Video: Stress-free Thanksgiving

msnbc.com
updated 11/22/2005 7:04:36 PM ET 2005-11-23T00:04:36


While Thanksgiving is a happy time, full of family, relaxation and reflection, it can also induce stress.

Before the holiday, Dr. Joyce Brothers joined MSNBC's Natalie Morales on MSNBC Live to discuss how families and individuals can best go about keeping their Thanksgiving as stress-free as possible.

Brothers offered five tips to help everyone enjoy the holiday.

1. Don't fall back into the parent child roles
This means that everyone needs to get used to the transition to their new role in a growing family, Brothers said.

"There's such a temptation for grandma or grandpa to criticize how you're taking care of the kids. Don't do that," Brothers pointed to as an example.

2. Let the children participate
Brothers noted that it is important to create a feeling of involvement for everyone, especially children.

"Even the little tiny ones can put spoons on the table or put napkins on the table. You don't want them near the hot stove, but they can draw pictures to put on the refrigerator, they can do placemats, they can do a lot," she said.

3. Describe what you're grateful for.
One activity that helps put the holiday in perspective is having each person at Thanksgiving dinner tell others for what they are thankful. This can also help teach children to be grateful, Brothers said.

"What we do in our family is go around the table and each person says what they're most grateful for this past year," Brothers said.

4. Swallow your pride and forgive
It's important not to hold grudges, especially during this time of the year. Thanksgiving provides an opportunity for a fresh start.

"To swallow your pride and forgive somebody, this is a good time to do it," Brothers said.

5. If you're alone, volunteer
For those not sharing the holiday with their families, sharing time with those in need can be fulfilling and a way to ease the pain of missing loved ones.

"The idea that people have more problems during holidays is just not true. But there are people who are lonely," Brothers said. "The best (thing to do) is to give of yourself."

Most of all, Thanksgiving can be a time for generations to share stories, love and knowledge, Brothers noted.

"The children who learn from older family members - grandma, grandpa - how they dealt with problems and how they overcame them - seem to be less fearful of the future. They know that they can handle whatever comes," Brothers said.

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