Holidays come with high expectations for ourselves and others. Good stress. Bad stress. No matter what the brain may say, the heart longs for happily sitting around a large table with lots of food, family, and friends this time of the year. If this is your life today on Thanksgiving, enjoy it.
For many, it’s not quite that way. Maybe instead:
- You are lonely even with others since you miss people you love who had been with you in years past. Maybe many years past.
- You feel pressure and left out since the party has people who drive you crazy… perhaps your family.
- Climate, social and political events have worn you down. You're worried or heartbroken for people living in places like Northern California, Puerto Rico and Houston.
- You are acutely aware of being the only person who can’t drink alcohol for the toast or at any time and think everyone will be looking at you.
- That lovely pie or piece of cake on the table will be terrible for you since sugar is not your friend. If you eat it, you will crave it and feel like eating the whole thing not caring to be sharing or even being polite.
- Most of what’s on the table isn't on your food plan and will make you swell up and feel terrible afterward. Wheat, dairy, corn.
- You miss your phone and people will frown on you if you bring it to the table and check it all the time. Oh well… :)
- If you have food or alcohol issues, you are definitely not alone. There are millions of us. It’s okay, we are not all made the same way and what’s good for someone else doesn’t have to be good for you. Say no, smile and score one point for your body.
- Honor your journey. Accept how you feel. The veil of holiday expectations covers real life and you are alive, here. Writing your thoughts and feelings will help honor it. We are all heroes.
- Knowing holidays may create pressure as well as pleasure is important. Take good care of yourself: drink lots of water, take walks, read comforting things, avoid things not good for you.
- Reach out kindly. The people around you are subject to the same pressures. Listen, deeply listen to others. Behind the surface, we all want the same things – love, connection, integrity.
- Take a short meditation. My favorite is Tonglen. Try this to the count of four: breathe in love (mentally count 1-2-3-4) and breathe out fear (1-2-3-4). Five minutes can be a nice reset.
- Write a gratitude list. Sit down and write it. Ask others what they are grateful for if it seems appropriate. Share if they're receptive.
We need to reclaim this holiday. It’s not about the pie. Although a piece of pie sounds great.
Happy Thanksgiving! <3 Diane