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How to be Thankful During Stressful Times

Lori Freson

Celebrations & Traditions

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and you are filled with a sense of dread. Dread when you think of all the cooking and cleaning you will have to endure. Dread when you realize you have to spend an entire weekend with your in-laws. Dread that your diet will be derailed. Dread that, although this ought to be a joyous celebration, you aren’t the least bit joyful.

Between family issues, workplace stress, financial problems, and struggling with the kids, you really don’t feel very thankful at all. It is so easy to get stuck with negative thoughts, and beliefs that everyone else has it better. I’m here to tell you it’s not true, and remind you that it could ALWAYS be worse. You DO have things to be thankful for. So often, we get stuck focusing on the negatives, and forget to look around and appreciate all that we really have.

Here are some tips for how to spend the holiday in a meaningful way:

  1. Go outside and play football (or anything else) with the children. You will all enjoy and remember this forever. You will be grateful that you did this while they are still willing to play with you. One day, they won’t want to anymore.
  2. Take a walk, and admire all the beauty of the nature around you. The trees and leaves, the color of the sky, the smells in the air. Be thankful that you are able to do so.
  3. During the meal, have everyone say one thing they are thankful for. You’d be surprised what little things can be meaningful. This can be a great reminder not to take things for granted.
  4. Take the family and go serve food to those less fortunate. Nothing is a better reminder of all you have to be grateful for.
  5. Remind yourself how blessed you are: You HAVE a family. Many don’t. Your family is healthy. Many aren’t. You are not homeless. Too many are. You have food to eat. Millions don’t. You are loved.

Count your blessings, indulge, and enjoy!

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Lori Freson

Lori Freson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Southern California. She has been working in the mental health field since 1997, and has been a licensed therapist since 2002. Lori currently works in her own thriving private practice in Encino and Sherman Oaks, where she serves the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles areas.