Let’s be honest, the holidays can be a time of stress and pressure. Are you in charge of hosting Thanksgiving this year? Do you have to spend time with people in your family that aren’t your favorites? Whatever it is, staying thankful can get you through the holiday with the right spirit. After all, it’s a time to be grateful for everything you have so don’t let all that other stuff get in the way. Here’s how.
For many people, connecting with their religion or spiritual mantra can make feelings of gratitude easier to come by. Perhaps that means attending church or temple services, reading the Bible or spending time singing praises. Whatever it is, tapping into your spiritual side can help you feel thankful as you celebrate Thanksgiving.
Simply taking a few minutes each day to think about what you’re grateful for can induce those feelings all day long. Grab a notebook and keep it on your night table with a pen. Before you go to sleep, record everything that you are thankful for that day. It might be family coming to town for the holiday or reduced hours at work for the next few days. Maybe your son made you a lovely handprint turkey. Anything can go into the journal. When you’re feeling down, read your entries and feel thankful all over again.
There’s no better way to feel better than to express your gratitude toward someone. Maybe the guy in front of you at the supermarket let you go first or your boss gave you an extra half hour at lunch since your parents are visiting for Thanksgiving. Make sure to express your thanks – it will make you both feel better.
Surely you can come up with a reason to thank someone in your life. Maybe your best friend dropped everything and came over to eat ice cream and watch movies after your last breakup. Maybe your neighbor grabbed your paper so it didn’t get snowed on. Pen a heartfelt note of thanks to help you keep those grateful feelings going for the entire season.
If you’re anything like me, the stress of everything that needs to be done for Thanksgiving can really leave you feeling less than thankful. Make sure to build some time into your days to take a break and pamper yourself for an hour or two. Soak in the bubble bath with a magazine, go for a manicure or take an afternoon nap. When you care for yourself, you’ll be more likely to stay thankful during Thanksgiving.
Sometimes you just have to fake it and smiling is a simple way to fake being happy and thankful. Whether your great aunt is criticizing your pumpkin pie technique or your brother is complaining that you don’t have a deep fried turkey this year, just smile and move on. You can feel thankful, even when you’re not.
Nothing will make you feel more thankful than seeing just how blessed you are. Instead of bemoaning an afternoon with relatives you might not like or a plateful of food that doesn’t meet your dieting guidelines, volunteer at a local shelter and you’ll be so thankful you have what you do.
How do you stay thankful during the Thanksgiving season?