I believe the most frequently asked question this time of the year is, “What are your plans for Thanksgiving?” The answer most often revolves around Thanksgiving dinner. Things like, ‘I’m cooking”, or we’re going to a family or a friends house. Once the location is set, second highest answer is probably the meal plan. The one plan, I personally, have never heard anyone mention, is a plan to stay healthy at Thanksgiving.
Hospital emergency rooms experience significant increases in the number of patients they see on Thanksgiving in contrast to other days of the year. Many of these visits are due to stress, over indulgence of food or drink, and improper food-handling. So one thing we can do this Thanksgiving is add a plan to stay healthy. Not to overwhelm you with another thing “to do”, let’s narrow it down to just three things.
- First, avoid unnecessary stress, which is a major contributor to illness. Whether you are just cooking for your immediate household or hosting a crowd, planning your meal and your shopping are crucial. Proper planning will significantly cut down on stress and makes it easier to solicit help when you need it.
- Second, knowing food safety guidelines, such as how long to cook certain foods, (especially meats and seafood) will help you to avoid food-related illnesses such as food poisoning. Make sure you have enough containers and room in the fridge for proper food storage. Putting food away promptly is just as important as making sure it is cooked thoroughly.
- Third, plan to maintain your personal wellness routine, which includes your total being: spirit, soul, and body. It is very easy during the holidays to neglect ourselves and plan to get back on track after the holidays. We must remember that self-care is not selfish . We must not neglect our quiet time with our Heavenly Father. Let’s present our plans to Him and listen for His directions. There is also no better stress-buster, than focusing on what we are thankful for.
In maintaining our personal wellness, we need to plan our eating, our exercise, and our periods of rest. One of the biggest challenges we face, not only on Thanksgiving Day, but the days before and the days right after, is the abundance of food that we love, that we only eat on and around the holidays. So, having a plan in place can help us to incorporate our favorites into our healthy eating routine.
Time to hit the gym may not be do-able, but we can find creative ways to keep up our activity levels. Parking a little farther away at the supermarket, putting on music while we are preparing the house and the food, and my favorite: dancing while I’m waiting. And one of the most important things we can do to stay healthy is to make sure we get adequate rest. A good night’s sleep is a great start to a good and productive day.
May God bless you richly and you have a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving!