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Opinion: Thanksgiving brings mixed emotions

Graphic by Francisco Wang Yu

Welcome to our first edition of What’s Up Wellness, a column created by the Wellness Ambassadors to help you navigate life’s unpredictable twists and turns. 

It’s finally November, and we’ve already made it three quarters of the way through the semester! Next stop…Thanksgiving! As much as we are all looking forward to scarfing down some turkey (or just the sides if you don’t eat meat) and watching football, it’s also important to remember to practice some self-care during this much-needed break. 

Thanksgiving is a holiday about celebrating gratitude. Even in the trying times that these past years have presented, there is always something, big or small, that we can be grateful for. Studies have linked the positive physical and mental benefits of people who practice optimism and gratitude. The benefits include an increased likelihood to exercise more and an increased lifespan, which help to balance out all the pie you’ll be eating!

We understand that Thanksgiving isn’t always as sweet as pie, and that many students experience feelings of loneliness and frustration with the difficulties that traveling and family involve. For students that cannot travel home to see their families, we understand that the feelings of homesickness and isolation can become overwhelming. 

The best way to overcome these feelings is by trying to create your own version of Thanksgiving, or Friendsgiving. Take the time to reach out to friends who live in the area and see if they have an extra seat at the table, or talk to other students who you know will be on campus for the break and plan to do something as a group. In addition, keep an eye out for Rollins’s annual Thanksgiving meal at the Cornell Campus Center, which is a great way to celebrate the holiday without worrying about making a mess in the kitchen. 

For the students that have the chance to go home for Thanksgiving, you may be experiencing mixed emotions. Differing opinions that break out over the dinner table can cause a bit of tension on a day that should be about relaxation and gratitude. If you find yourself in this type of situation, practice self-care by setting boundaries, picking your battles, recognizing your triggers, finding your allies, and stepping away when necessary. Remember that you are not alone; this is YOUR break, so set your own rules.

This Thanksgiving break is your chance to practice the self-care you’ve been talking about all semester. You will officially get a couple of days to recharge, so use them wisely. Taking the time to study for your upcoming finals is important, but make sure to prioritize relaxation in order to avoid burnout. Making a list of your to-do’s for the next two weeks will help alleviate stress and allow you to decide on when is the best time to just sit back and breathe. 

We hope these tips and tricks are helpful to ensure that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving break no matter where you are! 

Well wishes from your favorite Wellness Ambassadors. 

The opinions on this page do not necessarily reflect those of The Sandspur or Rollins College.

Have more opinions about Thanksgiving? Send us your responses. We want to hear your voice.

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