Turkey Day Survival Tips

As I sit here on Thanksgiving Eve I am reminded that although this Thanksgiving will not be a stressful time for me, there are many people for whom it will be stressful. As soon as Halloween hits in America, the holiday frenzy is upon us.

Too often we get trapped into the culture of consumerism, thinking: What do I need to buy? What do I need to have? What do I need to do? When we look deeper into these questions, they are all about: Who do I need to be and am I enough?

Today I would like to tell each and every one of you reading this blog: Yes, you are enough!

When we can remember that we are enough just as we are, we bring that energy with us wherever we go. Many of us might be getting ready to hit the road (or maybe some of you are already on the road and are reading this post while sitting in traffic or waiting for your delayed flight) or are starting to frantically clean the house for guests who will be arriving soon.

My invitation for you is to remember that you are enough as you are. :)

If you take pause from what you are doing and allow that statement sink in, “You are enough as you are,” notice what shifts in you. You might find that all of a sudden the parts of you that were feeling frantic start to soften. The thought, “Yeah right” might pop in, but if you repeat it to yourself again, start to feel the softness unfold.

Just as you are enough as you are, everyone around you is enough as they are too. Once you start to accept yourself as enough, you will be able to accept others for who they are as well. Uncle Lenny might be the guy in the corner drinking too much wine and Aunt Tammy might be the one who comes in chronically late bringing a whirlwind of a drama with her, but if you remember that they are enough as they are, just as you are enough as you are, you will start to feel a softness towards them as well. Rather than being triggered by them, you will start to see them as the Divine beings that they are and you will be able to give thanks for the time you do have together, no matter what that might look like.

Thanksgiving is not a day to stress and worry, it is a day to sit in gratitude and give thanks for the people, experiences, and abundance in our lives. It is a day to spend with our loved ones, whether that be with family or friends, and bask in the joy of everyone being exactly who they are. Drunk Uncle Lenny has a role in your life just like Aunt Tammy and her whirlwind of problems has a role in your life. When you can learn to appreciate them for who they are, you will find that you are actually able to have an enjoyable time with them and this turkey day might go differently than others.

That said, also know that once you have had enough family time, you get to set and enforce the healthy boundary of leaving without feeling guilty. You don’t need to be the last one standing at the holiday party. Boundaries are a good thing to have. And you don’t need to feel guilty for enforcing them.

Here are some tips to help you not only survive turkey day this year, but to hopefully enjoy it as well:

1. Remember that you are enough.

2. Remember that you, and everyone around you, is a human BEING, not a human DOING.

3. Remember that just as you are enough, so is everyone around you. They don’t need to be anyone other than who they are.

4. Go through everything you are grateful for.

5. Express your gratitude to others.

6. Express graciousness to everyone around you.

7. Set boundaries that are healthy and adhere to them.

A special word to those who might not be with family, friends, or other loved ones this Thanksgiving: know that you are not alone. Although it might seem like everyone else in the entire United States of America is out with family and friends, the reality is that there are plenty of people who are not. The reasons are many, possibly due to finances, distance, or the family is just that unhealthy for them. Either way, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you can still have a wonderful Thanksgiving if you take time to have a gracious heart and work on listing everything you have gratitude for in your life as well.

You matter and your choice to spend the day in your own company is a way to show yourself that you matter. However, if you’re staying home because you think you don’t matter, then please think again and consider accepting your coworker’s invitation you had initially declined when thoughts of “I’m not good enough and I don’t matter” may have been going through your mind. Our gratitude grows when it is shared with others.

The holidays can also trigger thoughts and feelings of suicide. Please know that there is help and support available. The National Life Line is available 24/7, even on holidays, and you can reach them at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) . 12-step recovery programs are also open during the holidays. You don’t have to be alone. There is support available.

Sending you all warm and heartfelt wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

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