Your DiSC Profile, American Thanksgiving & Combating STRESS

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I wanted to pay tribute to our neighbors down south!  I have American family, so I consider myself and honorary American.  And boy do Americans know how to celebrate Thanksgiving!  I’m in awe of the traditions and festivities surrounding the holiday, a holiday that reminds us that Christmas is just around the corner!  I’ve been fasting all week in preparation for my Thanksgiving feast this weekend.

According to the American Psychological Association most people associate the holidays with spending time with family and friends, experiencing an increase in positive emotions such as: love, happiness, high spirits, connectedness and extra energy.  However, along with these positive items comes along the negative – STRESS.  “Stress around the holidays is disproportionately felt by women.  Women are more likely to feel that stress increases around the holidays (44 percent of women report an increase of stress during the holidays versus 31 percent of men).  For women, stress may be a function of greater family responsibilities during the holidays. Women say they have a harder time relaxing during the holidays and are more likely to take on all of the tasks associated with family celebrations, such as shopping, cooking, and cleaning.”

stress-free-thanksgiving1

 

So what can we do to combat the stress?  Here are some tips according to your DiSC style!

 

Dominance | Stressors for the D Style

  • Following strict rules: Go with the flow, if you’re confident that you can prepare a delicious ad hock meal, go for it!  It won’t bother you if things don’t turn out perfect!  At least you weren’t buried in a cookbook for hours and a slave to the turkey!
  • Getting bogged down in efficient procedures or protocols: If you’re taking turns giving thanks at the dinner table before anyone can start eating, set some ground rules so that dear old Auntie doesn’t spend half an hour talking about everything she is thankful for since birth, meanwhile your perfectly cooked ad hock turkey is getting cold.
  • Lack of control over situation: Make sure you’re the host, it will give you a bit more control.
  • Being in a dull environment:  Prepare a few conversation topics in advance or a few games to keep people engaged.  Get everyone involved.  Plan a few activates to keep the energy of everyone up!  Especially post dinner!

influence | Stressors for the I Style

  • Giving people unpleasant feedback:  The host of dinner notices you pushing your stuffing around your plate (it’s awful!) and asks you “how do you like the stuffing?”.  Your heart starts to race and you panic and say “it’s delicious, I’m just full!”.  But everyone at the table thinks it’s terrible.  Be prepared with appropriate ways to give feedback without embarrassing the host.   Breathe a sigh of relief that dinner etiquette says you can tell a white lie in this situation and you’re not required to give unpleasant feedback at the table.
  • Being in a dull or un-social environment: It’s dinner at the in-laws this year and typically they’re glued to the TV with little to no interaction.  Get creative and think of some different ways to have fun together.  If TV is their thing, get creative – make it a share the funniest YouTube video you’ve seen night – I promise everyone will be engaged and laughing together.
  • Being forced to slow your pace: It’s a holiday and everyone has gathered to celebrate together.  It’s not a race to get people fed and out the door.  Try to sit back and relax and enjoy your company.

Steadiness | Stressors for the S Style

  • Working without clear guidelines: Make sure you have a plan in place for everything.  Pre-plan some activities for your family and friends so that your day has structure, especially if you’re responsible for preparing the meal.  Allow for some down time for people to relax, but secretly you will have planned to have a time frame with ‘no set plans’.
  • Taking risks: Don’t be afraid to host the dinner!  Take the plunge!  Although it’s intimidating, putting your “I’ve got everything together” reputation on the line, you will be surprised at how much fun it can be.  Even try a new recipe, after all, everyone is there to enjoy each others company.  If dinner is a flop, you don’t have enough matching place settings, the power goes out – you will figure it out.  Just don’t run out of wine!
  • Working in a chaotic environments: Plan in advance.  Have as much “pre work” done as possible and assign people tasks to keep them out of the kitchen!  Once dinner is done, let someone else clean up – stay away from the chaos!  Who cares if your dishes end up in the wrong cupboard, you can fix it tomorrow.

Conscientiousness: | Stressors for the C Style

  • Being unprepared: Have a trial run and make the meal, a few weeks in advance for a smaller group.  Try out your side dishes with other meals in advance, see how your family reacts!  Make sure you have more than enough food – everyone loves Thanksgiving leftovers.
  • Having little private time: Remind yourself that the holiday will end, family and friends will return home and you will get your private time.  But make sure that you have an escape plan if necessary (a last minute run to the grocery store, a quiet closet in the back of the house – knowing that you can escape for 5 minutes of peace will take the edge off).
  • Working under time pressure: Prepare as much as possible in advance, and take help when people offer!  Don’t worry if dinner is late, everyone will be enjoying each other’s company.  Have a backup plan – and order pizza if something goes terribly wrong!

To take this a step further, you can complete a Coping and Stress Profile.  This profile provides coping resources:

  • Problem solving: dealing with problems and making changes to resolve them
  • Communication: sharing thoughts and feelings with others
  • Closeness: connecting with others
  • Flexibility: responding to change with willingness and openness

For extra information, please check out the Coping and Stress Profile, Research Report.

 

turkey Happy Thanksgiving!

-Cyndi Goodjohn

 

 

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