Happy Thanksgiving Eve my beautiful friends! As much as the holidays are a special time, they can also be a stressful time for many of us. The combination of family and food can be a challenge for many people. I’ve heard it said that our family members know how to push our buttons because they are the ones who put them there! In my personal life, I’ve found that to be very true! I love my family dearly, but it can definitely be very easy for me to feel triggered by them, or to find myself acting like my immature teenage self at family functions. Food can also be a trigger for many people, and the overeating and overdrinking at holidays can leave us feeling physically stuffed and emotionally spent. I put together my best Thanksgiving tips so that you can be free to enjoy a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving holiday!
1. Set an intention – Before your holiday celebrations begin, set an intention for how you want your experience to be. Picture yourself and all of your family members gathered together having fun, giving thanks, and sharing special moments together. Say a prayer for all of your family members to be happy and at peace, and envision this being so.
2. Forgive and release – The holidays can bring up a lot of drama and emotions. Maybe your mother in law makes careless comments to you, or your grandparents criticize the way you are raising your children, or your mother won’t stop asking you when you are going to find a husband. When these difficult situations arise, don’t let them get to you. Simply take a deep breath and silently say, “I forgive you, I release you.” Then focus your attention elsewhere. Note: Sometimes the person we most need to forgive is ourselves. If you find you are being hard on yourself, use this same exercise of taking deep breaths and forgiving and releasing your judgments of yourself.
3. Contribute in a way that feels right to you – Maybe you are an amazing domestic goddess who has spent all week cooking, cleaning, and preparing to host Thanksgiving at your home. If you love being the holiday hostess, make sure to take pride in your hard work, and find time to look around and enjoy this special experience that you’ve created for your loved ones. Perhaps you prefer being a guest rather than hosting your family’s holiday functions. For me, I know my limits and know that hosting Thanksgiving would bring me a lot of stress and not a lot of joy. Thankfully, my aunt is incredible at bringing our family together and hosting Thanksgiving each year. In recent years I’ve started making a different festive salad to contribute. It makes me feel good to bring a healthy dish for everyone to enjoy, and it’s also something that’s fun and easy for me to put together. The important thing is to let go of any preconceived ideas of what you “should” be doing, and do what feels right for you. And for all of you hosting this year, I give you major props. There is a special place in heaven for women like you. 🙂
4. Indulge – Give yourself permission to indulge this holiday season. The holidays are the perfect day to treat ourselves to the foods we love with the people we love. Indulge a bit in your family’s traditional celebratory meals. You don’t necessarily have to go overboard having seconds and thirds of everything offered, but give yourself permission to enjoy your meal without any guilt.
5. Focus on what’s most important – While I love all of my extended family and feel incredibly happy and fortunate that we can all get together each year, what I am most thankful for in my life are my husband and daughter. It’s easy to lose sight of that in the craziness of the holidays. We can find ourselves running around trying to please everyone and lose sight of the people and things that are most important to us. I am going to dedicate some time on Thanksgiving morning to share special moments with my husband and daughter. We’ll have a lazy morning in bed, enjoy breakfast together, and then bundle up for a family walk to the beach. Starting my day in this way will make me feel happy and fulfilled because I’ll know that I’m devoting myself to the people I am most grateful for.
6. Make it a Gratitude Party! – Now that you are feeling thankful, extend that gratitude to your entire family and bring the gratitude to your party! Focus on the love that you feel for your family. Maybe you want to take it one step further and have each family member share the one thing that they are most excited and grateful for in their lives. This is a great way to connect with your loved ones on a deeper level and continue to spread love and gratitude throughout the entire family.
I would love to host my own Gratitude Party right here on the blog! Please comment below and let me know the one thing that you are most grateful for this year! Let’s keep the positivity going by sharing in each other’s gratitude.
Wishing you a peaceful and joyful Thanksgiving holiday.
P.S. I have a special gift to help you stress less and really enjoy the holidays this year! I know that this time of year can be really stressful for many of us, and I’m making it my personal mission to make this year my happiest and most peaceful holiday season yet. I want to help all of my friends do the same, and that’s why I created Mama Bird’s Holiday Survival Kit. Click the picture below to download it for free now, so that you can begin creating the holiday season you most desire.
P.P.S. I would love if you could share this with anyone you think would benefit from creating a happier and more intentional holiday season! 🙂