Preparing a big family meal can feel intimidating when you’re living with psoriatic arthritis. But there are things you can do to make it more manageable — and enjoyable.
For many of us, the holidays evoke cherished memories of family gatherings and sumptuous feasts. But if you’re living with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), the prospect of preparing a holiday meal can feel daunting — or even impossible.
But there are ways to make the process more manageable. Here are seven tips to help make your Thanksgiving dinner less stressful and more enjoyable.
There’s no reason why you have to prepare an elaborate turkey dinner with all the fixings just because it’s Thanksgiving. If cooking is too difficult or painful, consider going out to eat, ordering a premade dinner, or having friends or family bring dishes to your home.
Just as mobility aids can be game-changers for many when it comes to getting around with PsA, adaptive products can make everyday tasks simpler and less painful.
Devices such as electric jar openers, can openers, and vegetable peelers can take some of the stress out of Thanksgiving prep.
Don’t try to do everything yourself. When it comes to Thanksgiving meal prep, I’m a big proponent of delegating tasks to other family members or friends.
If you’re the one hosting, think about what tasks would be manageable for you (and what you’d really enjoy doing). Assign any other tasks, such as setting the table, preparing side dishes, or cleaning up afterward, to others.
You’ll never regret asking for some help.
Thanksgiving prep can feel like a marathon. Pace yourself and take breaks often.
Don’t try to do too much at once, or you’ll end up feeling exhausted and in pain. Keep and use a stool or chair for sitting on while preparing food to give your feet, legs, and back a break. If possible, spread tasks out over several days to reduce overwhelm.
It’s fun to pull out the nice dishes for guests, but sometimes, the cleanup isn’t worth the pain.
If you’re responsible for cleaning up, consider using paper plates and disposable utensils. Paper plates and disposable utensils can help save time and energy on the cleanup afterward.
If you’re worried about the waste, look for more eco-friendly options, like recyclable or compostable.
Endless peeling, chopping, or kneading can really take its toll on your joints. Luckily, there are a lot of pre-prepared items that will make your life easier and can be just as delicious as their homemade counterparts.
Prechopped veggies, shredded cheese, store-bought rolls, and rotisserie chicken are some ideas for time-savers that will make your life a lot easier.
This may be the most important Thanksgiving tip I can share. The holiday season is about spending time with loved ones, not about having a perfect meal.
If things don’t go according to plan, don’t sweat it. Just enjoy your time with those who matter most to you.
No matter how you choose to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, remember that there’s no “right” way to do it. Whatever feels best for you and your body is the right thing to do.
By following these tips and getting creative about how you approach things, you can still enjoy all your favorite holiday traditions without added stress or pain.
Medically reviewed on November 10, 2022
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