Thanksgiving Turkey for the Soul

As the leaves fall and the seasons begin to change, I am reminded of how quickly the school year flies by. The vibrant colors and the cool, crisp air serve as a reminder to cherish each and every moment. It is around this time of year that I find myself venturing outside more often, trying to soak up every last bit of perfection before the snow comes. How fitting is it that a holiday about thankfulness falls during the most beautiful time of year? As Thanksgiving approaches, it is important to dwell on ways we can be most grateful for the blessings in our lives – whether it be particular people, certain opportunities, or otherwise. Sometimes, school may serve as a roadblock to us discerning what is truly most important. It can feel like we haven't shown the most love to those who mean the most to us. Thanksgiving should be a time for us to stop and remind ourselves to be grateful and be filled with love. While we enjoy some much needed rest and relaxation, it is my hope we can all experience what it means to disconnect, be present and take a break in this crazy, busy world.

Photo by Roman Kraft

Some of my most cherished moments during Thanksgiving are going out and experiencing the beauty of the outdoors. Whether this quality time is with a pet, your family, or by yourself, being outside does something beautiful to the soul and rejuvenates your mood. As I walk, I am mindful of myself and my surroundings. Take this time to remind yourself why you are working so hard and what it means to be uniquely you. By refocusing your energy, you will be able to grow in love and happiness, allowing you to give more of yourself to others. Listening to the whistle of the wind and the crunch of the leaves below your feet has a way of putting your struggles into perspective. Take time to check in with yourself. Are you happy? Are you reaching your goals? Even if you have found that you are struggling, Thanksgiving is a friendly reminder that there are always those with less.

Photo by Cristina Gottardi  

Leave your phone at home and take time to be grateful with your family and the delicious meal they will have prepared. Ditching your phone will also serve as a way to de-clutter your mind. Forgoing technology for the weekend will allow you to be present and make conscious memories. Often times, the run up to reading week is so stressful it feels like we don’t have time for anyone or anything. Most of us can find ourselves neglecting our family, loved ones and friends. Take advantage of this time as a way to be present with those who matter by giving them the gift of your undivided attention. The time we spend with our family is so precious, especially if they don’t come around often. Life has a way of getting in the way and it does not wait for anyone. Ensure that your loved ones actually feel your warm presence this Thanksgiving. Make a conscious effort to be intentional, present and engaged with them. I know I am personally excited to see my family from out of town and the little ones I don’t see very often. We are all very busy and making the time to all congregate in one place at the same time is so significant and meaningful. I plan to honor, respect and cherish that time with them. I encourage you all to as well.

Photo by Kelsey Chance

While reading week can be a fantastic time to get ahead, it can also serve as a great way to recharge and make memories. Since we have all been blessed with amazing and unique families, remember to take at least a day or two away from the books to soak up their company. I wish you all a belly full of turkey, lots of smiles and love from all directions! Good luck!