Thanksgiving Ask Dr G
Written by Doctor G

The Thanksgiving Tug-of-War

There’s a lot out and about right now about gratitude. It’s one of the most redeeming characteristics of the holiday season, at least in the US, that I’ve seen and I appreciate it.

That said, “gratitude attitude” posts and reminders can feel like a burden.

This can feel like one more thing you have to fit in, do right, and keep constantly in mind. That’s HARD and unrealistic for most of us. For most people, celebrating holidays like Thanksgiving or other winter family experiences are pretty stressful. That stress may come from our own fears or expectations, the conflict or diminishment we feel around others, or the myriad of changes we have to navigate this time of year.

That stress ends up in a tug of war with our gratitude – both pulling us away from noticing what we are thankful for and adding guilt to our stressful reactions because we feel another “should” or pressure.

What’s the answer? Well, it comes in three parts (as my suggestions so often do):

  1. Replace that guilt with empathy! You are dealing with a lot. If you were your friend, you’d be filled with empathy, not accusation or insults. So try offering yourself that kind of empathy and let the guilt thoughts come… and go. They don’t serve you.
  2. Ditch one thing on your list. What is your goal for this celebration? Pick your purpose and then look at your list of tasks and activities over the next few days. Choose one thing on that mental (or physical) to-do list that doesn’t feed your purpose and cancel, postpone, scratch it off.
  3. Be grateful… for you. YOU are working – even just by reading this far in this piece – to be a little more aligned, a little more intentional about your resilience. That allows you to reach your goals and live the life that matches your values. That’s a BIG deal.

Don’t let your feelings of stress rob you of your moments of good emotions and experiences.

I’m grateful for you – which didn’t take any time at all because I always am.

If you have a few seconds and you’d like to be cheered on, comment and tell me one thing you’re NOT gonna do this week!

All my best,

Dr. G  

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A widely recognized media personality, Dr. G is your go-to expert on resilience. Countless broadcast outlets rely on her contagious humor and illuminating stories to tackle tough topics. She is regularly seen on TV, as well as interviewed for print and digital outlets. Here, she’s answering your questions. Search for the answers you need, or ask her your question now!
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