201811.20
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Gratitude, Turkeys, and Stress

Thanksgiving is a day for us to take stock of all the people and circumstances we can be grateful for in our day-to-day lives while simultaneously kicking off the holiday season (although it seems the holiday season now starts before Halloween, according to various retailers, who shall remain unnamed).

To help you celebrate this year and wow your family and friends with your mixology skills, check out a curated collection of season savvy spins on some classic adult beverages here.  The cranberry twist on the Moscow mule looks especially tempting!

While these adult beverages may jump start your holiday cheer, it is important to remember that Thanksgiving and the holiday season may not always be as jolly as it is cracked up to be.  Instead, it can present a season of stress and overwhelming for many grappling with financial pressures, tensions within families (be especially sure to stay away from politics at the dinner table this year), loneliness, and even regret as the realization of another year gone by creeps up.

People often find themselves drinking more (not only at the office holiday party) but throughout the season to cope with the increase in stress.  Make sure to exercise plenty of self-care this holiday season, as the most important thing you can be thankful for is your health and well-being.  Here are some helpful tips, according to Dr. Frank Lipman of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center:

Travel—Fly at non-peak hours (if possible), bring only a carry-on, bring healthy snacks, and try natural herbs or oils to help you relax before a flight instead of alcohol or prescription medication.

Family—Keep stays short and sweet; the longer you stay, the more chance of conflict brewing.  Keep alcoholic beverages to a minimum, lest you decide to have a few choice words with Uncle Peter over the day’s football game (one or two of those delicious cranberry Moscow mules is enough).  Try not to make drinking an all day affair, and if you do choose to indulge in more than a drink or two, make sure to stay hydrated (alternate drinks with water), and hand over your keys.

Food—If you are cooking (or hosting), try setting the table a day or so in advance, do your Thanksgiving shopping as late at night as possible to avoid crowds, or consider visiting your farmer’s market and start with make-ahead sides that can be frozen and reheated.  Go pot luck style but please remember that nobody should be putting peas in their guac (nope, we’re never letting that go, New York Times).

And most importantly, be mindful of your mindset and expectations.  If you start out the holiday expecting everything to be a disaster, it just might be!  Also remember that where humans are involved, things are bound to not go according to plan, so remember a little patience and flexibility.  In the spirit of Thanksgiving, practice gratitude and try to stay positive.  Taking a moment to breathe can do wonders for bringing your mind back to a calmer state.

From us to you and your family, have a peaceful and tasty Turkey Day!  Drink responsibly, drive sober, and always know your rights!

Frank Lipman, 5 Tips to Reduce Thansgiving Stress, BeWell (Nov. 23, 2015), https://www.bewell.com/blog/5-tips-to-reduce-thanksgiving-stress/

Sienna Fantozzi, 36 Festive Thanksgiving Cocktails to Liven up the Table, Delish (Nov. 8, 2018), https://www.delish.com/holiday-recipes/thanksgiving/g3011/thanksgiving-cocktails/