- Show your gratitude. As the year comes to an end, take time to reflect on all of the experiences that helped you grow as a person this year. Some experiences may not have been easy, or even enjoyable, but something was to be gained from them. Also, show your gratitude to all of those who have been by your side, you taught your something, who forgave you, and, of course, those who made the turkey and pie today. Whether in person, on Facebook, or through a phonecall or text, say thank you.
- Recognize and give value to others’ struggles. Not everyone may find joy in Thanksgiving. Everyone is on a different journey. Even if you do not share the same feelings, all experiences have value. Let them know you are there for them, and take time to reflect on what you can do to help alleviate others’ suffering.
- Remember that it’s about relationships. This isn’t a regular Thursday night meal. Get to know your neighbors, lean in a little closer to grandma, and exchange traditions with your in-laws. Feel the love and appreciation exchanged on this day, and build on in.
- Be present. Rather than gulping down food and so you don’t miss a minute of the Thanksgiving football game, take enough time to share stories, thoughts, and prayers with those at the table with you. Enjoy each and every taste, spice, and smell. Take time to notice a particular shared feeling – that is what memories are made of. This Thanksgiving comes only once in a lifetime.
- Take time for R&R. In today’s society that cultivates workaholism, it’s hard to find a time where you can turn off the cellphone notifications and put work and studying on the back burner. Don’t feel guilty – instead, enjoy it fully. Learn to let go and engage in self-cafe this long weekend.
- Share. Whatever it is you have to give – food, clothing, a hug, a phonecall – being grateful also means passing it on. Recognize the physcial, mental and emotional needs of others as you heal yours; you’ll see they go hand in hand.
Wishing you all a joyful, meaningful Thanksgiving!