Yesterday’s live Zoom event was my kind of friends-giving; a gathering of wise hearts nourishing each other by sharing ways to stay well. Thanks to all who joined and contributed to a lively discussion with a very special thanks to Michelle for her invitation to co-host this event.
Here’s a summary of what we discovered about staying Mentally, Physically, Emotionally and Spiritually well this holiday season:
While main stream society might dictate that no Thanksgiving is complete without a partner, family and turkey, it’s helpful to pause and redefine what next Thursday means to you. Maybe your partner is a turkey or you’re a vegetarian venturing into the brave new world of decolonizing the holidays. Maybe the day is a reminder of fresh wounds and your tender heart needs permission to go its own way. Maybe you’re over the moon about a new gravy boat and can’t wait to sail away down a river of mashed potatoes and stuffing! Whatever the case may be, consider redefining what the holiday means to you while accepting what it may mean for others.
Speaking of carbs, the holidays can present some overwhelming choices when it comes to food, time and energy. Now may be a good time to give your body some extra TLC. For some of us this means loving and accepting ourselves as we are and just saying no to diets and negative self-talk about what’s on our plate. For others, it means creating a food plan and letting grandma know you still love her even though you brought your own Gratitude Salad (recipe below). Consider ways you plan to honor your body.
Feelings are the side dish everyone brings to the table which is why we need an equally heaping helping of boundaries! Boundaries was the hottest topic of our discussion and brought with it a cornucopia of circumstances, challenges, resources and opportunities for understanding what it means to set limits with ourselves and those we love. We learned it’s possible to say what you mean without being mean. Yes, I’d love to join you for a meal but no I won’t be hosting the event, making all the food, ordering the fancy cable package so Uncle Joey can watch football and hand-washing all the dishes because the dishwasher is too loud and it might wake all the gluten-free babies. But I know this great restaurant!
If you’re just discovering the wonderful world of boundaries and are looking for some helpful resources, Michelle and I agree the best place to begin is checking out the work of Melody Beattie.
Considering we’re spiritual beings attempting to have a human experience, you may find it helpful to create a daily centering practice so as not to be swept away by the tornado that is Black Friday. Try having grace for yourself and others by listening extra carefully to your heart and not agreeing to do things out of fear, resentment or a sense of obligation. Consider beginning each day with a word, verse, poem or song lyric that helps put and keep your heart pointed in the right direction.
If words aren’t your thing, consider volunteering or bringing a plate of warm cookies to a neighbor. I like chocolate chip cookies with walnuts and vanilla soy milk, in case you were wondering.
Bonus Food for Thought
Main stream media bombards us with messages about what’s normal, acceptable, right or good. Those messages can be especially hurtful if we’re going through loss, illness, struggling financially or simply have an alternative set of values. For many of us, just getting out of bed each day is a triumph. Remember to love yourself and embrace your truth.
So grateful for this event and each of you. Michelle and I will be co-hosting another live Zoom on December 21st. We’ll be discussing wellness for those facing Transitions during the holidays. If there are any particular transitions or changes you’d like us to consider addressing please share your ideas in the comments.
Until then, take good care of you.
As part of my eating disorder recovery I created this salad years ago so I could enjoy some of my favorite foods responsibly instead of staring at the buffet like a ravenous zombie until giving into something terrible, like an entire basket of Pillsbury biscuits and a stick of butter. My nutritionist gave this salad two thumbs up. If you make it, let me know what you think.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Mashed Turnips and Carrots (One of my great grandmother’s staple side dishes and my very favorite food memory. I make it whenever I’m homesick. Instant cure.): Chopped Baby Carrots, peeled and chopped turnip, boil until fork tender, drain, butter, salt, mash, yum!
Top with balsamic vinegar and your favorite protein. Here I went with pan seared tofu which my brother would rather microwave and use as a hockey puck. Whatever brines your butterball!