Savoring is such a simple happiness habit. It is the unpretentious act of enjoying, relishing, delighting, and appreciating a taste, a sensation, a moment, an experience.
I adore savoring for how individual and luxurious it is. It doesn’t matter if you are enjoying the savory, green bean casserole with crunchy onion topping and the fluffy jello salad, or if you are tucking into a wild rice-cranberry-hazelnut-shitake mushroom stuffing and a perfectly paired glass of Sauvignon Blanc. What matters is whether or not you are invested enough, in that moment, to appreciate your experience.
And, yet we often do not allow ourselves the simple act of noticing, relishing; savoring.
Practice Savoring this Thanksgiving:
Turkey Day is a great time to tune into the happiness boost savoring provides. Savoring is a way to make the one scoop of buttery, garlic mashed potatoes, or single slice of creamy pumpkin pie simply be enough – it’s in the slowing down, delighting in the complex textures and flavors that we can fully relish the experience of each bite.
Slowing down and savoring is a wonderful way to invoke willpower and it’s a way to thoroughly enjoy a once-a-year indulgence guilt-free.
The days leading up to Thanksgiving are often a rush with bathrooms to clean, groceries to purchase, and rolls and pies to bake. It’s easy to lose touch with all the little moments which are actually the foundation of the day; for example, making up the guest beds is the perfect time to say a blessing, expressing thankfulness for the gift of family.
Savor the Moment.
Start your day savoring – with coffee cup in hand, take a moment to write down all the thing for which you are thankful. Another approach is to write down 3 things you most appreciate about each individual relative or friend you will interact with during the day. If you are traveling to the in-laws, use the time in the car to savor the cozy feeling of you and your spouse and kids altogether in one place for a few hours. Take a moment to appreciate the warm house you are entering and the scents unique to this household.
Savor the Future.
A key to savoring is to allow ourselves to experience the bubbly sensation of anticipation. I love it when my sister calls to tell me my niece and nephews are off-the-wall excited to visit. Kids are the experts, having mastered the art of anticipation.
As adults we often squash our sense of anticipation, not wanting to disappoint ourselves, get our hopes up; we’ve come to feel our excitement leads to unusually high expectations for an event. (What we forget is this: if we commit to being in the moment, once the event arrives, whatever happens, moment to moment, it will be and turn out OKAY.)
We lose out on the happiness boost we get by looking forward to something, anything: the board games we will play; the sweet tang of the Cranberry Clafoutis for dessert; or the movies we will watch.
Savor the Past.
I love pulling out the family albums. I know I am not alone in my love of going down memory lane during the holidays. It is a great time to laugh about a crazy experience or rehash family lore. Savoring the past is a great way to bring family together – to create a bond. For many families, there are certain, traditional dishes which must be present for it to feel like Thanksgiving. For my sister and me, it is the presence of Pumpkin Chiffon Pie.
Savor and Express.
Notice the fine table setting with the gorgeous center piece, cloth napkins and elegant plates, and don’t hold back in your praise and admiration; appreciate the holiday-themed soaps and hand towels in the guest bath – say something! Are you delighted by how graciously your nephew lost the last round of cards? – applaud him.
Yes, you might feel or sound a little weird at first, but, speaking up and stating it out loud, what you are appreciating, delighting in, anticipating, or remembering, is one of the biggest happiness boosts you can give yourself. So, go ahead, and share with those around you, what you are simply savoring.
I’d love to hear about your experience of slowing down and SAVORING during the next few days.