There is comfort in the familiar, and ideally, holiday traditions create spaces for us to gather with our loved ones in high spirits. But if thinking about spending a full day (or even a few hours) with extended family around an all-too-familiar scene makes you feel uneasy or anxious (or if you find the origins of the holiday a bit wobbly), you’re not alone. This Thanksgiving, allow yourself the time to assess your real feelings about how you’ve spent past holidays, and if it doesn’t make you feel totally awesome, consider taking a break from it this year.
Here are some suggestions on making your own traditions - all of which can be done solo, with a close friend or two, or with family - whatever you find most comfortable!
Looking to skip the food-coma and hours recovering on the couch?
1. Take a hike: Throw some food into your backpack, grab your best two-legged and four-legged friends, and hit the trail as you enjoy nature’s bounty in the great outdoors!
2. Go for a run: Thanksgiving day races (“turkey trots”) are an awesome way to gather with like-minded folks and get your heart pumping. Enjoy the exhilarating feeling of crossing the finish line - it’s better than any pie!
3. Strike a pose… or a few!: Seek out a yoga class, or weekend retreat, and spend some important time connecting with yourself in peace.
Tired of a never-changing Thanksgiving menu?
1. Make global flavor local: Switch up traditional flavors in favor of an exciting array of regional influences, either as take-out or by preparing your own dishes!
2. Host a “Friendsgiving” potluck: Invite guests to bring whatever dish happens to be their specialty - no theme needed, just a casual gathering of friends around food prepared with love.
Hoping to make the holiday more meaningful?
1. Form community connections: Extend a hand to your local food pantry, shelter, or non-profit whose mission resounds with you, and see how you might help during the holiday season.
2. Get green: Check in with your local land trust or nature preserve, and put your hands to work helping to clean and maintain those natural resources in your community.
This year, spend time relaxing, laughing, and really being with the folks you choose. Remember that it is new experiences that really nourish us and allow us to grow as a new perspective is gained. Having the time, space, and opportunity to do so is truly a reason to give thanks.
That's Dana, our CEO and tree-yoga expert!