A Traditional Thanksgiving May Become a Relic of the Past
By Megan Wallin
As an adoptee with strong ties to and respect for my biological Oglala Lakota heritage—now three generations and several European ancestors away from life on the reservation—I’ve had some qualms with traditional American views of Thanksgiving.
There are quite a few people (Native and Non) who feel similarly, but I’ve also spoken with some elders who, despite being deeply ingrained in their tribal cultures, feel neutral on the subject. Their reasoning? Holidays are what you make them. For many, any holiday is a day off to share with loved ones and focus on gratitude, and that includes this one. Still, it remains a bleak reminder of the origin story behind genocide and intergeneration trauma.
Ironically, some of the people I’ve talked to who are most passionately opposed to Thanksgiving have entirely European heritage. They’ve proposed enjoying the day off but celebrating a Harvest Day, changing the title and the focus of a day ultimately rooted in celebrating colonialism that led to the destruction of tribes, families, cultures and languages. They’re certainly not wrong to think that.
The holidays are right around the corner. Some are excited about turkey and gravy, and fancy wrapped presents, but others see only stress and anxiety on the horizon. If you are hosting parties, the stress level is on steroids; fancy china, excited young ones, guests, surprise and otherwise. It can seem overwhelming. Read on if you are looking for some tips on how to get you through the holidays as anxiety free as possible.
Stay rested and recharged, ahead of the holidays. Take time for yourself. Get enough sleep, engage in activities that you enjoy and make you feel good. Don’t skip self care routines under the pressure of the approaching holidays. Don’t do it-skipping health care routines will cost in the long run. You need that 30 minutes of cardio and any other health activities you are engaged in. These activities will keep you balanced and ready to face the upcoming holiday challenges. It just might be yoga, biking, stretching, Tai Chi, or aqua aerobics, that saves your sanity.
Everyone has different triggers, and identifying them is one of the most important steps to coping and managing anxiety attacks. Common ones, your first day at a new job, heading an important meeting, meeting your SO’s parents. Time and reflection will be required to identify your triggers. In the meantime, there are things you can do to try to help calm or quiet your anxious mind.
4.) Use aromatherapy
Whether they’re in oil form, incense, or a candle, scents like lavender, chamomile, and sandalwood are soothing. Certain receptors in your brain are activated by aromatherapy.
5.) Walking or Yoga
Just walk away if the situation is causing anxiety. It might be time to focus on your body and not your mind to relieve your anxiety. Just move. Whether it’s the pool or the yoga mat, move your butt, it helps reduce stress. Try stretching, it can be incredibly beneficial.
6.) Write down your thoughts
Many mental health therapists suggest a client write down what’s causing their anxiety. Writing it down, gets it out of your head and can make it less daunting. My mother used this one, on a regular basis. She would write letters to the offenders and put them in envelopes addressed to whoever was causing her frustration and then stick it in a file, never sending it.
Not All Anxiety Is The Same
The previous suggestions are helpful if your symptoms are situational or sporadic. If anxiety is an on-going, persistent part of you life you may need more serious interventions and coping strategies.
Five Strategies For Coping With Long-Term Illness
If anxiety is a regular part of your life, not just around the holidays, it’s important to find treatment strategies to help you manage it. There might be a combination of things, like talk therapy and meditation, or perhaps cutting out or resolving your anxiety trigger. Confused, as to where to start? It is always helpful to discuss options with a mental health professional who might suggest something you hadn’t thought of before moving ahead with your plan.
Some Well-Known Triggers:
a stressful work environment
DNA-genetics — anxiety, depression, alcoholism can run in families
multiple mental illness diagnoses (such as depression, OCDC, anxiety)
Managing Those Triggers
Sometimes triggers can be obvious, such as caffeine, alcohol consumption, and drug use. Other times triggers are less obvious and we may need a therapist to help us isolate those triggers. Long-term stress, such as financial or work-related situations, can be more difficult— is it a due date, a person, or the situation? At this point you may need some extra support, through therapy or with some trusted friends.
Once you do figure out your trigger(s), you should try to limit your exposure to them if you can. If you can’t limit it — say because it is due to a stressful work environment that you can’t currently change — using other coping techniques may help.
1.) Try Meditation
A successful meditation regime will take time and practice. When done regularly, you can train your brain to dismiss anxious thoughts when they arise. If sitting still and concentrating is difficult, try starting your exercise routine with more active physical exertion and then start your yoga routine.
2.) Adopt Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT helps people learn different ways of thinking about and reacting to anxiety-causing situations. A therapist can help you develop ways to change negative thought patterns and behaviors before they spiral into a panic attack.
3.) Healthy Diet, Regular Exercise, Embrace Life
Exercise regularly. Eat balanced meals. Get enough sleep. Stay connected to people who care about you. You may want to talk to your psychiatrist about adding supplements or nutrients to your long-term strategy.
4.) Consider Adding Supplements
Research shows certain supplements or nutrients help reduce anxiety symptoms. Some of these include:
omega-3 fatty acids
dark chocolate (in moderation)
It can take up to three months before your body is actually using the nutrition these herbs and foods provide. If you’re taking other medications, make sure to discuss herbal remedies with your doctor. I’ve said that twice. I cannot say it enough. Different medications interact with one another whether OTC or prescription. Talk to your doc.
5.) Prescription Medications
If your anxiety is severe enough that your mental health practitioner believes you’d benefit from psychotropic medication, there are a number of directions to go, depending on your symptoms. Discuss your concerns with your doctor.
Is My Anxiety Harmful?
Identifying what variety of anxiety you’re dealing with can be challenging-mainly because everyone’s body reacts to danger in entirely different ways. I’m sure you have heard “anxiety” used as a general term for feeling worry, uneasiness, or nervousness. It is often situational, a big dance, a speech, a tryout; it is often a feeling grown in response to an upcoming event that has an uncertain outcome. Every human being deals with such emotions-at some time in their life. It is part of how we are wired, our brains respond to perceived danger, even if there is no real danger.
Things Can Get Dark
There are times anxiety can get serious and turn into anxiety attacks that may begin slowly and initially feel manageable, but build up over a few hours. (Panic attacks are different. A panic attack comes out of the blue and then subsides.)
Signs and Symptoms of an anxiety attack
These are some of the more common mental and physical symptoms of anxiety:
feelings of danger, panic, or dread
rapid heart rate
rapid breathing, hyperventilating
It is possible to have both an anxiety and panic attack simultaneously. The quick coping strategies mentioned above may also help with a panic attack.
Try focusing on an object, repeating a mantra, closing your eyes, and going to your happy place.
If you notice that quick tips haven’t been working, you may want to consider seeing a professional for help. Especially if you believe you have GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and the symptoms are interfering with your daily routine and physical symptoms. A mental health professional can help with identifying your triggers, maintaining long-term strategies through behavioral therapy, medications, and more.
Living With Anxiety
If your anxiety stems from a past trauma, it can be helpful to work through those issues with a licensed therapist. On the other hand, if your brain chemistry predisposes you to persistent, chronic anxiety, you may need to go on medication to manage it. Anxiety is likely to continue to be part of your life, but it doesn’t need to take over your life. Treatment is available to help control those painful symptoms and make those holidays at least tolerable.
Happy Halloween, everyone! The pandemic has changed how we celebrate, but it’s fun to remember Halloweens gone by, while dreaming up ways to make new memories. The crisp fall air, bright and vivid autumn colors, and everything, from facial wash to floor polish, going all pumpkin spice, makes me think of Halloween. Chocolate, candy apples, and costumes, every child’s dream. The crowning of our newest Miss America made me recall a particular Halloween costume of my youth.
A Mask of a Different Kind
Unlike the very cool Halloween ensembles we now see displayed in retail establishments, when I was child, costumes were different. They came in a square box with a cellophane window and consisted of a one-piece garment made of a flimsy, shiny nylon, and a full face, molded plastic mask with cutouts for eyes, nostrils, and mouth. Those masks were quite like a sauna for the face – those of us that have reached a certain age can remember that sweaty-faced feeling that came with wearing one of those frightful false faces.
The calendar end of summer is generally considered Labor Day, the first Monday in September. But what is Labor Day? And what is labor? The idea of a holiday to recognize the organized labor movement was first proposed in 1882. There are two competing stories as to who was responsible, but was it McGuire or Maguire?
Some historians say Peter McGuire, then-vice president of the AFL (American Federation of Labor), is responsible for the holiday. It is said, McGuire, who had witnessed pro-labor parades in Toronto in May of that year, wanted to see something similar in New York. According to that narrative, Mr. McGuire pitched the recommendation to the New York City’s CLU (Central Labor Union) on May 8th. He said like in Canada, the celebration should begin with a labor street march, then finish up with a picnic. McGuire proposed that the participating labor organizations sell admission tickets to raise funds. He believed the first Monday in September was perfect for such a holiday. First, it was halfway between Independence Day and Thanksgiving. Second, the September date should insure ideal weather.
“Worry is a waste of valuable time.” D. S. Mitchell 2015
Chasing The Spider by D.S. Mitchell
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If puppies and kittens don't make you smile, you might consider therapy.
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“Law without humanity is injustice.” D. S. Mitchell 2020
“When people start acting as though the past is the same as the present and context doesn’t matter, things start to get dangerous.” Trevor K. McNeil 2020
“Pardoning the Bad, is injuring the Good.” – Benjamin Franklin
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“Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” ― Bruce Lee
“A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
“The 7 Social Sins are: Wealth without Work; Pleasure without Conscience; Knowledge without Character; Commerce without Morality; Science without Humanity; Worship without Sacrifice; Politics without Principle.” Frederick Lewis Donaldson
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“People without vaginas shouldn’t be able to regulate them.” Unknown
“Let’s just remember that social security is not the government’s money, it belongs to the people who had it taken out of the checks involuntarily their entire working lives.” Mike Huckabee
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“I have insecurities of course, but I don’t hang out with anyone who points them out to me.” ADELE
“I have been far oftener discriminated against because I am a woman than because I am black.” Shirley Chisholm 5/21/1969
“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” John Kenneth Galbraith
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“The turning points of lives are not the great moments. The real crises are often concealed in occurrences so trivial in appearance that they pass unobserved.” ― George Washington
“If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime we would have said so.” Robert S. Mueller
“Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and it’s beauty.” ― Albert Einstein
“So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.” ― Kurt Vonnegut
“A politician thinks of the next election – a statesman of the next generation.” – James Freeman Clarke
“Imagination is the bridge between the things we know for sure, and the things we need to believe, when our world becomes unbearable.” Staceyann Chin
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“Inspiration descends only in flashes to clothe circumstances; it is not stored up in a barrel, like salt herrings to be doled out.”Patrick White
“Without music, life would be a mistake.” Friedrich Nietzsche
“Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.” Doug Larson
“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.” ― Nelson Mandela
“Pretty comes in all sizes. My size is cute.” Honey Boo Boo, reality TV star
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“We have, at the heart of our government, a perilous disease, and it is called greed.” D. S. Mitchell 2017
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“No matter how great your accomplishments, the memory of man is short.” D.S. Mitchell 2021
“No matter how stupid or inane your cause, you can depend on getting at least 30% support from the fucking internet.” David Shadrick 2021
Self-isolating has forced us to turn even more to telecommunication and social media.
“Poverty is like punishment for a crime you didn’t commit.” Eli Khamarov
The Major Cause Of Sex Trafficking Is Poverty
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“Information is the currency of democracy.” Thomas Jefferson
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“The deep political divisions in America do not run between big and small states, but rather, between the North and the South and the coasts and the interior.” D. S. Mitchell 2018
“Dream as if you will live forever, live as if you’ll die today.” James Dean
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“Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.” Lord Byron
“Certainly in the next fifty years we shall see a woman president, perhaps sooner than you think. A woman can and should be able to do any political job that a man can do.” Richard M. Nixon
“I would like to see a time when man loves his fellow man, and forgets his color or his creed. We will never be civilized until that time comes”. Clarence Darrow
“Secrecy and a free, democratic government don’t mix.” Harry S. Truman
“Just because nobody complains, doesn’t mean all parachutes are perfect.” Benny Hill
“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” Mark Twain
“Politics have no relation to morals.” Niccolo Machiavelli
“May we think of freedom, not as a right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.” Peter Marshall
“We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” Louis Brandeis
“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” Voltaire
“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” Ronald Reagan
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ― Mother Theresa
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims..but accomplices.” George Orwell
“It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.” ― Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy
“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable.” George Orwell
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“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
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“If you’re going to kick authority in the teeth, you might as well use two feet.” ― Keith Richards
“Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian.” ― Robert Orben
“Some men see things as they are, and ask, ‘Why?” I dream things that never were, and ask, ‘Why not?” Robert F. Kennedy
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“The man who has millions will want everything he can get his hands on and then raise his voice against the poor devil who wants ten cents more a day.” Samuel Gompers
“Judicial abuse occurs when judges substitute their own political views for the law”. Lamar S. Smith
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“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?” ― Mahatma Gandhi
“The problem is that American women are kept from growing to their full human capacities–that fact, is taking a far greater toll on the physical and mental health of our country than any known disease.” Betty Friedan
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“The harder the conflict the more glorious the triumph.” Thomas Paine
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“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” Plato
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“If you really think the economy is more important than the environment, try holding your breath whilst you count your money.” Dr. Guy McPherson
“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” Daniel Patrick Moynihan
DEADPOOL QUOTES: 1.) “Never underestimate the stupidity of idiots.” 2.) “Today was about as much fun as a sandpaper dildo.” 3.) “My common sense is tingling.” 4.) “You can’t buy love, but you can rent it for three minutes.” 5.) “I’m gonna eat until I’m tired. Then I’m going to sleep until I’m hungry.” 6.) “I can say chimichanga in seven languages.” 7.) “Do you have an off switch?” 8.) “That’s a face I can sit on.” 9.) “Daddy needs to express some rage.” 10.) “I seriously need a speed bump between my brain and my mouth.” 11.) “I’m a bad guy who is paid to fuck up worse guys.” 12.) “Life is an endless series of train wrecks with only brief commercial like breaks of happiness.” Marvel Comics. Deadpool created by Fabian Nicieza & Rob Liefield
Many great charities, here are a couple that I support:
Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund,
ACLU, and Planned Parenthood. By the way, did you know that Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchase price to the charity of your choice? Log in at smile.amazon.com whenever you purchase. Be sure to specify your charity.