A TIME FOR THANKSGIVING

November is traditionally the month associated with being thankful. As families and friends join together on Thanksgiving, we still have much to be thankful for here in America. We have freedoms and rights and many advantages that people in other nations only dream about.   Many people in other lands do not have freedom of religion or the right to vote, let alone basic necessities such as food, clean water, and shelter.

While ours is not a perfect country, we do have systems in place to help those in need. In our own community, we have organizations such as Gettysburg Help, South Central Community Action Program (SCCAP), the Soup Kitchen, Ruth’s Harvest, and the Rescue Mission to help those in need. As members of the community, it rests on each of us who are more fortunate to lend a hand. And lend a hand, we do. One of the things I noticed when I moved to this area 2 ½ years ago is that the people of Adams County step up and help their fellow citizens by supporting any number of community organizations, supporting food drives and by volunteering. Another great example of support is the annual Giving Spree to be held on November 15th from 4-6:30PM at the Gettysburg Middle School. The Giving Spree offers each of us an opportunity to contribute to one of the many service organizations within Adams County.

However, holidays, even Thanksgiving, are often accompanied by stress. One way I have found to reduce stress associated with holidays is to write something I am thankful for each day. We can begin by being thankful for our faith, families, friends, our job, a good lunch, time spent with a friend, or just happy the sun is shining. Another way to express our thankfulness and improve relationships is to write something we are thankful for about a person or persons with whom we may have a strained relationship. Writing positive things about another person will help to lift our own spirits during the stressful times. Even if the only thing you think of at first is “I am thankful that Sally is organized” or “I am thankful that Pete always comes in on time”, it is a beginning. You will be surprised how much happier you will be doing these exercises each day. To add to our general well-being, we might want to follow Melchor Lim’s advice – “Talk about your blessings more than you talk about your problems”.

Stress during the holidays often leads to family conflict. If we are unable to resolve the conflict on our own, there are low cost resources available to help us. Mediation Services of Adams County (MSAC) offers mediation, conflict coaching, anti-bullying and mediation training to assist members of our community. Don’t let holiday stress and conflict get you down. Look no further than MSAC as a resource to help you get through a conflict so you can fully enjoy your holidays.

Elly Cleaver is a retired Alternative Dispute Resolution Specialist, trainer, mediator, and a board member of Mediation Services of Adams County (MSAC). If you would like more information about mediation and other services available, please contact Mediation Services of Adams County, 717-334-7312, mediationac@yahoo.com on line, or check out the website, http://www.mediateadams.org.