NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Thanksgiving is this week, and you are probably getting the shopping list ready and the dining room table all nice and set.

But are you mentally ready for the holiday?

A lot has happened this year, and the Thanksgiving table can serve turkey, sweet potatoes, and a whole lot of drama.

People have been stressed all year.

We’ve had record-breaking inflation. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, North Dakotans are paying 20% more for their thanksgiving recipes than last year.

And with a close midterm election, politics may be an uninvited dinner guest to the table.

Viewers on our Facebook say they’re already fighting with their families over North Dakota politics, especially the marijuana measure vote.

KX spoke with one man, who is both a former marine and an expert in the fields of mental toughness and emotional intelligence. He has some pointers for dealing with this at home.

“We have to accept some responsibility. We have to be very self-aware when we go into these situations. There are people going to be there that have different views than us, have different beliefs than us. I think everybody, you know, assuming we have partially functioning frontal lobes, we kind of know what we should or shouldn’t say. Keep it vanilla across the board,” said Eric Rittmeyer, dubbed “The Emotional Marine.”

Thankfully, there is some good news ahead of Thanksgiving.

According to AAA, North Dakota drivers are already seeing falling pump prices today.

The statewide average for a gallon of gasoline dropped 10 cents in North Dakota over the past week. Today, the average sits at $3.55. Nationally, the average fell 11 cents to $3.66.

So according to the Emotional Marine, what are some other neutral topics to share with the family?

“One thing that you can stick with: anything entertainment-related. Sports, generally speaking, used to be sacred ground. I feel like everyone can have their sports teams that they like, they love, that they follow,” Rittmeyer said.

According to AAA, 20% of North Dakotans are traveling for Thanksgiving.

So, take your time on the roads and try not to rush.