July 27, 2010
Tip of the Week: November 16th, 2008

6 Tips for Resolving Your Thanksgiving Hassles NOW
By Sharon Rivkin, M.A., M.F.T.

He says no#133;she says yes. She wants to go to her best friend's for Thanksgiving dinner, he's firm about going to his parents'. She wants a change#133;he wants the same. Suddenly you're not feeling thankful for anything at all. Sound familiar? So, how do you put the thankful back into Thanksgiving? How do you come to a middle ground with your partner, your family, and yourself?

Thanksgiving can be anything but peaceful if holiday disagreements escalate into yearly battles. It's easy to forget what you're thankful for if the hassles of planning Thanksgiving begin to outweigh the meaning of this important occasion.

Use these 6 tips to resolve your Thanksgiving hassles NOW!
  1. Negotiate with your partner about how to spend the day. Start by each of you writing down your ideal Thanksgiving. Compare notes and see what's negotiable and what's not. Then talk about how to structure Thanksgiving with both of you getting what you want. It may not look like your original ideal list, but it will be workable nevertheless, and you both can feel satisfied that you heard each other, listened to each other, and came to a middle ground.

  2. Delegate. If you're hosting Thanksgiving, don't be a martyr and do it all alone. Make a list of what you want to do and can comfortably do given your work schedule, etc. Then begin to delegate tasks to the invited guests. We often take on too much and feel so hassled on Thanksgiving Day that we simply don't enjoy ourselves.

  3. Take care of yourself and just say NO if you really can't do something. At busy times of the year, we tend to forget about ourselves. Don't stop exercising or getting your weekly massage during the holidays. In fact, try to schedule or do something EXTRA for yourself at these times to compensate for the extra stress. Remember, if you're stressed and not taking care of yourself, it will be difficult to take care of your loved ones and enjoy the holiday activities.

  4. Make it easy on yourself. Create a list of the things you MUST do to make it a good holiday. Then make a list of things you don't really HAVE to do. For instance, you might HAVE to clean your house before the guests come, but maybe you don't HAVE to cook. You could buy a whole Thanksgiving meal and save yourself a lot of time, energy, and hassle. Think about it!!

  5. Create a new tradition. In advance of the holiday, gather your loved ones and talk about doing something different this year that has meaning for the entire family. It could be a special walk together or sitting down and allowing each member to express their appreciation.

  6. Gratitude. The most important way to put the thanks back into Thanksgiving is to be grateful. Writing down a list of things you're grateful for, your "Gratitudes," is an immediate and powerful way to negate depression, envy, and stress. Write one per day from now until Thanksgiving, and suddenly you'll feel grateful instead of hassled. We tend to emphasize what we don't have or what's not working, so turn that around and see what you do have and what is working.

Just follow these tips and you will feel less hassled, more grateful, and truly thankful to be celebrating another Thanksgiving!

Relationship and Conflict Resolution Expert, Sharon M. Rivkin, M.A., M.F.T., author of The First Argument: Cutting to the Root of Intimate Conflict, helps hundreds of couples break the argument cycle with her proven, groundbreaking technique that resolves the most painful issues, stops repetitive conflict in its tracks, saves relationships, and puts the love back in your marriage! Sharon has been featured in O: The Oprah Magazine, Reader's Digest, and DrLaura.com. Visit Sharon at www.sharonrivkin.com. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.

Posted by Staff at 7:23 PM