I’m about to head to the grocery store to pick up five large yams, or sweet potatoes; sometimes I use both. Each year my friend and her husband host a fabulous Thanksgiving feast, and most of the guests bring a side dish. Needless to say, I bring the candied yams.
Thanksgiving is the time of year when we gather with family and friends to give thanks for all we have, and everyone we love. Each year is different, and yet – just the same.
Where I now spend my Thanksgiving is fun and lively. We experience happy reunions, big smiles, great music, and fantastic wines! The first few hours are designated for wine and cocktails, then dinner is served.
This feast was originally started for those who’d rather not spend Thanksgiving Day with their birth families, or they had no family close enough to share the day. Usually between 25 to 30 people show up.
Where most Thanksgiving gatherings have a football game on somewhere in the house, I can’t remember one being on here. Conversations and laughter are the primary focus.
Yet, I know that even though Thanksgiving is supposed to be a joyous occasion, many dread the challenges it brings. Couples going through a breakup or divorce, or individuals remembering old conflicts with the very people they’re supposed to break bread with, can find that Thanksgiving Day is an agonizing experience.
Regain Emotional Control This Thanksgiving
If you’re in one of these categories, you could be there longer than you’d like. But, the choice is always yours to change things for the better, and being where you are, isn’t where you have to remain. You can change your perspective. After all – it is Thanksgiving.
The change begins by asking yourself how you might regain emotional control. Here are some strategies:
Make a gratitude list
Creating a list of things you’re grateful for helps you redirect your focus from the negative to the positive things in your life. The process uplifts you, reminds you of how fortunate you truly are.
As positive thoughts build upon each other, you’ll feel the shift in your mood. Research by the Mayo Clinic reveals that positive thinking is linked to a wide range of health improvements, including longer life spans, less stress, less depression, better stress management and coping skills, increased physical well-being, and overall better psychological health.
Take time for yourself
If you’re without your children, family or friends on this holiday, appreciate the next time you have planned to see them. Look forward to their return. Meanwhile, do something for yourself that you have not had time to do.
Create new traditions
Create new traditions with your children or loved ones. Fun and imaginative things that pump energy into your new life are a good idea. How about making a nontraditional Thanksgiving dinner for the day after, including everyone in the preparation? Bake cookies. Watch a fun movie. Make good memories.
Forgive the person you are holding the grudge against. Life doesn’t last that long and it’s a waste of your precious time. Keep your focus on gratitude, as those are the thoughts that make you feel inspired and uplifted.
These tips will help you have an enjoyable holiday. You may even pass them on to a friend.
In the spirit of sharing, tell me how you’ve spent your Thanksgivings. What’s your favorite part of the meal? How do you contribute to the day? What are you thankful for?
Place your response in the response box.