Love, Respect, and Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time that many celebrate as a way to be close to family and loved ones and a time to recognize all of the wonderful things in their lives.

While spending time with family can be wonderful, it can also be stressful and complicated. There might be certain members of our family that we would rather not interact with. Maybe we don’t feel entirely welcomed or accepted at gatherings. Perhaps after the last few years, we just aren’t used to crowds of people anymore.

There can be many things worrying us with the upcoming holiday; let's go over what we can do to help us feel grounded and safe when we feel uncomfortable in these situations.

Stepping Back. Being aware and physically interacting with others can be a lot for everyone. It’s exciting to be around our loved ones, but there can be a moment when being with everybody becomes stifling, even claustrophobic. Know that it's okay to take a step back. If you have a feeling that being around others will get to be a lot at a certain point - try to set a time in advance to leave.

Respect Yourself. Being around others is a beautiful thing. We all come from different walks of life and see the world uniquely. This should be respected, however, that might not be the case. If you feel that you aren’t being treated accordingly, remember to respect and honor yourself. It’s important to take care of yourself in the ways that are available to you.

Being There For Others and Yourself. At this time of year, we are reminded of all the wonderful things in our lives and the people we share it with. Spreading love and gratitude is a very healthy and potentially healing experience. Sharing love with others is incredibly vulnerable - but it is also one of the best parts of life that we are able to experience. Take time to tell your loved ones how meaningful they are to you. While you tell those around you how grateful you are, be sure to thank yourself as well.

If you or a loved one ever requires support in matters concerning sexual violence or abuse, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline 24/7 by calling 800.656.HOPE (4673) or chatting at