Are you prepared for Thanksgiving, which is next week? If you have a business or a job with a lot of responsibility as well as a family, the holidays can feel heavy.
Does the primary responsibility for food preparation, gathering family, clean up, etc. fall on you? The older you get, the more likely you’ve experienced loss, and it can wear down on you when those people are no longer around.
You wake up and realize, “Oh wow, I don’t have the same energy or desire I used to have.”
Here are six ideas to help you truly feel grateful for the holiday, stay out of resentment, and feel relaxed and blessed just to be alive.
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The Essence of Thanksgiving
The essence of Thanksgiving is gratitude and appreciation of life in the moment. Gratitude is often cultivated from the little things, the delightful things that tickle you.
It can be difficult to access gratitude if you’re stressed out and overwhelmed though, huh?
If you’re complaining rather than counting your blessings, you’re resisting some aspect of your life.
#1 Cultivate Gratitude Through a Daily Practice
I began this practice many years ago. I write down at least 5 simple things I’m grateful for in a pretty journal. For example, a typical entry for me is, “I am grateful for playing cards with Steve and sharing our journals with each other.”
#2 Allow Others to Give to You
However, stagnation occurs when you aren’t able to receive from others: money, a compliment, their service, their affection, etc.
Keep this in mind and create an attitude of receiving. You deserve that, not because you work so hard to serve others, but because you, in your essence, are worthwhile.
Before Thanksgiving Day, ask others for help if you’re hosting the holiday. Ask them to bring dishes so everything’s not on your shoulders.
Ask your spouse, kids, nieces/nephews, siblings, etc. to help with the house cleaning and chores.
#3 Choose Nourishing and Mindful Meal Ideas
Your thoughts while preparing food actually make it taste much better because you’re infusing it with the high vibration of love energy.
You can go with your traditional favorites, like turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, cranberries, etc.
In addition, what if you added some new things, assuming you like to cook as a creative outlet?
#4 Avoid Over-Scheduling
What I’ve noticed is that when you switch your perspective, you really don’t have to be stressed. It’s worrying about the future, whether it’s your retirement, or not knowing how you’ll have time to prepare dinner and get your blog written, that robs you of joy.
Allow some cushion in your week to plan ahead, get the necessary ingredients for your portion of the meal, and then actually build in a one hour cushion so you can relax before everyone gets to your house, or before you leave to go to your Thanksgiving destination.
This extra cushion of time will help you to be more creative in the food preparation process, infusing more love into your food. It will also help you to feel calm and relaxed, which impacts everyone around you, raising the mood or vibe in the house.
#5 Think of Others
The holidays are often hard for people, especially if they’ve lost someone they love or if they’re alone. You could invite someone over who doesn’t have a family nearby, is estranged from their family, or doesn’t have a family for whatever reason.
Write a Thinking of You card to someone in need. It’s pretty rare to receive handwritten cards anymore, and so they really stand out. You will really brighten someone’s day, AND it will make you feel great.
If you prefer to donate your time, volunteer at a soup kitchen or some place that is providing a warm meal to the homeless. I’ve heard from wise counsel that if you focus on giving to others from a place of love (not obligation) for two weeks, it will cure you of the doldrums.
#6 Reflect on Your Good
Answer these three questions:
- How am I blessed right now?
- How will I be kinder and gentler to myself and others?
- What kind of atmosphere in my own mind and heart do I intend to create for Thanksgiving next week and spread to my family and friends?
Stepping into Thanksgiving with a Grateful Heart
If you follow the above six suggestions to the best of your ability next week, it will change your whole experience of Thanksgiving.
Begin a daily gratitude practice by writing down at least 5 things you’re grateful for. Be open to receiving and letting others pour into you, rather than only giving to others.
Put love into your food preparation by serving up your favorites, but also introduce some new recipes that will please the palate. Delight your nervous system and be more creative with your food preparation by not squeezing yourself into a tight schedule that allows no breathing room for a playful attitude.
Think of others this week. So many are alone. Your loving kindness will lift them up as well as yourself.
Lastly, take a brief time to get cozy and reflect on what really matters to you. You deserve an intimate, lovely Thanksgiving that brings out the best, not the beast, in you and others.
I’m taking 5 new private clients now through the end of the year. Schedule a time to chat and claim your spot so you can come home to yourself, stop the self sabotage and start to truly live.