I spoke to a client last week who was overwhelmed at the thought of Thanksgiving this year. She usually hosts family from both sides—with more than thirty people over! But this year, it’s just going to be her partner and two kids.
She has no second thoughts about not having family over. While it’s hard, she knows it’s the best option in a difficult situation. So what’s the problem?
This Isn’t the Thanksgiving We Were Expecting
I could list all the reasons why this Thanksgiving is different for my family this year. (For one, we won’t be doing our annual Turkey Trot!) Let’s be honest, so could you.
We could spend all day talking about how this Thanksgiving is not the way we want it to be.
But I’m not going to do that. Talking about all the things that brought us to this moment isn’t going to change the coronavirus, or family issues, or political unrest, or how to thaw a still frozen turkey in 24 hours.
So what can we do instead?
Handle the Curveballs with the Butterball
When you’re Thoughtfully Fit, you can handle any adversity, crisis or curveball that comes your way by focusing on your choices and what you control.
Let’s admit, there are a lot of curveballs with the butterball this year.
So what can you control here? You control 100% of what you say and what you do. That’s it.
You may not be spending the holiday how you want, but you do control how you show up—wherever you’re spending the day.
You may not be able to choose how you’re feeling. I mean honestly, do you choose to be sad or angry? Probably not. But you do control if you choose to acknowledge those feelings or let them fester under the surface—silently dictating how you spend your day interacting with others.
Even though you likely can’t honor some of your most cherished Thanksgiving traditions this year, you do control how much of the day you waste being disappointed by what isn’t, instead of making the most of what is.
Focus on What Matters Most
For my client, she eventually became aware during her coaching session that she was taking on the responsibility for her entire family having a perfect Thanksgiving, despite the fact that it was going to be different.
She decided to make a list of everything she “should do” vs. “wants to do.” As you might guess, the lists were very different. For instance, she realized she should make a full traditional meal. However, she wants to enjoy her family—and not spend the whole day cooking. A moment of clarity came when she said, “I could order a bucket of chicken and my boys would be happy. Why am I stressing about what kind of pie to make?”
In fact, she realized everything on these lists was in her control. It was her choice to determine how she’d celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. She got super excited when she had the creative spark to plan a Zoom Trivial Pursuit competition with everyone—to make fun new memories in this time of social distancing.
You have that choice as well.
So how do you focus on what you control, especially during this holiday season when there’s so much out of your control? Here’s a one-minute Thoughtfully Fit workout that I invite you to do right now. (No really. Set your phone down and just do it!)
PAUSE: Take a breath. And then take another breath if you need it.
THINK: Ask yourself, What’s most important for me this holiday? What’s in my control? What do I need to be able to have the day I want to have?
Wash, rinse, repeat.
It’s not just Thanksgiving where you have to deal with stress and unexpected challenges. Life always throws curveballs (seriously, we’ve had more than our fair share in 2020!).
But you can always engage your core: Pause, Think, Act. It’ll require some practice at first, but the more you do, the easier it gets. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, in whatever unique or non-traditional ways you celebrate this year!
P.S.- One of the choices I’m making this year for Thanksgiving is to focus on gratitude (so creative, I know!). I’m incredibly thankful for all of you for being part of the Thoughtfully Fit community. I love hearing about how Thoughtfully Fit is making a difference in your life at home and at work. I’m so grateful to be with you on this journey!
Recommendation- I recently met Sara Schulting Kranz and am loving her book, Walk Through This: Harness the Healing Power of Nature and Travel the Road to Forgiveness. She combines her experience as both a coach and a wilderness guide to provide strategies to help heal. This is both an educational and enjoyable read! And super cool that her publisher, Harper Horizon, is the same that will be publishing my book coming out June 1, 2021!