Thanksgiving, a time of family, friendship, community, and food, is quickly approaching. How can we better prepare this year for this upcoming holiday? How can we prepare our whole person, in spirit, mind, and body for the business and/or stress that it may entail?
In Genesis 2, we hear that God breathed life into man. Let us remember that we can call upon the Lord. We can call upon the intercession of the Holy Spirit in and prior to moments of stress. Whether nervous about shopping, eating healthy, relationships, and/or politics, etc., when we intentionally offer these things back to the Lord remembering to breathe, we can experience peace. According to the Cleveland Clinic, intentional belly breathing has many whole health benefits including, “Helping you relax, improving your muscle function during exercises and preventing strain, increasing how much oxygen is in your blood, making it easier for your body to release gas waste from your lungs, reducing blood pressure, and reducing your heart rate.” So as you prepare for and endure the busyness of the next couple months, make sure you are taking time to breathe. (For more information on how to relieve stress, make sure to check out our new CURO Courses found on our member portal entitled Managing Stress and Relax)
Shopping in Advance
One of the best ways to make sure we can buy healthier options, and experience less stress when shopping is to do our meal planning and, if possible, shopping in advance. When we get too close to the holiday itself, the best quality ingredients and supplies in general can be limited at your grocery store. As other shoppers are also experiencing the stress of the holiday, this experience can sometimes fuel tensions. Preparing in advance can help to ensure a calmer shopping experience that allows you to find what you are looking for.
The meaning of this “Thanksgiving” can easily be pushed aside when stressors or tensions are on the forefront. Remembering the purpose of this holiday and making time throughout the entire month of November to think about and thank God for the many gifts we have received can help us make the most of this holiday. Finding a way to incorporate this into your family life, such as writing down what you are thankful for throughout the month, or talking about what you are thankful for during family prayer time can help to move our hearts to the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
Take advantage of the Holiday weekend and make sure to get outside. Sometimes even state and national parks will offer deals, offering free admission on Black Friday. Try not to succumb to the pressure of using Black Friday to get all of your Christmas shopping done. Instead, find creative ways to spend time with family and friends in Leisure. If you are feeling stressed or anxious about the upcoming holidays, or even how much Turkey and Pumpkin Pie you may have consumed, spending time in nature and getting in some physical activity can be a great way to remove some of that stress and help you get grounded in the beauty of God’s Creation.
Stay away from Processed Foods
As much as you can, stay away from artificial ingredients and processed foods during the holidays. These include ingredients such as partially hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, artificial food coloring, and processed flour. Supplementing these ingredients with fresh, whole ingredients is a great way to make healthier decisions. For healthy and delicious pumpkin pie recipes that use good quality ingredients, look to those provided below!
- Best Ever Healthy Pumpkin Pie from Ambitious Kitchen
- EatingWell’s Pumpkin Pie Crust from Eating Well