We’ve all been there: the kids are running around screaming, the turkey still isn’t done, and your Great Aunt Eloise is following you around your suddenly too small kitchen giving unsolicited cooking advice. You are frazzled and harried, and wondering why on earth you agreed to host Thanksgiving dinner? Your blood sugar is crashing and the next time someone asks, “When is dinner going to be ready?” you are going to punch them with your oven mitt-clad fist.

Sound familiar? You’re not alone.

Instead of throwing that turkey baster at someone’s head, hand off the dinner preparation to someone trustworthy (not your Aunt Eloise), and follow these steps to give yourself a break.


I call this a Mini Mental Vacation:

  1. Find a quiet space, as free of distractions as possible. (This might mean locking yourself in the bathroom, stepping outside, or heading to the garage).
  2. Close your eyes. Feel your feet on the floor. Take some slow, full deep breaths, letting the exhales be longer than the inhales.
  3. Imagine yourself on vacation. Where would you like to be? A warm balmy beach? A moist forest full of birdsong? Getting a massage? Engage your senses as much as possible—what sounds and smells are around you? What is the air temperature like? Continue to breathe deeply.
  4. Stay as long as you like/can.
  5. Repeat throughout the day.

Taking breaks is hard to do, especially when we are on a timeline and/or there’s a lot of chaos in our house. But you will be more efficient, grounded, and happy if you can give yourself a tiny bit of space. Give yourself a break, literally! You are worth it.

Person enjoying relaxed state of mind with Mini Mental Vacation