With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, avoid getting caught up in activities that cause you more stress than necessary. These four practical tips will help you maintain a state of gratitude this season. Happy Thanksgiving from i understand!Make Lists
Creating lists of all the tasks that need to be accomplished during the week of a big event, like Thanksgiving or Christmas, will help to eliminate stress. With everything that needs to be done listed out, you won't be worried about the things that need to get done.
It may be useful to make multiple lists in order to separate different items from others. For example, if you are hosting a dinner, create one list that is food related and one list that is decoration related. When these two very different things are separated, the feeling of being overwhelmed is eliminated.
If you begin to feel stressed, take deep breaths and remind yourself of the things you are thankful for, then jot those things down and keep it near the task lists you have made for the holiday. When stress starts to creep up on you, take out your thankful list and breathe in peace.
Family isn’t always perfect, but when you approach family gatherings with this mindset it can be hard to see your family’s great qualities. Instead of conversation at the table that can trigger controversial topics like politics, consider creating a positive conversation. It may be interesting to ask older family members about family history or to ask younger family members about their favorite family memories.
You could also go around the table asking family members to share what they are thankful for this year. My family has a ‘thankful tree’, a small, fake tree with bare branches. Each year we write on paper acorns what we are thankful for that year and write the year on the back. It is always interesting to look back on other years when we are decorating on our thankful tree.
If your family’s quirks start to get the best of you, think of how many holidays you may have spent apart from each other. Remember to think of family time during the holidays as a gift and each of your family members as a gift. This year is another gift to spend with them!
The changing of the seasons is one of the most beautiful things to watch. We are so fortunate to live in a state where we are able to view the transition of the seasons; from the falling leaves to the falling snow.
Spend Your Time Wisely
The holidays are a very busy time and your time can be eaten up very quickly by events or meetings you may not want to attend. Make sure to find time to spend with your family, friends, or colleagues who bring you joy and make new memories with them. Giving back to your community is also a great way to enrich your well-being. Volunteering your time to a worthy cause is a wonderful way to feel good by doing good. Don't be afraid to turn down an event or party you don’t want to attend. As time is a precious commodity, especially during the holiday season, spend your time doing those things closest to your heart.
by Morgan Shaffer
About the Author
Morgan Shaffer is the Communications Intern for i understand. She is a junior at Grand Valley State University where she majors in communications studies. Outside of i understand, Morgan is a member of PRSSA, a succulent enthusiast, and an advocate for women's rights and mental health awareness.