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Thanksgiving and Christmas are supposed to be holidays when everyone gets together with their family from far and near, shares a ton of delicious food that has been “a tradition” as long as you can remember, and gives thanks for all of the wonderful things in your life.

Wellll… some years this is easier than others.  Right now, there are a whole lot of people who are not able to get together with their loved ones, might have a little too much quality times with the family they can get together with, and are not relaxing in a time of plenty.  There is a lot going on in the world these days that may interrupt and interfere with feeling thankful, grateful and appreciative, and a lot going on that may make you feel more stressed, lonely, and sad that you are not able to celebrate the holiday the way you want.

Take a breath, a deep breath, and don’t hold back if a tear comes to your eye and you have no idea why it is happening.  It is your body’s way of letting go of stress.  This Thanksgiving is going to be different for many people, and even if you don’t have the regular things to be thankful for, you should still take a moment to find something that helps you celebrate the season.  Here are a few tips.

Think about the categories in your life (your physical body, your mental/personal self, your physical space, the people around you).  Find something good in each of those areas. Remember that you can be thankful for the smallest things; like the fuzzy socks you are wearing, or the fact that you have that one family member who always gets your jokes.  There are good things around you.

If your Thanksgiving is not going to turn out the way you have always done it in your family or you can’t do what you want to do for the holiday, pick just one thing that you can manage that was part of your ‘traditional’ celebration and focus on just keeping that one thing the way you like it.  All the rest may be different and that is all right.

Remember that you have the power to impact other people.  You can always do something nice for someone else.

Finally, recognize if your mind keeps going back to the negative things in your life, just take a moment and notice it.  This is called negative self-talk and we all do it.  Recognize that you are telling yourself the worst, but that is not the whole truth.  Set a timer.  Yes…actually set a timer for 1 minute.  Allow yourself to think all of the bad things until the timer goes off, and then put those thoughts aside and move on to something better or more productive.  The negative self-talk is “done” for now.  You can give yourself another minute some other time, but right now you are busy doing something.