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Balancing Thankfulness and Mindfulness; Managing Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is one of the most difficult holidays of the year. Lots of family time, COVID stress, political banter, hyperactive kids, and food overload- it’s enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed. How can we approach the holiday with an open mind, calm feelings, and the willpower to tackle the day? We came up with a few tips:

1.) Remember where we were last year: Last year at this time you may have been seeing only part of the family, having a virtual gathering, or even spending time with only those who live in your house. What a wonderful opportunity it is to have the family back together, and especially for the kids, how awesome is it to see them all under one roof again? We all know they really needed this time.

2.) Set your own boundaries and allow others to set theirs: Whatever your boundary may be (no hugging, no political talk, one slice of pie), don’t be afraid to stand strong in it. You are the only person who stands in your shoes, and when you know what you want and don’t want, don’t let others convince or pressure you to feel or do differently. Allow your kids to set boundaries too! They may not like being hugged by family or maybe stuffing isn’t their favorite side dish- when it comes to a stressful holiday, it’s nice to respect other’s boundaries and set our own.

3.) Give yourself pause when you need it: When things get overwhelming, take some time for yourself. 10-minute break in a bedroom, go for a quick walk, sit in the car- whatever it is that gives you at least 5 minutes of you-time, take the opportunity.

4.) Ask for help: Thanksgiving is a BIG holiday, it’s okay if you can’t do it all yourself! Ask family members to pitch in by bringing side dishes, setting the table, taking turns in the kitchen, whatever helps you find time to spend with family instead of stressing over the “perfect holiday.”

5) Change the conversation: No one made it a law to talk about uncomfortable political or COVID issues. Have some fun conversation starters up your sleeve: What is everyone’s favorite show this year? Where is everyone hoping to travel to next year? What are some new hobbies everyone picked up this year? Almost everything we talk about may lead back to COVID, it has been 90% of our lives for the past two years. But when we can look at the positives of staying in, it’s a much more comfortable conversation to have!

6.) There’s no such thing as a perfect host or holiday: You’re doing great! No matter how the day turns out, everyone is going to be thankful to have everyone under one roof. Thanksgiving is one day of the year out of 365. In the end, life does move forward.

7.) We may not be able to control what others do, but we can control how we respond to it: Some people don’t respect boundaries, some ask uncomfortable questions, whatever it may be- know that your power lies within. Tackle the day with an open mind knowing you may not have all the control, but you do have the most powerful control over your actions and your needs.

We hope you have a wonderful Holiday weekend!

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