November 26, 2021 – The forty-second Official Friday Night BeerBlog
Well Thanksgiving is gone for another year. Time to throw away those old pumpkins and mums that signaled the fall harvest and replace them with Christmas trees and gifts. Time to pack up all those grateful feelings into a box and put them in the attic with all of the other decorations. Because being thankful is just something we bring out at Thanksgiving, right?
God, I hope not. Now I did a podcast about this on Wednesday, but I just had to keep this bad boy out there for a little longer, especially now that Thanksgiving is over. It is so easy to treat Thanksgiving like Christmas and Easter – you know, how you only put foot in a church on those two days of the year. It’s easy to only be thankful on the day that someone is going to ask you what you are thankful for.
It’s The Most Stressful Time Of The Year
So Thanksgiving is over. Now what? Now we enter what can be the most stressful time of the year. The holiday season is supposed to be filled with so many feelings of joy, but the crush of expectation can be overwhelming. Not only that, some people can be overcome with the feeling of lack and loneliness at this time of the year. And these are all real things.
Now I’m no therapist, but how can we start to overcome the negative feelings we have during this time? I would highly suggest that you get that box of thankfulness back out of the attic and open it up. Let it pour out into your house.
Gratitude Is The Best Stress Medicine
It is so hard to feel stress when you are thinking about the things that you are grateful for. Think about something you have total gratitude for, be it health, a warm home, good beer to drink. Then feel your stress levels reduce. Gratitude and Stress can’t exist in the same space. It’s just impossible.
Stress can make it difficult on us to find gratitude. It wants the stage so it will try to take all the space. Gratitude is strong, but you have to build up that muscle in order to push stress out. So practice is key. You have to workout this gratitude muscle every day, just like you would any muscle you want to build in your body.
The Gratitude Workout
Now, like other muscles when you workout, you don’t have to do it everyday, but you need a gratitude workout plan. Say you’re going to workout this muscle three days a week. Put it on your plan which three days. Set the stage – do you need it quiet? Do you need a little music? Find your gratitude place and go there when it’s time to workout.
And write what you are grateful for. There is no rule that you have to put down 1, 5, or 10 things. Whatever feels right to you, but you MUST write down WHY you are thankful for that thing. It is easy to list out things you are thankful for, but do you know why you are thankful for them? They take on a whole new meaning when you can list the whys.
What You Write, You Remember
And yes, you must write them down. Because what you write, you remember. Ever try to remember a phone number that someone gave you and you tried to remember it in your head? But if you wrote down that number and tried to recall later, you are much more likely to be able to pull up the numbers in your head.
The same is true with your gratitude list. If you are having a particularly bad and stressful day, it is much easier to get past it if you can recall your written gratitude list. And remind yourself that while things may such in this moment, you have so many other things that are going your way.
Cheers to you as we head into what is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. Take it day by day and don’t sweat the small stuff because as they say, it’s all small stuff. And my Christmas advice to you is – buy the first gift for yourself. No one loves or appreciates you more than you do – and you are worth it. The second gift should be to a charity of your choice. Get your gift buying priorities in line.
The Friday Night BeerBlog Podcast: