The holidays can be some of the happiest times of the year for many people, but they can also be stressful and exhausting! Preparing the holiday dinner, prepping the house for guests, buying holiday gifts for the family and friends—sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. But what if we could eliminate some of that stress by making our Thanksgiving gatherings and the holiday season a little more mindful?
Incorporate some of these tips for a mindful Thanksgiving:
Start Your Meal With a Loving-Kindness Meditation
If your family doesn’t say grace before a meal, start a new tradition of following along with this loving-kindness meditation. Allow one person to lead the meditation while the others silently repeat the phrases in their head.
May we be happy.
May we be healthy and strong.
May we be peaceful and filled with ease.
Feel free to adjust these phrases to fit your family and your current situations.
Eat with Mindfulness
We put so much time and effort into making the most perfect and elaborate Thanksgiving dinner, but then gobble it down in less than a half hour! Instead, take time to enjoy the food!
Take your first few bites is silence, savor the flavors, notice the textures of the food, smell the delicious aromas…. Don’t just vacuum down the food on your plate! Learn more about eating mindfully every day.
Mindfully Listen to Dinner Conversation
Whoevers talking, whatever they may be talking about, listen to them—and I mean truly listen. Don’t half way listen and allow the mind to wander and hear just what it wants to hear. Be present at the dinner table.
Find Out What Everyone is Thankful For
This is a tradition in so many households around the country, and if it’s not one in yours, it’s time to make it one!
Go around the table and have everyone state 1 thing they’re thankful for it could be: a thing, and event, a person… whatever comes to mind! OR be a little different and share favorite Thanksgiving or holiday memories—it’s sure to get the conversation flowing!
Create a Random Act of Kindness List with the Kids
Since Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks and giving back, sit down with the kids and have them make a list include things like:
- Old toys they want to donate (since Santa will probably be bringing more soon)
- Holiday gifts they’d like to purchase for a local toy drive
- A place they’d like to volunteer over their school holiday break
Be Mindful While Cleaning Up the Aftermath of the Gathering
We love the holiday get together, but no one loves the clean up afterwards. Make the most of it while practicing mindfulness while you’re doing it! Don’t let your mind wander to the next to-do on your list or get overwhelmed with how much you have to clean up—just focus on the task at hand. Focus on the sounds, the smells, the movements you make.
No matter how you’re spending your Thanksgiving holiday, try to make mindfulness a part of your day and have a great holiday!