It may seem almost impossible to take a few minutes out of your busy schedule the day before Thanksgiving, but when under extreme pressure, those few moments to yourself become even more important.
When our kids start acting up, what’s the first thing you think? He or she must be tired, hungry, frustrated, or overwhelmed. Well, it’s the same thing for you. If you allow yourself to get tired, hungry, frustrated, or overwhelmed, you, too, will act up. Normally, an adult will “act up” by getting a headache, sore back, or start snapping at the people around you. The emotional erosion caused by a hectic day filled with expectations happens slowly, but the reaction to the stress may happen very quickly – before having a chance to even consider that you may have gone beyond your limit.
So, I’ll make this request for today short and sweet. Take five minutes today to walk away from whatever chore you are doing, go into a quiet place and close your eyes. Think about just one thing that you can be thankful for today. Let your mind focus only on that one thing. Then, go back to your chores and see if you can keep those good feelings going.
If you find those feelings slipping away later during the day, go through the same five minute exercise again. Excuse yourself from whatever it is you are doing, slip away to somewhere quiet, even if that means sitting in your car, and focus once again on just one thing to be thankful for. Then, when your good feelings return, go ahead and get busy again.
This little five minute exercise works well to relieve stress, but it is also a simple reminder to count your blessings. Tell your family what you are doing and invite them to share in this method to reflect and unwind… of course in their own little quiet place!
Show your children by example that each and every one of us has pressures in our life that we sometimes don’t feel we can handle. And, that a few minutes in “time-out” gives even grownups a chance to slow down and refocus our thoughts. Share this with your children because focusing on our blessings is definitely a skill that will reap benefits for a lifetime.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving filled with all the blessings your heart can hold!
p.s. Take a few moments with your children today to read together. One of our favorite little stories is Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes and Doris Barrette. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!