Because gratitude is ALWAYS in season!
As we begin to transition to the end of the calendar year, our attention often turns to one of reflection. While gratitude is always in style, the fall season can be an especially great time to acknowledge the many good things in our lives. As the weather turns colder, often our moods may start to dip a bit as we see less sunshine and more darkness, and naturally spend less time outdoors. This makes our current season an especially important time to practice turning our attention to the positive things in our lives. The challenges will still be present, but we will be a little bit more resilient and joyful, thanks to gratitude.
1. Start a Gratitude Journal
Simply taking some time each day or week to focus on the good in our lives, is a powerful practice for our mental health. Try listing a few things that you are glad exist in your life, most days of the week. Nothing is too major or too silly for this list. For example, you might be grateful for cheese, your favorite pen, and a hug from your favorite person today. If it makes you smile, it makes the list.
2. Make a gratitude tree or family art project.
Google or Pinterest “gratitude project” or a similar phrase and you’ll find a ton of great ideas for making your gratitude practice fun, creative, and family-friendly! For a quick idea, have each family member write what they are grateful for on a post-it note and post it on a wall in a common space, the refrigerator, etc. This can be both fun and meaningful and we get to look at what our loved ones value the most. Another idea, put daily gratitude on a slip of paper and store them in a jar. At the end of the week or month, take time to read the entries.
3. Write a Thank You Note
Whether you are writing the note or receiving it, your day will absolutely be made more meaningful, thanks to writing a sweet note of care and gratitude. This can be very personal, or just a quick note to someone who helps you in passing, whom you are grateful for. This can be done via mail with an actual card, hand-delivered in your workplace or neighborhood, or even be a sweet text or email to a colleague, family member, or special friend.
4. Simply say, “Thank you!”
In a busy world, be the exceptional person who makes eye contact, shares a smile and says, “Thank you!” To the person who helped to bag your groceries, your veterinarian, your mail carrier, anyone who helps you or provides some kind of service in some way, say a heart-felt thank you and wish them a great day.
5. Give A Grateful Gift
Bring your co-worker a cookie at lunch, donate some gently used items to a secondhand store, or leave an extra-generous tip the next time you eat out. There are many ways to give a small token of appreciation, and to send some good and gratitude back out into the world.
Looking for more ways to support your mental health? Visit www.thesupportcircle.com to sign up for weekly inspiration emails, listen to our podcast, and more!