It's never too early to start planning. With family members getting vaccinated and looser restrictions on get-togethers, you might be planning on hosting the Thanksgiving you never got to have last year.
With that said, here are some tips on how to plan ahead for the festivities this year to make sure you have a game plan for whatever you're planning this year.
1. To Have Thanksgiving or Not to have Thanksgiving, that is the question.
Before starting any planning, know where you stand this year for Thanksgiving. If you're usually the host, do you want to host this year? If you're usually the guest, will you attend the entire festivity, or would you rather have a quick pop in? Know what you want to do and discuss it with other members to understand what they would like to do to ensure everyone is on the same page and to set expectations.
2. Don't be afraid to say no.
If you don't feel comfortable having Thanksgiving this year or feel more comfortable staying at home, don't be afraid to skip it this year, given that the pandemic is still going on.
Also, don't be afraid to have a small Thanksgiving with your closest family or friends, given the circumstances.
3. Spread out the preparations over a few days
Instead of scrambling to get the dishes, tables, extra seating and décor ready the night before, why not dedicate a few days to getting everything you need? Then, spread out your tasks and complete them in the days leading up to the big day. This includes making a grocery list and getting items well ahead of time.
And with that said…
4. Try to prepare as many meals ahead of time as you can, and don't be afraid to buy pre-made meals.
Cooking a turkey is time-consuming. A lot of people tend to cook the turkey and other oversized items the day of. As a result, they spend most of the day in the kitchen and not enough time enjoying company.
If you're one of these people, try to prepare as much food as you can a day or two before and put it in the oven or zap it in the microwave when it's almost time to eat. Don't be afraid to cook and carve that turkey a day ahead and heat it the next day in the oven. It will still turn out delicious, and you can enjoy your company.
Also, don't be afraid to buy pre-made meals to save time, like purchasing a pie instead of making one from scratch.
This year, try making things easy on yourself by organizing and preparing things ahead of time. This will make Turkey Day go by smoother and gives you and your family enough time to enjoy your day.
Most of us already know this, but it is essential for our inner happiness when we fall in love with ourselves. In addition, it can help us be successful in other relationships and help us connect with the person you want the world to see.
When you can fall in love with yourself, you will receive more love in return. When you exude love and confidence, you will attract people in your life that also have the same zest for living. So the cycle is clear, and it all starts with one thing, falling madly and deeply in love with yourself. But where does self-love come from? How do you build it? How do you work through the things dictating your everyday life and holding you back from true happiness?
1. Be Kind To Yourself
It seems so simple but can be one of the hardest parts of self-love to master. Unfortunately, we are growing up in a society that tells us how to look, feel, and act. The way to fix this? Take back your power. Whatever that may be - negative outlook on life, feeling empty, lost, or unconfident, take your control back! Learn to catch yourself when you fall into negative self-talk and make a conscious effort to change those words into positive reaffirming comments.
2. Change Your Self Talk
The way you talk to yourself affects your mind and your overall being, and a lot of the time, negative self-talk can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s ok to hold yourself to a high standard and feel the emotions you feel within the moment, but it’s not good to get stuck into that mindset and let it dictate your everyday life.
3. Surround Yourself With Supportive People
Remember that you come first in your life You are your number one priority, and having supportive people around you reminds you that it is a good thing to set yourself up with a positive mindset in life. In addition, creating positive and healthy relationships in your life can remind you that there is good in others and that good is present in your life.
4. Push Yourself
Getting out of your comfort zone is the key to happiness. When you get out of your comfort zone, you allow yourself to be free of your fears of failure. Pushing past those fears can bring a new and exciting aspect to your life that you once dreamed of that now is a reality.
5. Give Back
When you’re checking out, and the cashier asks you if you want to donate $1.50 to a cause, do it. It’s such a small gesture, but it can change the whole aspect of your life. When you give back, you feel like you helped someone during their time of need, but you realise that helping others could potentially be your life purpose, and when we find our life purpose, everything else falls into place.
These are just some small steps you can take to start to fall in love with yourself and your life. Life can have its ups and downs, but we need to focus on those ups and acknowledge the downs. Then, even when we fall, we can get back up and start over. There is no playbook to life; it’s what we want it to be.
Failure doesn’t need to be looked at as a bad thing. Sometimes, the best course of action is to let it be and allow what is supposed to happen, happen. When we get into the habit of labelling things as good or bad, we tell our brain that something negative happened, besides allowing them to process that event and move past it.
For example, when something goes wrong, you’ll most likely focus on making it better besides allowing it to merely float through existence. Good and bad mentality tends to pit your memories against each other, and as someone told me recently, “Comparison is the theft of joy.”
Of course, you can learn from the bad experiences, but you can also gain wisdom from the good ones. Attaching a description designated to an emotion can increase your chances of unreliable narratives.
Now, it’s no secret that some things that happen are bad, and some experiences may feel unequivocally good or bad, but this all has to do with your approach.
Letting life float without labelling things as good or bad allows you to focus on what’s important - you.
With school starting, one thing that parents should always have on their radar is the subject of bullying and whether or not their child is a victim of it.
Bullying takes on many forms. It's far more than occasional teasing or kids excluding other kids from playing games with them on the playground. Instead, bullying includes recurring incidents of harm or humiliation.
For years, schools and parents have tried to push the importance of choosing kindness over harassment - either verbal or physical - and celebrate our differences instead. Unfortunately, bullying can be motivated by many different things. For example, some kids feel the need to bully others to feel superior to others that are different, weird, or "weaker" than them. Bullying can also be motivated by racism, homophobia or transphobia, disability, etc.
As reported by a study by CBC, more than half of young people that identified as visible minorities say they've been subjected to racist names or comments. In 2019, one in four students who attended high schools in the Greater Toronto Area, say they have been called hateful names or have been subjected to comments that are homophobic or transphobic.
Other types of physical harassment include:
Bullying doesn't stop once school is over. For some students, it follows them home when they log in on social media. Cyberbullying has been increasing as a way to taunt their peers through social media platforms. Students now call out and tease their peers in video game live streams, Instagram, and TikTok videos for other classmates to see and comment on. They'll even go as far as to post humiliating videos without their consent.
37% of Canadian students stated that they had been the victims of cyberbullying - where someone has said or done mean or cruel things to them online.
Bullying can often lead to emotional, social, and academic problems, low self-esteem, anxiety, and some people may even turn to self-harm in some cases.
Here are some things to do and resources to help you and your child in case they are being bullied.
Windsor-Essex Branch Violence, Bullying and Abuse Prevention - Ontario - Canadian Red Cross
Get Support - Kids Help Phone