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What Kids Can Teach Us About Celebrating Thanksgiving

What Kids Can Teach Us About Celebrating Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I would bet my bottom dollar that you are freaking out about the family coming together and the food you need to cook. As grown-ups, we have gotten so caught up with having the “right place setting” or the “right crowd” around the Thanksgiving table that we must ask: have we completely forgotten the true meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday? If you are dreading Thanksgiving this year, or if you are feeling completely overwhelmed about it, perhaps you should explore what kids can teach us about Thanksgiving. After all, kids have this wonderful gift of truly knowing how to simply live in the moment without scrutinizing everything. Maybe by looking to the little ones, we will be inspired and reminded of the things that truly matter when it comes to this beautiful holiday.

Thanksgiving: A day for giving thanks 

Yes, this one is quite obvious but as grownups we tend to forget that Thanksgiving is about giving thanks and not piling on more food and waiting for black Friday sales. Kids, on the other hand, fully understand the meaning behind this holiday. Kids are so dependent on everyone to fulfill their basic needs that sometimes they have a special view on what it means to be thankful, even if it’s just for the trivial things in life such as having a roof over their heads. Being thankful and showing it may be the single most important thing we do on Thanksgiving day!

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Thanksgiving meals are memorable

“Mashed potatoes and gravy anyone?” Kids love the Thanksgiving meal, and, really, who can blame them! Most grown-ups have a childhood memory of the mashed potatoes grandma used to make or of how mom use to cook the Thanksgiving meal filling the house with yummy aromas. Thanksgiving is your opportunity to create a meal that will be remembered for generations to come! Don’t stress over the menu, just cook with simplicity and love. Remember, more than cooking a massive meal, you are creating a memory.

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Thanksgiving family gatherings are fun (maybe)

This one is a bit difficult to accept. Yes, you may be dreading your mother-in-law’s visit but, remember the feeling of family gatherings when you were a kid? Oh! The joy of getting together with cousins, aunts and uncles, and running around the house building forts made out of pillows! OK, so, maybe you are not exactly going to be building pillow forts with your mother-in-law, but perhaps you can remind your heart of that feeling of honesty and acceptance that you once displayed towards your family when you were a kid. Live and enjoy the blessing of having family around you and be open to the possibility of being silly and having the childlike attitude of cheer. Who knows, the family gathering may actually turn fun!

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Thanksgiving is all about simplicity

Kids love Thanksgiving for the simple things this holiday brings: the yummy pumpkin pie, the turkey coloring sheets, and the family gathering around the table. As grown-ups, we get stuck with creating the right menu, having the house spotless, and making sure the bar is well stocked to put up with family. Perhaps we should learn from kids and realize that Thanksgiving should be about the simple things in life: having a warm and cozy home, food on the table and people to share it with.

Don’t over analyze Thanksgiving

Kids have this incredible capacity to act without over analyzing every little detail. While sometimes it gets them in trouble, sometimes acting without over analyzing allows them to experience life to the fullest. This Thanksgiving, don’t over analyze your life, your feelings, the menu, or your family. Simply enjoy the holiday for what it is: a time to eat, give thanks, and be merry!

Featured photo credit: Two little boys having fun with pumpkins on pumpkin patch on farm. Selective focus on one boy. via shutterstock.com

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Sarita King

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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