Thanksgiving is a time of reflection and gratitude, and often provides at least a short break from daily routines to spend time with loved ones. Whether you’ve traveled across the country to visit relatives, are hosting a big Thanksgiving dinner, or are taking time for a low-key meal, you can incorporate mindfulness into holiday festivities with these 5 ideas:
Be fully present with loved ones. Many of us have the opportunity to spend at least some time with our loved ones during this holiday week, even if you normally live miles apart. Rather than spending time being physically together but completely distracted, consciously bring yourself to the present moment and listen and engage with your whole self. This is one of the best ways to cherish each precious moment that you have with your family.
Savor every bite. One of the pleasures of this holiday is the feast we dedicate much time and effort to preparing and then consuming. While it can be fun to indulge in holiday treats and sweets, it’s also quite easy to consume a plate or two without remembering a single bite. Rather than devour, we can savor our treats and enjoy them to the fullest by paying attention to the food and drinks we take in. Take a moment before beginning a meal to give thanks for your food (whether aloud or silently), and then slowly take your first bite while fully engaging all your senses.
Take moments of gratitude. Similar to taking a moment (or several) to pause and come back to the present moment throughout the day, you can take a moment to think about what you are grateful for. These moments can actually help us to connect with feelings of joy. Taking a moment to step back and appreciate simple blessings, which can be something as ordinary as taking a breath, enables us to truly savor them.
Serve mindfully. Thanksgiving is a great time to serve others, whether in your community or in your own home, and doing so with your full attention makes the act that much more meaningful for all involved. Prior to any interaction, take a moment to set an intention and then take a few deep breaths to center yourself. You’ll then be able to handle whatever comes your way from a place of calm.
Keep a gratitude journal. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to begin or restart the positive practice of recording what we you grateful for. Whether as part of a morning ritual or just before bed, noting what you are grateful for is a sure way to enhance feelings of wellbeing.
Wishing you and yours a safe and blessed Thanksgiving.
Meditation instructor Alice Lash offers mindfulness meditation in Miami. Have a look at our class schedule on the Mindfultime website.