Thanksgiving is an exciting time for family, friends, and food. It can also be extremely overwhelming. The stress and chaos of coordinating schedules, cooking, and family tensions can turn a day of gratefulness into a day of regret. If you are feeling stressed about the upcoming holiday, practicing mindfulness will help you navigate the day in a calm and meaningful way.
1. What is Thanksgiving Mindfulness?
Practicing Thanksgiving mindfulness is simply the practice of focusing on your breath. You can begin with just 5 minutes a day and then work your way up to an hour. Find a comfortable place to sit or kneel, focus on your breath, and return your mind to the breath every time your mind wanders. This Thanksgiving exercise to practice Mindfulness is so helpful on this holiday.
Your mind will wander and that is okay. There is no judgment when you practice mindfulness. It is a skill that requires work, which is why it is called a practice. Allow yourself to sit with your thoughts and feelings; determine if a strong emotion is present. Recognizing your emotions is the first step to releasing them.
Be kind to yourself as you find your mind wandering. Simply acknowledge the passing thought and then return to focusing on your breath.
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2. How Will This Help?
When you practice Thanksgiving mindfulness, you are able to focus and calm your mind during this hectic holiday. You focus on being in the moment and not passing any type of judgment on others or yourself.
This guided meditation helps you sit with your emotions so you can respond, rather than react, to conflict or emotionally charged exchanges. Moreover, this Thanksgiving exercise to practice mindfulness can help you deal with your family and grow love.
Try to find a few minutes alone before Thanksgiving day begins to help focus your mind. Throughout the day, you can come back to the practice.
3. Help with Family
While it can be good to spend time with family, Thanksgiving can also be stressful. You may be with relatives you do not regularly interact with. Or you might not be on good terms with family members.
Whatever the reason, mindfulness can help you deal with difficult relatives. Part of the practice of mindfulness is not passing judgment. This can help you deal with relatives who try your patience.
If you find yourself focusing too much on the negative about others, come back to your practice. Breathe, calm your mind, and release negative tension.
4. Help with Overeating
If your friends and family do not stress you out, many people also worry about food on Thanksgiving. It is very easy to overeat all day and then feel sick by the evening. It is common to have trouble getting back on track after a day of indulgence.
Mindfulness can help you deal with this by focusing on your food. Instead of eating without thinking, pay attention to your food. Focus on each bite.
If you find yourself wandering around and eating just to eat, then come back to your breath and focus. Ask yourself why are you eating? Are you truly hungry? Is this bite of food worth it?
5. Observe Moderation
Another Thanksgiving exercise to practice mindfulness on Thanksgiving is to observe moderation in everything, and then the holiday will be a joy. Don’t go overboard with parties, gifts, and food during your Thanksgiving dinner.
Focus on kindness and love – the main elements of the holiday. Especially think about gratitude to each other. Show your loved ones how much you appreciate them. This holiday is the best opportunity to show loved ones all your warmth and love.
6. Make Time for Worry
At first glance, this sounds strange, and making time for worry may seem nonsense. However, this Thanksgiving exercise is not only possible but even useful.
Trying not to worry all day and every day and suppressing emotions lead to burnout. Instead, set aside 15-30 minutes a day for yourself to give yourself over to worry. You can write down the problems that bother you and the options for solving them. When you put your fears and anxieties on paper, they no longer seem excessive. Be sure this Thanksgiving exercise can certainly help you to practice mindfulness.
7. Practice Gratitude
In all the fun and madness, it’s easy to forget the true meaning of Thanksgiving – gratitude. Give thanks to others and try to awaken gratitude in children. Teach them to focus on what they already have, not what they want to have.
A wonderful Gratitude mindfulness exercise is Gratitude Jar. Before Thanksgiving dinner, ask your family and friends to write what they are grateful for on small multi-colored pieces of paper and then put them in a jar. Then, after or during dinner, you can take out these leaves and read them all together. Follow this piece of advice on how to practice mindfulness on Thanksgiving special, and be sure your holiday will be unforgettable.
Another Thanksgiving exercise is to ask everyone to give a Thanksgiving toast. The guests at the table are welcome to stand up and make their toast while reflecting on the previous year. There is also an interesting Thanksgiving exercise for kids. For example, you can make a beautiful garland of autumn leaves. Then, ask kids to write something they are grateful for. These unique tips on how to practice mindfulness on Thanksgiving will help your family focus on gratitude and what they are grateful for this Thanksgiving season.
8. Spend Time with Your Family
If you rarely see your family because of work, then be sure to arrange a family outing somewhere for Thanksgiving. For example, a picnic in nature, a walk in the park, or visiting your family’s favorite place are excellent Thanksgiving ideas.
In addition, you can visit relatives and friends. Thanksgiving is a great occasion to see your close people that you can’t reach. Most often, such festive meetings with loved ones bring pleasure and warmth. It goes without saying that if you live away from your parents, Thanksgiving is a beautiful opportunity to visit them. Moreover, this meeting will bring you pleasure, which can help you to practice mindfulness on Thanksgiving.
9. Take Time for Thanksgiving Self Care
During the holiday, it’s easy to forget your needs, which can negatively affect your health. Remember that daily self-care reduces anxiety and improves overall well-being. In addition, it is an excellent way to practice mindfulness on Thanksgiving.
In addition to food and drink, physical Thanksgiving self care is extremely important during the holidays, especially when traveling long distances or with many things to do. Make sure you drink enough water in the morning and throughout the day, eat healthy foods, stay active, and get enough sleep.
10. Set Boundaries Correctly
Quite often, it is not easy to say “no” and set boundaries in relation to loved ones, especially during the holidays. Many are accustomed to taking on too many tasks and therefore feel empty on Thanksgiving.
Boundaries do more than turn down invitations and requests. They are also useful for conserving energy and taking care of your emotions. Knowing when to say “no” during the holidays can help you a lot and protect your physical and psychological well-being. Following this piece of advice can help you to practice Thanksgiving mindfulness.
You can begin practicing mindfulness now, so you are prepared for Thanksgiving. Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed, judgmental, or tired, you can retreat back to your mind and breath.
It sounds simple, but the practice can be difficult. Remember not to judge yourself if you make a mistake. Simply refocus and begin again. You can not only survive Thanksgiving but enjoy it!
Below, we have compiled a list of the most interesting questions about how to practice mindfulness on Thanksgiving:
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