Happy November! With the start of this new month, we say goodbye to the spooky season and welcome the gatherings of loved ones, cozy comfort meals, and the fall decor that Thanksgiving time has to offer. Thanksgiving is a holiday focused on being grateful for our lives, the family and friends we are proud to call our support system, and the moments we have all shared over the past year. However, sometimes holidays can prove to be more stressful than enjoyable. We have compiled a list of recommendations on how best to maintain your mental and physical health and adequately prepare your environment for the holiday season.
Kitchen Staples and Methods That Will Minimize The Thanksgiving Prep This Month
1. Freezing foods
While we all appreciate a fresh homemade meal around the holidays, there is no shame in putting your freezer to good use. When frozen, fresh foods keep their nutritional value intact, meaning there is no harm in freezing your vegetables ahead of time. Freezing the food may be more beneficial in maintaining its nutritional value depending on the length of time you eat your food once purchased.
Whole vegetables are not the only way to use your freezer this holiday season. You can also pre-make Thanksgiving staples such as stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green bean casseroles ahead of time to freeze and defrost when needed.
2. Administering a deep clean
Before you go ahead and purchase any ingredients, be sure to deep clean your kitchen and pantry. Over time, it can become easy to forget what you have purchased, and this method will help you avoid buying something you might already have. It can also help inspire you in the kitchen. While everyone loves a traditional Thanksgiving dish, who knows what ingredients might spark some cooking inspiration for you!
3. An air fryer
If you plan on cooking a traditional turkey for this Thanksgiving, odds are you need more oven space. The oven is a very versatile part of the kitchen and is usually associated with low-maintenance cooking recipes. In honor of that, we recommend investing in an air fryer. An air fryer is usually a semi-compact kitchen tool that is known to help cook a variety of different foods efficiently and conveniently. Having an air fryer on your side this Thanksgiving can help you cook those extra vegetables or potatoes without worrying about timing it with your turkey cooking.
How To Mentally Prepare Yourself For The Holiday Season
Thanksgiving, and the holiday season in general, is meant to be a season of gathering, loving, and fun, but for many, it can be a very emotionally tolling time. It can take an extreme toll on one’s social levels specifically, which is why it is essential to take extra care of your mental health around this time.
Here are some ways to center yourself this holiday season:
- Meditate - Meditating is a great way to calm the noise circulating your brain and help you relax. It is a great way to trigger your central nervous system and bring it down from a place of fight or flight. Find your way to incorporate meditation into your life by trying various methods.
- Create lists - If you tend to get overwhelmed with responsibilities looming, help minimize these stressors by creating to-do lists ahead of time. For example, if you know you are hosting loved ones during the holidays, list things to prepare your home beforehand to avoid being stressed days beforehand. We cannot always control the turn of events, but if we can schedule out certain things, it is worth the stress relief.
- Reach out to those around you - Delegating is not easy for all of us, but it can make all the difference during this time of the year. There is no reason you should put all the pressure on yourself to complete everything. Your loved ones are supposed to be your support system, so allow them the chance to be there for you and to help you achieve the long list of holiday need-to-do’s.
- Reflect - Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect on all you are grateful for. It is a time to reminisce and remind yourself of the beauty that the world has to offer. With the hustle and bustle that characterizes our daily lives, it can become easy to overlook all the beautiful things that happen to us, and now is a great time to focus on them instead.
How To Physically Maintain Your Digestive and Immune Systems During the Holiday Season
The holiday season is filled with delicious foods – some that tend to be filled with artificial sweeteners and loads of saturated fats. While we do not recommend indulging in these foods daily, there is no reason to avoid them for special occasions. However, eating these foods can take a toll on your digestive system – especially if you are not used to eating them regularly. To give your digestive system extra support, include a digestive enzyme supplement and a supplement that helps with bloating in your routine. Gut health enzymes and probiotics help to maintain the amount of beneficial bacteria in your gut and help you avoid a leaky gut.
The indulgent foods and high stress levels do not make a good mix for your immune system during the holiday season, and because of this, you must take extra steps to protect your immunity levels. Now is not the time to skip out on those extra hours of shut-eye. Be sure to prioritize your sleep in the coming weeks to avoid being sleep-deprived and push your body towards an illness. Taking supplements such as vitamin C can also help support your immunity levels. An overload of stress can also push your body towards an illness, so it is essential to implement stress-relieving activities such as exercising, reading, and journaling into your routine.
The holidays are meant to be a time of celebration, so we hope these tips and tricks will help you enjoy the holiday season with limited stress and other health ailments.