Trauma-based & Family Psychotherapy For Angry, Anxious, Depressed, and Frustrated Families

5 Ways to Make Thanksgiving Meaningful

thanksgiving photo
Photo by Martin Cathrae

How do you typically spend your holiday season? Do you spend it alone or with many other people? What do you often look forward to? Family, food, holiday music, holiday parties, time off from work, snow, the decorations, the football games and parades, or the natural meaning in the air between the days of Thanksgiving and Christmas? Whatever it is, does it offer your holiday season a much greater purpose than if you did not have these things? Many people find themselves attracted to the holiday spirit, even the most resistant among us. But does having that holiday spirit truly add meaning to your holiday?

Each holiday season I find myself, as many others do, so much more connected to others than I typically would be. I find that all of my senses are more intune to those around me and the small things we so often pass by each day. The days are slower and the ability to “meditate” on family connection, the lyrics of beautiful holiday music, and  the gratitude of having food, warmth, and shelter is so much easier and more natural during this time of year. But the days from Thanksgiving to Christmas should not just consist of food, spending money, family, and gathering all the material wealth that we can, but it should primarily consist of:

  1. Community: A community is a small group of people who are very close to each other due to proximity. But the type of “community” I am referring to is the community that brings all cultures, ages, and ethnicities together because of one common attribute that we all have, which is that we are all human and in search of meaning. Of course, we should be motivated to have community during the 365 days of the year, but the holiday season provides us with greater opportunities to express “community.” Perhaps this is because most people are more open to a close knit mind-set during this time. Whatever the case, we should have an open heart and mind during this time of year. Whose to say we will see this same time next year?giving photo
  2. Giving/Sharing: Giving and sharing to others is something that should occur every single day of our lives. But again, the holiday season makes people more willing to give and be open to others who are in need. Giving does not have to consist of money or material wealth. Giving could mean helping a stressed mom with her mentally ill child, helping a caregiver pay a bill or go grocery shopping, or spending one-on-one time with a loved one who lives alone. Giving means giving the things that cannot be taken away, sold, bought, or broken.
  3. Embracing a “higher” purpose: What I mean by this is being open minded to seeing life differently than you are used to seeing it. For example, you might encounter a situation where for some reason you just feel closer to people and more open to them and their needs. Embrace this, don’t push it away because it seems “strange.” I’m of the firm belief that when you feel this way, you are opening your heart to someone who just might need someone else to care.
  4. Social responsibility: Social responsibility entails simple things such as being mindful of holding the door open for someone walking behind you, giving a few dollars to the homeless person asking for help, volunteering your time with the right intentions, genuinely praying for someone who is going through a tough time, saying “thank you” to someone how has done something for you, and/or sharing a simple smile with the person walking by you. Social responsibility means that you are being responsible for how things around you turn out. Think of people like Dr Martin Luther King, the Kennedy’s, or Ghandi. giving photo
  5. Peace of mind: The holiday season should be a time of year for you to have time alone to reflect upon major changes of the year, goals for the next year, and places you have been or would like to be. It should be a time for you to measure your experiences and determine if you are truly living the way you intend to. Do you want to simply live to make money, earn status, or gather more degrees and material wealth? Or would you rather live a balanced life of catering to your needs and the needs of your loved one’s while also being available to others? What about your spiritual life? Do you want to learn more about creation and Who is responsible for all the beauty around you? Do you want to be able to pull over in life and truly experience life, not just slide by each day?

I hope that you will remind yourself to embrace the most important things about this time of year. With all of the beautiful attractions of this holiday (such as the food, family, fun, laughter, friends, parades, traditions, decorations, music, etc.), we should be mindful  of those who are in need, even of basic essentials (love, family, shelter, food, employment, good mental and medical health, etc). We should also check our own hearts and conscience to ensure that we are not being self-serving during this time. Reach out! Give someone something that can never be replaced or taken away.

I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

   
As always, I wish you well
Tàmara 
 
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*CORONA VIRUS UPDATE1050 Lincoln Way, Ste 1 - Pittsburgh PA

As we get closer to the middle of May states across the nation are passing laws, reducing restrictions, and enacting new regulations to help support the transition from stay-at-home orders to the normal flow of life again.

Unfortunately, Gov. Wolf hasn't reduced the mask wearing restrictions in Allegheny County. However, he has announced most of Western PA will be moving to the yellow phase beginning May 15. This means that we can slowly regain some normalcy.

But until the mask wearing restrictions are reduced or eliminated Anchored Child & Family Counseling will remain closed. I will be making small transitions back to the office over the course of summer and seeing some clients in-person based on need.The office will be open starting June 17, 2020 with the goal of remaining open until/if state laws change in response to Corona virus restrictions.

In the meantime, I will be continuing teletherapy sessions until mid-June. My office assistant and I will be monitoring your insurance policy to ensure that you will be covered for teletherapy and that your copayments will be waived. At this time, it appears that all major insurance companies (UPMC, Highmark, Aetna, Optum/United, and Cigna) are continuing to provide coverage for teletherapy.

Please check www.anchoredinknowledge.com (the practice website) for updates and my business facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/anchoredchild.

Please continue to stay safe!
Thank you

Tamara

Támara Hill, MS, NCC, CCTP, LPC

Licensed Child & Family Therapist
National Board Certified Counselor
Internationally Certified Trauma Therapist

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