For many, Thanksgiving can trigger equal parts nostalgia and relational drama. We long to connect with loved ones we, perhaps, haven’t seen in years. But there are others we’d prefer to avoid, or at least interact with sparingly.
If anticipation of the holidays is negatively impacting your mental health and stealing your sleep, I hope you’ll find encouragement in this: You don’t have to let anyone dominate your emotions. You can experience the peace of Christ, no matter who or what you encounter or which topics relatives discuss at the dinner table.
We thank you for all the blessings you’ve bestowed upon our family. I pray for everyone in our family and extended family. I pray for all of the sons and daughters, and mothers and fathers. Give us all the strength and patience we need to relate to one another and support each other.
I pray for grandparents, that they’re able to impart their wisdom and that those of us who are younger will listen and respect their advice. I pray for sisters and brothers, that you will give each one the strength to care for one another and support each other as we should. For all of us that you have brought together into one large family, we thank you.
We ask that you bless, protect, and strengthen us.
Thanksgiving is the day when we feel most grateful for the blessings in our lives. So why do we talk so much about Thanksgiving stress? The food, the family, the travel, the emotions—it can weigh more heavily on us than that second slice of pumpkin pie.
If you’re feeling stress and anxiety as you anticipate Thanksgiving, take comfort. Not only is it normal to experience those feelings, it is also possible to turn them around and reconnect with the gratitude that’s at the heart of this holiday.
Read on for five of the most common Thanksgiving stressors—and how to reorient yourself toward an attitude of gratitude.