Is A Mindful Thanksgiving Possible? Try these 5 Tips.

The holidays family and friends can be challenging. Learn how to be more mindful this Thanksgiving.

Is A Mindful Thanksgiving Possible? Try These 5 Tips

This holiday season, try to be more conscious of what you are eating during the meal as well as how much you eat. If necessary, make changes to recipes or learn how to cook new foods!

For those who feel stressed out before the thanksgiving celebration, try practicing mindfulness either in morning meditation or other forms. A little mindfulness can go a long way. Try taking the time around the holidays to connect with your breath and settle into the present.

You can also use yoga exercises to promote relaxation. Add some calming music to help facilitate this process even more.

Meditate and Give Thanks with a Gratitude Meditation.

Closeup of bearded concentrated African American male with headphones on neck meditating with closed eyes

This is an easy one to do, and can be done before or after the meal. Simply choose a time of day that works for you, and then find a quiet spot to focus on your gratitude practice.

You can make this short or long, it does not have to be longer than a few minutes. The key here is to simply spend some time every day doing something that makes you feel happier and healthier.

This can be sitting down to read a book, listening to music, taking a warm bath, or anything that makes you feel relaxed and happy!

Many people start practicing mindfulness at the beginning of their workout routines, which helps them pay more attention to what they are doing and motivate themselves to exercise more.

Express gratitude on a daily basis for the same effect. By adding this into your routine, you’ll begin finding ways to give thanks for all of the things in your life that make you happy.

Set aside time to connect with loved ones in a meaningful way.

Man in Green Sweatshirt Lighting a Candle

This can be as simple as going out for dinner with family and friends or staying at home and watching TV together, but it should definitely be a two-hour event!

If you’re reading this before the holiday, try to schedule some of these activities ahead of time. That way, you will have more time to do them when you actually sit down to eat.

And while most people are probably hungry after eating, there is an average gap of twenty minutes between each person’s meal, so don’t worry about being hungry afterward.

You could also give yourself a few hours after the big day to get everything done that you need to. There’s no reason to do anything immediately, especially since you spent the last several days preparing food and hanging out.

Savor the Big Meal with Mindful Eating.

Person Slicing Meat on Table

While it may be tempting to go all-out during the thanksgiving holiday, having a relaxed meal is the best way to enjoy yourself.

You don’t have to eat only stuffing and mashed potatoes you at your family feast, nor do you have to make every bit of food you try (or even like) while it’s in front of you.

If you would rather stay in and watch TV than join friends for a get-together, then that’s totally okay! You can still celebrate the season by staying home and eating your favorite dishes, like pumpkin pie.

And if you really feel hungry later, there are many ways to take breaks between meals. You can pass on some or most of the snacks or you could opt to pack your apple pie to bring along.

Whatever you choose to do, just remember that you are not obligated to eat anything set before you, even if it seems otherwise.

Share your thoughts and feelings at the Thanksgiving table in a positive way.

Is A Mindful Thanksgiving Possible?  Try these 5 Tips

Another tip is to make sure that you are not overly stressed out or busy before, during, and after thanksgiving day. Make time for de-stressors (such as stretching or doing yoga) if needed.

Many people begin their turkey day with the morning ritual of having a coffee or tea and putting some leftover bread into the toast maker. You can start your day just like this!

Other ways to be more relaxed and calm is to practice relaxation exercises such as breathing techniques, meditation, or working on self-care activities (like taking a bath or brushing your teeth).

Take some time for self-care to reflect on all you have been given this year.

Reflection Photo of Woman Touching Her Cheek

This week, try to devote some time to take care of yourself. You are worth it!

You can make taking good care of yourself a habit by establishing regular times for things like showering, and eating meals that include at least one item that you know how to cook well.

These practices will help you feel better about yourself and give you some much needed rest and relaxation.

This is important because research shows that when we're stressed or anxious, our bodies begin to produce more cortisol, a hormone linked with stress.

Consuming foods rich in vitamin C and eating fruits and vegetables helps mitigate the effects of cortisol by helping your body get rid of excess acid.

Start your thanksgiving this year mindfully during the days ahead to acknowledge what you are grateful for and focus on the present moment.

A Meditation on Fullness

A Woman Wearing Black Active Wear Meditating

Between all of the delicious food you're going to eat, the drinks you'll drink, and the decorations you'll use to show how thankful you are for this year, there is one thing that can be left out — your mind!

You may want to try leaving some time at the end of the meal to do something relaxing like listening to music or meditating. Or perhaps spending time outside together as a family before getting into bed for the night is more appropriate.

Whatever you choose to do, make it focused and short so people can watch TV or sleep through it. You don't need to fully understand what you're thinking about while you're doing it, but just knowing that someone else isn't talking, looking at you, or jumping away should help contribute to feeling relaxed.

These days, many people feel stressed out and full of anxiety and worry. Having a healthy amount of stress in your life is good – it helps motivate you to achieve your goals, it forces you to work hard, and it reminds you to prioritize others.

But too much stress can be harmful, and research shows that experiencing frequent stressful situations increases the risk of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

It has been shown that eating foods that have been linked with happiness and reduced weight can reduce overall stress levels.


Image of a Family Eating Together at Thanksgiving

Now that you have read all of our tips, is a mindful Thanksgiving possible for you this year? Honestly, yes! Even if you are not able to do every tip, you can at least try one.

You will always be in control of your experience as long as you are aware of what is going on around you and how you feel about it. Plus, just because you cannot afford or does not want to spend money does not mean others should not.

Take a break from social media and focus on being with those who live their lives outside of technology. Make eye contact with people so they know you are there for them.

Try giving up some foods or beverages that may be expensive (like wine) or that may be hard to find such as non-alcoholic drinks. You may also need to look into donating or canceling services at work or charities you belong to so you can relax and enjoy time with family without spending lots of money.

If needed, ask yourself why you are thinking about overeating or drinking more than necessary. It may be due to stress, frustration, or boredom. Take a moment to breathe before responding or doing anything else.

Hopefully you learned something new about mindfulness during the holidays today and you can apply these concepts to other parts of your life.