You’d think I’d exhausted everything there is to say about Thanksgiving. Nope, not quite. It’s been a year unlike others, and who knows with whom you will be sitting down this year. Relatives who have different opinions but great recipes, friends you thought you knew, but who voted differently from you. Not easy.
Maybe you need a bit of help. Oh, look, I’m a life coach so, a bit of perspective.
- Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to more anger. Yelling, creating a scene, throwing things, or bullying is all fear-based and you will just get anger back. There really isn’t anything else. You create fear, anger will come roaring back at you. You don’t have to say everything you are thinking. Really. Your brain will not explode. Yes, you should confront racism, but even that can be done thoughtfully and carefully. When you raise your voice, you are creating the mood for more and louder yelling.
- Be grateful. For the weather. For not having to eat brussel sprouts. For the brussel sprouts you love so much. There is always something to be grateful for. Look harder. Yes, there, in the corner, that tiny bit of gratitude. Treat it as a rare and wonderful gift. Take care of it. Be kind to it. Gratitude, when recognized, grows more of itself. Do that for yourself. Grow some gratitude.
- Be very specific about your happiness or thankfulness. Not just “for family and friends,” but “for Jaime’s sense of humor that always makes me feel relief.” When you are specific about joy and gratitude, you begin to recognize more of the same. Not bad. Building your own happiness and gratitude is always a do-it-yourself success project.
- Still angry? Depressed? Go out for a walk. Nature is a wonderful healer. Bundle up if its cold, take an umbrella if it’s raining, but get outside. Life is bigger outside. There are details that make life beautiful. Enjoy them.
- Use self-discipline in equal measure to self-care. I value the ability to hold it together in tough circumstances. I learned that at my mother’s controlled knee and honed it to a fine edge under the nuns’ stern and rigorous upbringing. Don’t let yourself fall apart. That’s a choice. Don’t let others walk all over you. That, too, is a choice. Balance is hard. Wish others well in your mind and heart. Be generous with love and understanding. You’ll feel better, I promise. And there is always the turkey sandwich to look forward to!
–Quinn McDonald is a writer and a believer in gratitude. She’s been putting her self-discipline to the test, too.