Although Thanksgiving is, in theory, a relaxing time of year, a time to share our gratitude with our families and friends, it often becomes a stressful time of year, one of planning, organizing, cooking, cleaning and entertaining.
For those living in retirement residences, it can be a time of loneliness if family is distant, and it can also create stress as residents try to see all their family in a short weekend whilst still spending time enjoying the festivities of the retirement residence.
Taking a moment (or two or three) to come back to a grateful and mindful state can help us all work through the stress of the holidays (use this at Christmas and Easter as well) and come back to the reason for the season.
- The simplest, mindful moment, can be to accept what is. Perhaps your family welcomed a new baby this year and cannot all get together. Maybe there is that one person who always drinks too much and makes the holidays frustrating. Take a breath and accept what you cannot change and decide you will not put any negative energy into those things beyond your control.
- Write down something each day of the month leading up to the holiday that you are thankful for. These things can be simple or complex. A delicious cup of coffee or a brand new baby in the family, writing down what we are grateful for can bring us back to a positive thought place.
- Remember that it’s one day! If this day creates stress for you, just remember, it’s ONE DAY!!! That alone can be something to be thankful for!
- Is there something you can do in the day to make you feel less stressed? Perhaps it’s bringing your favourite slippers to your daughter’s house so that you are comfortable. Maybe it’s deciding you’ll only have one piece of pie after dinner so you don’t feel too full. Plan ahead to make yourself comfortable.
- Forgive yourself for eating too much or anticipating a stressful day. There is no sense in beating yourself up. Be compassionate to yourself and be forgiving of your negative thoughts so that you can move on.
- BREATHE!!! This seems simple. Of course, we all breathe all day. Be conscious of your breath. Take deep breaths and let the negative thoughts and energy go with each breath you release.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS!