Thanksgiving Tips for Staying Healthy Inside and Out

This article was written by Life Coach Jennifer Bridge

The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us.  It is that time of year when we give thanks for everything that we are blessed with in our lives.  It is also the start of the holiday season and festivities, which usually include lots of food, celebration, office parties, family gatherings and emotional triggers.

Spending time with family or reuniting with old friends tends to bring up all kinds of feelings. Negative self-talk often reaches a maximum volume this time of year.  If we really cannot avoid people who trigger us during the holidays, what can we do to set our boundaries firmly so that we do not feel neglected, abused or taken advantage of?  Here are some helpful Thanksgiving Tips for Staying Healthy Inside and Out:

  • Give yourself permission to say “No Thanks” With all of the invites to holiday parties and events, be sure to prioritize your calendar, making sure you leave time to recharge and refresh yourself.  Life is not a popularity contest, and you might be surprised by how good it feels to say No Thanks to an invitation.
  • Plan ahead for how long you will stay at each event. When we have boundaries set ahead of time, it is easier to hang in there when tensions run high.
  • Be gentle with yourself. Don’t expect perfection when you’re in a family dynamic.  These dynamics have likely been in place for decades, if not centuries!  You don’t have to fix them right now.
  • Remember that you are not responsible for the behaviors and actions of other people. You are only responsible for what you say and do, and how or whether you choose to react to others.
  • Be impeccable with your word. This is one of the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.  To be impeccable with your word, it is important to breathe and think before you speak.  Ask yourself, “do I really mean this now, and am I willing to follow through with what I am about to say?  Is it necessary, and can I say it kindly?” This simple vow will take you far.
  • Choose your sugar wisely. Ask yourself before you indulge in the sweets if you really want that piece of pie/cake/cookie.  Decide in advance how much of it you want to eat, and stick to it.
  • Stay Active. Leave some time over the long weekend for some exercise.  Go hiking, walking, running, dancing or some other activity that will get your heart rate up for at least 20 minutes.
  • Give back. Spend some time this holiday season serving food at a soup kitchen, collecting toys for disadvantaged children, or visiting the elderly in nursing homes.  These are just three suggestions for giving that will help you tap into gratitude. Giving back helps us plug back into joy and abundance, no matter how hectic the world around us appears.