As Americans prepare for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, psychologists are coining a new term, the “American Thanksgiving Anxiety” disorder, symptoms include anxiety over meal preparations or stress over possible divisive conversation with family members at the dinner table.
Susan Kirchoff lives in the Coachella Valley and she will bring her favorite coffee to serve at Thanksgiving, she said it will be a busy day of preparations.
Kirchoff said, “We’re doing two turkeys, one fried Cajun style and one roasted, and yams, green beans, mash potatoes, stuffing.”
Even with a long to-do list, she is not worried unlike 40% of American who feel increased stress during the holidays according to an American Psychologist Association report.
Dr. Dan Watson is a psychologist with a practice in Palm Desert, he said there are reasons for the holiday stress.
Dr. Watson said, “Not only are you meeting with people who you haven’t seen but you’re also spending a lot of money, money in presents and even dinners.”
He said a good way to handle the stress is realizing each dinner will eventually come to an end.
Dr. Watson said, “This is not permanent, they are not going to be here tomorrow perhaps or even in the neighborhood and this is not going to affect all of your life.”
News outlets have reported family members with opposing political views are cutting dinner time short this year.
But Watson suggests enjoying the holiday mean to the fullest and accept beliefs cannot change in a couple of hours.
He said, “If you will just smile and say I hope it works out, you got to enjoy this time, you got to appreciate what we have, appreciation is very important at the time of Thanksgiving.”
Dr. Watson said it is best to keep the table talk neutral such as personal accomplishments, such as graduations or vacations, and leave religion and politics out of it!
As for Kirchoff and her family, getting along will not be an issue.
Kirchoff said, “We bought a karaoke machine, so after dinner we are going to get weird.”