Since my (now wife) and I weren’t exactly what you would call welcomed to our first Thanksgiving together by either of our families we started our own little tradition that we like to call Turkey Day Getaway. We generally pick somewhere (anywhere that is 4-6 hour drive away) and go away for a long weekend. It has easily become one of my favorite ways to spend the holiday and to think it was born out of a very difficult moment for us both is an irony that has never been lost on me. Words cannot fully describe how incredibly thankful I am to call this beautiful woman, inside and out, my wife today and to be spending our time making amazing memories with one another instead of wallowing in the shittiness of our past experiences.
Each day I spend with my wife is a blessing to me. It is something I always knew I should reflect on more, but many days I get bogged down in my day and forget to stay thankful.
I am thankful that I have a house, a wonderful person to share that home with, amazing friends, food in my refrigerator, clothes on my back and as much as I complain about it –my job-. It has been all too easy for me to forget that the sheer fact that I have a job in what I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars getting an education for is something to be thankful for.
It is about trying – it is about choosing to give light and strength to the positive moments of every day. We are; each one of us, given the opportunity to choose to give thanks, each day for all that we have instead of what we do not. To focus on the relationships that bring more light and love to our lives instead of those that spread darkness and pain.
I am taking these steps now – making small changes to my every day. Maybe these can work for you too!
- I wake up and connect with your body: My relationship to my body has always been one of difficulty and I have overcome eating issues that caused me to go in and out of healthy physical and mental states in my life. I go to work out because I am on a path of holistic health that includes a strong body. So that hour I spend in the morning strengthening my muscles in a healthy way is also an hour I spend appreciating my body and being thankful for its abilities. This might not look like working out for you, maybe you meditate or do yoga, but take some time to connect with your body and stay thankful for its abilities.
- Take time to have breakfast: So often my wife and I were running out to work every morning barely having wiped the gunk out of our eyes. Every morning when I get back from the gym and after my shower, we sit together as I make use breakfast and take the time to eat breakfast together. It has become a staple for starting every day off right, together. We set affirmations for each day and instead of rushing into the morning work grind we glide in slowly, happily.
- Don’t skip lunch if you can help it: My job is incredibly hectic and I feel like this is one of the things I have the most difficulty doing each day, but if you can take even 20-30 minutes to yourself in your workday take it. Pack a healthy lunch for yourself that will fuel you well throughout the rest of the day and take some time to reconnect with yourself. If you are like me and have an intense or draining job this time in the middle of your crazy day can be lifesaving. If I can take this time I am normally writing as I eat. Staying conscious in the present and centering myself from whatever was being thrown at me throughout the day.
- Create a playlist: Whether you drive or take public transportation create a playlist that is soothing to your soul. This looks different for everyone. When I am really stressed I have a Spanish Guitar playlist and when I am just winding down it’s a different one. On my way home I am either listening to that playlist or talking to my wife. Music helps my mind recalibrate from the difficulties of the day that bog me down. I have been trying to stay consistent with this so that I can walk into my home in a thankful way.
- Create a thankful thoughts box: My wife and I keep a box on our night stand with little pieces of paper in it and a pen. Each day we take 5-10 minutes to write down something positive from our day. It helps us take a moment to reflect openly and remember to stay thankful for each day. This is probably one of the most difficult to stay faithful to because it takes a lot of effort to sift through some really difficult days and stay thankful, but it is also one of the best. A bonus is that on New Year’s Eve my wife and I go through those notes smile on the blessings of our last year!
So there are just 5 little things you can do each day to help you stay thankful post-Thanksgiving. I hope they help. Comment below if you have tried some and how they are working out for you!