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I brought this with me to get my booster and it made a big difference

It's official: I've been boosted!

My roommate and I were able to get our COVID-19 booster shots this week, which was a relief before the busy holiday season. 

Not only are we happy to be better protected, but the whole experience was a lot better with a buddy.

When I first shared my experience getting my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, I explained how anxious I get about shots.

This time was no different. I had to mentally prepare myself for the event in the days leading up to it. But having a friend there, a part of my support system, made all the difference.

It was also nice to have someone go through the same side effects as you. For us it was pretty minor, mostly soreness at the injection site and some overall tiredness the next day.

Luckily it didn't hit us as bad as some people. From friends and family who have also gotten their booster, they've told me they were wiped out the next day. 

If you're getting your booster soon, click here for a guide I did earlier this year about vaccination side effects and how to treat them.

And to everyone, we wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving next week!

How to navigate those uncomfortable holiday questions

Speaking of Thanksgiving, we've all experienced those dreaded questions that come up around the holiday dinner table from family members.

"Are you dating anyone yet?"

"When are going to have kids?"

"Do you really need that second slice of pie?"

While there's often an expectation of joy, love and togetherness during the holiday season, for many families "holidays are much more complicated" and can "highlight complex family dynamics," says Liz Kelly, a licensed clinical social worker with Talkspace.

Questions that span from uncomfortable to downright invasive can make an already difficult time even more challenging.

Luckily, there are ways to get through your holiday dinner with more ease. We spoke to experts to find out how to prepare for and navigate those awkward conversations.

Mentally prepare for unwanted questions: Start by preparing yourself mentally ahead of the event. This includes getting your mind in the right place through self-care, Kelly suggests, as well as thinking through what your responses might be ahead of time.

Decide how to respond within your comfort zone: Kelly says remember, "you don't owe anyone any information," and you should only "share whatever you feel comfortable sharing."

Set boundaries for your mental health: If people do push for additional information, don't feel obligated to explain yourself. 

"You can repeat more than once: 'That's not something I feel comfortable discussing,' " Kelly says.

Click here to read all the expert tips.

Today's reads

Today's pet

Meet Katie Rose.

"She is 7 years old, and we just celebrated the end of her first year in her forever home," writes owner Mary Bolton. "Her favorite thing to do is to bask in sunbeams."

Congrats on the happy milestone!