Five Sanity-Savers for When You’re Home for the Holidays

published Nov 23, 2016
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(Image credit: Sandra Rojo)

Thanksgiving is almost here, which means a certain autumnal feast is on the horizon, and if you’re lucky enough, you’ll soon be tucking into a delicious meal cooked by your folks.

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But after the tryptophan has worn off, you might start to realize that while you are really, truly thankful for your family, you’ve sort of forgotten what it’s like to actually live with them. This year, survive the surplus of family time by making a few strategic moves.

1. Don’t talk politics.

Maybe you and your folks are lucky enough to agree on domestic policies. But if you’re not, make a pact with your folks not to talk politics—especially this year. There’s no need to tear the band-aids off any battle scars.

2. Rent a car.

Coming home from the big city by plane, train, or coach bus? You might want to invest in a rental car anyway—that way, you can arrange your Black Friday shopping trips, dates with old friends, and CVS runs without relying on the family automobile. Also, car rentals are much, much cheaper in the burbs.

3. Plan a Friendsgiving.

It happens every year: You and your high school pals make vague plans to see each other, but then life gets in the way. This holiday, choose a date (maybe Wednesday night?), assign everyone a dish, and finally follow through. If you’re worried about OD-ing on turkey and fixings, Thai or Indian takeout works equally well. Now catch up already!

4. Pick a project.

Sure, you could easily whittle away the long weekend with plates of leftovers and Netflix benders. But four days is a long time—you could start a DIY project like a terrarium or finally reupholster those kitchen chairs. Bonus: You can raid your dad’s tool box.

5. Go out!

Thanksgiving is no excuse to lounge around in PJs for days at a time. Round up a sibling or a friend, get dressed, and drive to the nearest city. Go to a buzzy new restaurant, see a show, or even do some tourist-y stuff. You could even just grab dinner and a movie at the mall nearby. Getting out of the house for a few hours can do wonders for your sanity.

Now go forth, and survive all that family time. Happy holidays!