Mental health expert offers help to make Thanksgiving less stressful

Mental Wellness Wednesday

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – If you’re lucky enough to spend the holiday surrounded by family, enjoy the time together, but also recognize that the large family gatherings can be a challenge for some people.

“Sometimes it can be really stressful to have a lot of people around if you have a lot of anxiety in social situations. Sometimes there are certain people in your family you just don’t get along with as well and that can be stressful,” said Claire Tolstedt, of Siouxland Mental Health Services Therapist.

If your holiday gathering stirs up some stress, mental health professionals say it’s important to remember your coping skills.

Take a break. Step out of a room or conversation that’s creating some stress, or just take some time to be alone for a bit.

It can also help to focus on the purpose of your gathering.

“Thanksgiving is a great time to just kind of focus on those things that you’re grateful for. So spending some time thinking about those things that you’re grateful for and happy about is a great way to kind of recenter and have an upbeat optimistic attitude as you might go into some of those thanksgiving situations that might be a little challenging for you,” added Tolstedt.

Tolstedt also says if your holiday plans include some shopping, set some realistic goals.

Make a plan that includes some breaks with family and fun time to help prevent stress.

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