Peaceful Practices for a Smooth Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and as we get closer to the date of marathon cooking and eating,  it is easy for tension to build. Friends, family, food and festivities can offer an opportunity for blissful gatherings, but can also induce a sense of chaos.  Strike the right balance by planning ahead, nourishing yourself, and taking time to soothe your mind and soul. In order to avoid falling into the pit of Thanksgiving overwhelm, follow these simple tips:

Plan ahead. In the days before Thanksgiving, check off as many to-dos as possible. This will help free up the big day for the bare essentials that have to be performed on Thanksgiving. Makes sure you have double-checked your list of ingredients or other supplies to avoid last-minute trips to the store. Prep and cook as much of your menu as possible. For example, make any baked goods ahead of time, prepare stocks and sauces, and wash and chop vegetables so they are ready for immediate preparation the day of. Having a clean house and a set table assures there is no last minute rushing around to do.

Start with a good breakfast. It can be easy to wake up on Thanksgiving morning and to immediately begin bustling around. This year, pause and take a breath before even leaving the bed. Set your intentions for a calm and thankful day. Take the time to enjoy a healthy breakfast in order to fuel your body for the day’s long haul activities. Breakfast doesn’t need to be complicated, in fact in can be prepared the night before. Recipes such as Muesli and Honey Nut Granola can be made ahead of time and enjoyed with almond milk the morning of. Multitask by baking some Spiced Pear and Banana Baked Oatmeal Cups ahead of time and enjoy them for breakfast, as well as a healthy dessert option later in the day.

Begin with a clean kitchen. This tip cannot be stressed enough. Not only is it essential to have clean surfaces, make sure the dishes are all washed and put away. This way all of the tools of the day are ready and waiting. Additionally, make time in the days leading up to Thanksgiving to clean out the refrigerator, including purging old leftovers and wiping down the shelves. You will be glad you’ve saved yourself the headache when the time comes to pack away the leftovers stuffing.

Take a yoga break. The most impactful thing you can do for your own well-being: take some time out to rest and refill your well sometime in your big prepping day.Once the stuffing is in the oven, sneak away for a “yoga nap” of as little as 10 minutes. Try a simple yoga pose, such as legs-up-the-wall (viparita karani), or even just lying on your back and placing your calves on the seat of a chair. Sure, you could fold napkins or iron linens or sweep the floor instead, but your guests will notice your shining, rested countenance much more than your shining kitchen faucet. You will be able to be more present with your guests and actually enjoy their company, and isn’t it what the big day is all about?

Special thanks to Staci Brindle from Natural Epicurean for her collaboration on this article.

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