Because of the COVID-19 crisis, it is unlikely that we will be celebrating Thanksgiving the old fashioned-way – at home, surrounded by family and friends, crowding around the TV to watch football and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. No, this Thanksgiving will be like no other.
Please don’t let the current conditions ruin your holiday fun. Thanksgiving can still be a time of joy, love and laughter. You may just have to do things differently. Since this holiday will be different, taking a different approach may be useful. One way to make this Thanksgiving an enjoyable one is to approach it mindfully.
Mindfulness is a tool you can use to get more satisfaction from life. Being mindful means being aware. It means slowing down and taking time to experience what you are doing rather than rushing through it to get it done. Mindfulness allows you to savor life, to find joy in small moments, and feel at peace when the world seems to be crumbling around you. If you are quarantined and have nowhere to go anyway, now could be a great time to learn to be mindful!
A simple way to learn about mindfulness is to eat something mindfully. Mindful eating is a wonderful way to enjoy your food, and since Thanksgiving is all about food, it’s a great place to start. To eat food mindfully, follow these simple instructions: 1. Choose a food that you want to eat and place it on plate. Place the plate at a table and sit down. Then, take a moment to settle into your seat and focus your attention on your food. 2. Observe the food you have chosen to eat. Notice what it looks like, feels like, and smells like. 3. Think about all that it took to get this food to you. The farmers, manufacturers, transportation vehicles, stock clerks, cashiers, etc. Silently thank them for their participation. 4. Pick up your food and eat it slowly, paying attention to how it tastes and feels in your mouth. Notice when or if the taste changes. 5. Continue to eat your food in this way until you have finished or feel that you have had enough. By eating your food mindfully, you were present with it. Most people describe get¬ting more satisfaction eating this way.
So, this Thanksgiving, when you are eating your plate of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie while on ZOOM with your out-of-town relatives, take time to savor your meal. Enjoy the smells, textures and flavors. This may not be an old-fashioned Thanksgiving, but it could be one you give thanks for anyway. Bon Appetit!
By Dr. Sheila Forman
Forman is a clinical Psychologist and mindful eating instructor. For more information, call 310-828-8004 or go to www.DrSheilaFoman.com.