  A week or two before Thanksgiving I clean out my fridge to make way for the turkey and all the fixings.  A week before I always identify the tablecloth or table runner I’m going to use, along with the casserole and serving dishes, then I set my table and include the casserole and serving dishes.  When hosting family, place fresh bed linens on their beds and make sure fresh towels and soap are in the guest bath.  If traveling, try to pack a few days ahead rather than waiting for the night before your flight.
  1. Tabletop Treats. If you want to try a tabletop arrangement this year, keep it small and simple.  Pick a theme and stick with it.  It doesn’t have to be elaborate.  Don’t feel the stress of having to go out and purchase new items such as table linens, special plates, new silverware, special serving dishes and utensils, etc.  Use what you have.
  1. Tune it Out. Sign in to Pandora and crank up the volume on the Bose or Beats and let the music sooth you.  If you’re flying, plug in your ear buds, sit back and enjoy.
  1. Unwind.  Do something to relax and unwind your body, including getting sound sleep.  Stretch it out with yoga or Pilates.  Go for a walk.  Kickbox or do some strength training.
  1. Be Nice to You. The temps are dropping which means skin is beginning to get drier.  Moisturize like crazy!  Protect your skin with extra special attention to hands, heels, and elbows.

How do you keep stress at bay while preparing for Thanksgiving?lavendar5