When you’re hosting a Thanksgiving Day feast, many things can lead to stress. From the pressure of creating a mouthwatering meal to chatting with long-lost relatives, if you aren’t prepared, the day can drain you and the joy that should be shared.

“Stress can not only make the holidays less pleasant, it can have a toll on your health, too,” said Kim Tuck, President and Chief Executive Officer at NurseWise.

Here are five tips to keep Thanksgiving Day stress to a minimum and put gratitude at the maximum:

1. Get a game plan together. Don’t wait until the last minute to do your shopping. You run the risk of getting stuck in crowds and not being able to get the items you need. Because you’re planning ahead, you’ll probably purchase a frozen turkey. Remember that depending upon the weight, a turkey can take up to five days to thaw in the refrigerator. Give yourself and your bird enough time to reduce this possible stressor.

2. Prepare your space. When you’re cooking a meal to this magnitude, you’re going to need extra space in the fridge and on the counters. Take this opportunity to do a little “fall cleaning” and pitch old condiments, leftovers and other items you don’t need in the fridge. Tight on working space? Move some of the nonessentials out of the kitchen. For example, drinks, ice and glasses can be relocated to another gathering area. Be creative to keep your work area clear and your stress reduced.

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