Have you ever spent all day in the kitchen prepping the holiday meal only to find yourself with aching feet and ankles begging for a foot rub from your guests right as they arrive? Ok. We hope not. Probably not the best way to start dinner though it may be a good way to get someone else to host next year.
Instead of spending the time with your friends and/or family wishing you could prop your feet up, how about taking some preventive measures to keep you on your feet and focused on hosting the best holiday ever? The following are a few tips we think will keep your holiday spirits up and your feet on the ground.
Apply your project management skills
Project management isn’t just for the office. When you take a project management approach to your hosting preparations, you relieve the stress and streamline the process in the most efficient way possible. No matter what you are celebrating, these Thanksgiving preparation tips will help you rethink the planning and implementation strategies you are using for the big day.
Dress for the kitchen, not the guests
Of course, you want to look cute when your guests arrive, and since some of them will get there before you are ready, this includes skipping the pj's and slippers in the kitchen and being dressed to impress from the start. However, dress for the kitchen, not the guests. You can still keep it cute chopping vegetables and sweating over the stove without sacrificing comfort.
Wear appropriate non-flammable clothing for safety. Let’s avoid making any new YouTube videos where everything, including you, bursts into flames. Lay out your fun holiday outfit, your ugly sweaters, and your little black dress for when the meal is prepped and you're ready to simply enjoy your guests. Plan ahead. (Did you click through to those preparation tips above? Now might be the time.) A quick costume change during appetizers will go unnoticed, that is until you show back up not covered in kitchen goo and dressed to impress.
Put on the comfy tennis shoes and wear the Crazy (and cute) Compression Socks that help prevent the painful swelling that occurs when you are on your feet all day. Keeping your feet happy is essential to your enjoyment of the day!
You are going to be on your feet so save the fancy footwear for later. Prevention is key. Gravity is not your friend. Compression socks can help fight gravity and keep the blood flowing back towards your heart rather than around your ankles.
Eat Healthy & Stay Hydrated
Keeping your feet healthy in large part stems from what you put in your mouth. More than anyone else, you know how various foods and drinks affect your body. If salt makes you bloat, avoid it. If you are prone to leg and foot cramps, stock up on the potassium. Eat a healthy breakfast that will keep you energized and skip the sugary holiday treats for your big day in the kitchen.
Your diet affects inflammation in your body, which includes your feet and ankles. Allergies and specific foods can trigger heel pain known as plantar fasciitis. Reach for the green veggies instead of the refined and sugary foods to reduce the pain in your feet.
Dehydration can wear you out quickly. It causes strain on your heart, which pumps 2,000 gallons of blood through your body a day. By staying hydrated, you are helping your heart pump blood more easily, allowing your overall circulation to work better. Dehydration can derail your plans quickly. Here are a few symptoms you should know.
Schedule in some breaks. You’ll need them to hydrate and eat properly. During your break time, stretch. Your muscles get tired, especially your feet, from standing on the hard kitchen floor, squatting to the lowest cabinet, and carrying pots filled with food from one location to another. Throughout the day, take the time to do light stretches in your lower back, hamstrings, calves, and feet. Your whole body will feel better following a light stretch
Keep It Fun
If you don’t particularly enjoy your time in the kitchen, the stress can build up and ruin your mood long before the guests arrive. Here are a few ideas to have fun when cooking isn’t actually your jam.
- Enlist the help of someone who keeps you laughing. Nearly any project is more fun with the help of a close, funny friend.
- Clean as you go or designate a kid, a spouse, or that funny friend to do the washing as you do the cooking. Delegation is key here. You don’t have to do it all. Cleaning as you go will also eliminate the stress as guests arrive.
- Turn up the music. Put on your favorite soundtrack, the one that gets you pumped up in the gym or the one you blast on your daily commute to survive traffic. Sing and dance your meal to completion.
- Of course, if you really hate to cook, have the entire meal catered and go out for a long pre-dinner party run to get the endorphins pumping and amped up for those crazy holiday conversations that are bound to happen before dessert.
No matter how much planning or prevention you put into place, something will happen outside of your control. Those surprises make the memories! Don’t fight them. Lean into them. Enjoy the people. Eat the food. Go for the run. Love your feet. And grab that extra slice of pie. You earned it.