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Good morning friends, how are you? These next two months are going to go by in a whirl of preparations, presents, parties, stress and more so today I thought I would remind you to slow down and just be. Take some time from your day to rest, regroup and reset your mind and body and most importantly set aside a little time for gratitude.
How to Practice Gratitude
In the spirit of the Thanksgiving, why not reflect on gratitude and how we can express it towards all of the people in our lives including friends, family and even strangers?
Definition of Gratitude
Gratitude: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness
The Benefits of Gratitude
Enhances your mood
Increases Your Empathy
Decreases Stress and Burnout
Increases your physical and mental health Source here.
Handwritten Letters of Thanks
A handwritten letter in the age of texts, tweets and emails is very special for both you and the recipient. During the month of November why not send handwritten letters to all of the people in your life that make it special and that you are particularly grateful to0 have in your life. Get yourself some cards or stationary and your favorite pen, and set aside an hour or two to tell them in detail all of the ways they have affected your life and how special they are to you and why you are grateful to have them as a part of it.
A Gratitude Journal
Keeping a gratitude journal is an easy way to make note the things in your life that you are grateful for. If you are new to keeping a journal you could start by writing one thing a day that you are thankful for, then increase it to 3 to 5 things a day. I like to write at the end of the day, it helps me wind down and even on bad days it makes me think and realize the best things in life are the simplest and the littlest things(a cuddle with my pups, a beautiful sunrise, a smile from a stranger).
You can find list of journal prompts here, they are helpful for longtime journal writers and for people who are new to it as well.
Donate Your Unwanted Goods and Volunteer Your Time.
These are challenging times, we have spent almost two years at home, people all over the world have struggled financially, physically and mentally. Now more than ever people need help and one way to offer it is to donate unused goods from your home. You could start by cleaning out your closet; find your warm clothes, boots, and coats and donate them to your church, coats for kids or to another organization that you support so that people won’t be cold this winter. If your church or synagogue has a giving tree take a few cards and donate gifts, or whatever else the people ask for. In the past, the cards I picked asked for stamps and boxes of cards, socks, candy books and other simple treats and gifts.
You could also volunteer your time at the local soup kitchen, food pantry, library to help children with their home work or at a nursing home where you can read to the residents, or just spend time with them.
Another idea is to spend time with your elderly friends and neighbors; invite them for dinner, take them some homemade treats or just call to see how they are doing.
“Please” and “thank you” to everyone.
Saying please and thank you is something that our parents taught us as children, it’s a common courtesy and it is good manners. But it is also a way to express kindness and to show respect to the people in our lives from the barista that makes your favorite morning drink, to a coworker that helped on a project or to the giver or a gift.
Before you go I wanted to say thank you and to let you know how grateful I am for YOU. I have been blogging for many years and although I originally started writing the blog for my family, I continue to write for all of the friends I have made here over the years, many of whom I have never met. Your comments, emails, notes and prayers make my day and I am blessed to have had you by my side during some of the best and worst times of my life. Thank you for spending a part of your day and for making my life better for having you in it.
I love the idea of making a blessing wreath.
Or creating a gratitude garden.
You could also create a gratitude box or jar.
If you have children or grandchildren you might enjoy 5 Great Resources for Raising Grateful Kids.
Have a wonderful day my friends.