Since this is a blog about Family and Mental Health, I’d like to create a Thanksgiving post to suit many different people this year.
First, many of you are going to be joining other family or friends this year. Hopefully, you’ll have at least a few hours to spend with the ones you love. I know I’m thankful for having the opportunity to create memories with my in-laws last week and my side of the family Thanksgiving Day and Friday. I’m thankful so many people I know are in good health. I’m thankful that we’ve had another year with many people I love. Please share below what you’re thankful for.
Second, some of you are going to be missing someone this year at the Thanksgiving table. That might be a grandparent, parent, child, another relative, or a close friend. It’s not going to be quite the same, and it might be difficult at times. There are no magic words to take the sting away, but do know that the depth of your loss is a measuring stick for how meaningful your relationship was. And anything that has meaning like that is something you can cherish, even if it has come to an end. Thanksgiving may mean something a little different for you this year.
Third, some of you may be alone this year. You may be unable to travel, too far away from anyone you normally share Thanksgiving with, feeling too sick to be with others, feeling too much tension to be around your family, or maybe even suffering from undiagnosed or untreated mental illness. If this is your situation, you may find it challenging to feel thankful or positive around this holiday. Perhaps it’s a good time to start a different tradition. Or maybe it’s just a temporary hiccup this year. Maybe you can still find your own way to have a private moment of thanks, even if it feels like you’re on the outside looking in.
Fourth, some of you will be around some very difficult people at the holidays, including this one. You may have a few people you love to see that are at the same event as people you’d rather avoid like the plague. It may feel like you’re walking through a mine field before you even get to the table. If someone is present that has truly hurt you or could be hurtful to you during your gathering, it’s OK to make a Plan B. Bring a buddy who’s willing to leave with you if you feel threatened. Or, it might be better to simply become busy with other plans and decline the invitation. You could make individual contact with family members you really want to connect with at another time and avoid the public gathering.
Here are some interesting and useful posts from the past that might be good to read this weekend.
A Healthy Parent Does Better Parenting – This can apply to anyone during the holidays, not just parents!