Thanksgiving is traditionally a time to reflect on our lives and muster a sense of gratitude. I admit I do love this tradition but it does not always come easy, especially when faced with the to do list, negotiating the different personalities that we will be sharing the holiday with and digesting the mounds of food that we don’t typically eat.

So, I have learned to start with gaining a sense of what gratitude feels like. Often we mindlessly say thank you to someone for daily gestures like opening a door, delivering an item, or giving a compliment. How often do we pause to notice where we feel gratitude in our body, what thoughts accompany a thank you, as well as what emotion is evoked? I challenge you to notice at least one time you say thank you to someone and pause to experience the moment.

In addition, the holidays are times that practicing self-care can be crucial for maintaining a healthy balance. A co- worker shared the following exercise with me and I loved it:

If you are the person who has the pleasure of peeling the endless pile of potatoes, or other such tasks, while you are standing at the counter, breathe in these affirmations, or make up your own positive self speak that will help get you through.

Breathe in saying I am.......Breathe out saying strong

Breathe in saying I am.......Breathe out saying balanced

Breathe in saying I am.......Breathe out saying happy

Breathe in saying I am........Breathe out saying peaceful

With Gratitude (really!)