Coping with Thanksgiving

A Survival Guide


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Thanksgiving rings the proverbial bell of the holiday season and for some that can initiate a slew of negative feelings; but fear not. With a plan in place even the biggest Grinch can have a joyous holiday season! It’s important to remember that not everyone is on the same page when it comes to holiday anticipation. For many, the holidays serve as a reminder of relationships lost, missed loved ones, or the absence of the perfect Hallmark holiday experience. Thanksgiving particularly can be isolating for those who do not have the traditional family arrangement; but the heart of the holiday revolves around being grateful and that is a surefire way to pause those negative feelings. If you’re worried about the approaching holidays, check out the fool proof guide below to ensure yourself a happy and successful stretch through the festivities ahead.

1. Practice Gratitude!

Studies have shown that the practice of writing gratitude letters or lists can have positive effects on mood and brain activity. Try writing letters to those important people or special person in your life that you are grateful for. It can be as simple as someone you share classes with, a friend you haven’t spoken to since school became so busy, or a professor who has been particularly helpful this semester! Even if you decide not to send the letter, the simple act of expressing gratitude is beneficial. Alternatively, you can jot a list of 5-10 things that you are grateful for throughout your day. It can be anything from material possessions, special experiences, or future endeavors.

2. Stay Busy!

Keeping your calendar full of fun and engaging activities during the holiday break is a good way to cut down on the feelings of isolation. Some alone time can be relaxing and cathartic, however, too much can send you down a negative path. Planning some activities that get you out and about with peers can be a great distraction from feeling down. Planning a get-away is another way to have some fun and beat holiday blues. Contact the Office of Student Life if you have are looking for information about upcoming trips with the campus.

3. Take a Break from Social Media!

Social media can be a breeding ground for the behavior of comparing your life to others. That behavior can be so detrimental to one’s self esteem. Not only that; but you will be surprised with how much time you gain when you are not aimlessly scrolling. That time can be put toward self care activities like exercising, taking a hot bath, or meditation. Unplugging from social media, even for just one day can help you to flex the muscle of being present.

4. Embrace Your Feelings!

Even with this master plan in place to avoid the dreadful feelings; it’s important to know that it is OK to feel whatever you feel! Embracing and accepting your feelings is the first step in viewing them objectively. The feelings will come and go, the key is to have no judgement as they pass. There is no need to get down on yourself if you are feeling blue; ride it out and stay positive. Of course it is crucial to ask for help when you are in need. Students are able to take advantage of counseling services provided on campus.