My in-box has been overflowing with reminders of gratitude practices. It has also been overflowing with opportunities to shop, shop, shop. Personally, I like the former much better.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Family and friends come together for no other reason than to share gratitude and food.
My family has already begun to arrive. My children are all now home – which brings me so much joy. The kitchen cupboards and fridge are full, and the scent of baking fills the air. Actually my son is making risotto which smells almost as good as hot chocolate chip cookies. More of my family arrives tomorrow and there will be 21 for dinner on Thanksgiving. Now that will be a bountiful evening.
Here is the thing about the holidays. Even if this is your favorite time of year, it is the time you are most likely to overdue and wear yourself out. So instead of reminding you about all the things you have to be thankful for, I will take this moment to remind you to take care of yourself.
Steps to self-care during the holidays
Take time to be alone: Get up a few minutes early to have some time to yourself. Perhaps you will meditate, or maybe enjoy that first cup of chai tea/coffee by yourself. Whatever you do – don’t do anything that is on your to-do list. Just be.
Do your practice: Even if you don’t have time to come to the studio for classes, do take time to do a few down dogs and warriors, a baby back bend or two, a couple of twists for your digestion and don’t skip svasana. You can do this all in 20 minutes or less, and you will feel much better for it. And if you can squeeze in a full practice, it will definitely help you to stay calm and cool and centered in the face of any family dynamics or undercooked turkeys.
Nourish your body: I know you plan on eating lots of turkey, stuffing and pie, but don’t forget your greens, salads, and even a light soup to refresh your body. Be sure to start your day with a healthy breakfast, my favorite is yogurt, granola and fresh fruit. This will give you all the energy you need to face the rest of the day.
That’s it. Have a great Thanksgiving holiday. As you sit down with your friends and family, look around and smile. Let your heart fill with gratitude and let everyone know how happy you are that they are there. I found this blessing and thought you might like it. Direct the prayer to whatever the divine means to you.
Thank you for the elements, which compose our bodies, all of nature and this food we will enjoy.
Thank you for our ancestors who sacrificed for us to be where we are today.
Thank you for the earth and its astounding beauty.
Thank you for love, family, friendship and community.
Shalom & Namaste