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Millions of Americans are gearing up for the Thanksgiving holiday, as am I.
I learned the history of Thanksgiving in school, where the narrative heavily favors the colonizers. Namely, they’re called European ‘settlers’ and ‘colonists’ instead of a more holistic, more accurate description: European colonizers.
As ugly and painful as history is, I end up subscribing to the spirit of Thanksgiving: a chance to celebrate abundance and practice gratitude.
In that spirit, I am thankful this year to spend time with family friends and family members despite any past or current tensions.
When it comes to feeling tense and apprehensive in the presence of family, especially in-laws, I know I’m not alone. From invasive questions on our personal lives to a barrage of comments full of societal pressures and expectations, Thanksgiving and the holidays can introduce unnecessary stress.
For this reason, I’d like to share some of my intentions going into this week’s holiday.
- Maintain Your Foundational Morning Routine
Morning routines set the tone for the rest of the day. My routine is my foundation to live a happy and balanced life. I intend to maintain my healthy morning routine to ensure that my day starts off on the right foot.
For me, this includes hot tea, no breakfast. I don’t get hungry in the morning, and I intend not to feel pressured to eat. I will not let other people’s perceptions of my personal eating habits stop me from doing what’s best for me. I will stay firm in my boundaries.
After my tea, I move onto skincare and yoga. Cleansing and moisturizing my face are an act of self-love, as is yoga.
Yoga allows me to release any tension I may be holding in my body and gets me to breathe through any discomfort. I enter a flow for blood to carry oxygen throughout my body from head to toe. Yoga centers me and creates space in my mind to observe and recognize moments of joy while helping me discern what to do in the face of the day’s challenges.
- Wear What Makes You Feel Good
Like 2020, I’ve spent most of this year in sweatpants; nothing wrong with that. This week, I’d like to consider wearing something different to switch things up a bit. On the other hand, I’d also very much like to stay in my comfy tracksuit aesthetic.
I intend to wear exactly what I wish to wear without any reservations. Doing my own thing in terms of self-expression includes cultivating my own style (and sharing my voice more publicly.)
- Practice Mindful Eating
Content warning: the below includes specific descriptions of eating habits. If this is a sensitive topic for you, please proceed with care.
Past me would tend to overeat on a day like Thanksgiving. Have you ever eaten so much that your stomach hurt and it was difficult or uncomfortable to move or even stand up? I have, and I recognize this privilege. At the same time, I do not intend to repeat this behavior. It was harmful in that it was painful (stomach-wise), and it came from a place of gluttony.
Instead, my intention this year will be to eat normal-sized portions for me and my stomach. No overconsumption that may lead to any discomfort.
Here’s the thing. When there’s so much food in front of you and everyone around is stuffing themselves full, I get it. We’re also receiving messages from all around that it’s normal to indulge this time of year, so I don’t blame myself.
However, my relationship to food has evolved this past year in a healthy way. These days, I check for a sweet spot where I eat just enough to not be hungry while avoiding that feeling of being too full and thus uncomfortable.
This mindful eating practice allows me to feel better in my own skin by letting myself move freely after a meal, instead of being confined to a chair because it hurts to move.
- Practice Gratitude
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”– Oprah Winfrey
If you’ll be spending time with people you love and people who love you, count your blessings.
The pandemic has stolen the lives of people’s loved ones across the globe, and I can’t help but feel like the most blessed person alive to have my loved ones safe and healthy. My heart goes out to all of those who won’t get to spend more time with the people they love.
- Do You
“Be the subject in your life – not the object.”-Unknown
At the end of the day, you are a free agent. Choose how you spend your time and energy, two of your most precious and limited resources. If the anguish you feel when you’re with people labeled “family”, then know you have a choice. Sometimes family is the one we choose, not the one we’re born to.
I wish all my readers a safe, healthy, joyful, and vaccinated Thanksgiving holiday. I am grateful to all those witnessing my writing journey, and I thank you for being here.
Take good care, and I’ll see you back here next Monday.