Thanksgiving Isn’t Always Happy… and that’s OK

It’s Thanksgiving Day here in the US today and to be perfectly honest, I’m having to dig deep for some gratitude. I know I have a lot to be thankful for, but that doesn’t mean I can’t struggle from time to time.

There is a lot going on in the world that is devastating, heartbreaking, and challenging. As I whine and complain about my first world problems, I think about all of the people, animals, and land devastated by the fires in California. I think about the number of lives lost this year to violence and how those families must feel especially during this time of year. I think about those serving our country who won’t be celebrating with their families.

You can almost always think of someone worse off than you, and sometimes that does help — if you’re doing it from a place of perspective instead of as a way to negate your own pain.

Sure others are struggling big time, but denying your own feelings won’t do them any good. In fact, allowing yourself to be right where you’re at is the best way to get back to a whole and centered place — and it’s from that place that you can show up and do good in the world.

Here are some ideas to help you take good care of your heart during what can be a challenging day/season:

  1. If you’re missing a loved one who has passed, talk to them. While it’s difficult to not have them physically with you, they’re still attending the festivities. They’re with you in spirit, smiling down, and holding you in their loving light. You might even consider setting a place for them at the table.
  2. If you’ve got something going on in your life that you feel a bit vulnerable about, instead of trying to hold it together and put on a happy face, let others in. By connecting more authentically, you’ll have a more relaxed and enjoyable time.
  3. Avoid hot topics. There’s a lot going on in the world right now and it’s likely your buttons will get pushed. Save yourself the grief and skip talks about politics. Choose peace over being right.
  4. Move your feet before or after you eat. Take a walk around the block, take the kids outside and play catch, or go on a treasure hunt (check out geocaching if you’ve never heard of it). Getting your energy flowing and your blood pumping aids digestion and helps you to be present and feel grounded.
  5. Reserve some alone time to mope, cry, smash things, or just have a good ole pity party for yourself.

I hope something on that list helps — because you’re worth taking good care of.

I wish you a peaceful Thanksgiving, and send you lots of love.

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