Fall into a Season of Gratitude
Daily we are inundated with a multitude of information and often it is left cluttering our minds where we are not even sure how to sift through it. The news stories, latest statistics and various people’s opinions…family, friends and complete strangers…it all can be somewhat overwhelming in the best of times, let alone during THIS time. All of that compiled with our own worries about health and well being of our loved ones, financial uncertainty, social disconnection and even the simplicity of the every day routine that has now become unknown.
No wonder stress, anxiety and depression have skyrocketed in all ages. We are all grieving. Each of us in various stages of grief. Building in daily practices of gratitude, just simple moments of reflection into our lives can assist with our ability to process what we are going through. By choosing just one or two of these ways to grow our gratefulness, it can change our perception, boost our mood and give us the opportunity to move forward.
Gratitude Journal Keep a notebook by your bedside and at the end of each day, list three things you were grateful for about the day. It could be as simple as a quiet moment with a cup of coffee. By reflecting on the positives from our day it can help us with not taking the ordinary for granted. Focusing on the positive aspects can also promote a better sleep and re-frame our thoughts. You could make gratitude a family focus and use a white board with fun colored markers, for anyone to write down what they are grateful for as they walk past it. The physical act of writing it down is sometimes easier than verbalizing our gratitude.
Music Playlist Whenever I begin a new writing project I create a music playlist. I only play it when I’m working on my project. It helps to keep me focused and trains my brain that when I hear those sounds, it is time to write. Music is a powerful tool for our brain. It can calm us, boost a mood or conjure up a memory. Develop playlists to soothe your soul or cause you to bust out your dance moves. Let music move you to a grateful place.
Looking Through Photos During these past months, our family has spent time looking through old photos. Since we live in a digital age, so many of our photos are not stored in albums to page through. It’s that old saying, ‘Out of sight, out of mind’. So we made a determined effort to look back over family trips, special memories and just the goofy or ordinary photos taken over the years. It caused much laughter, nostalgia and realization how quickly time goes by. It definitely instilled within us grateful hearts for those moments captured in photos.
Nature for Nurture Often I don’t remember the nurture nature gives to me, until I’m desperately in need of it. If I could make that effort to get outdoors consistently, it would make a big difference in my mood. Just stepping outside, moving, breathing in the outdoors and breathing out the stress replenishes the mind and body. Listening to the birds, feeling the earth beneath my feet, gazing up at the natural world around me reminds me of the beauty amid the chaos. Naturally, I feel grateful.
Meaningful Messages The power of a handwritten note or thoughtful text message to check in on a loved one or friend doesn’t only impact the day of the receiver, it touches the heart of the sender, too. Letting others around us know that we have been thinking of them or how we are thankful for them allows us the opportunity to pour into the lives of others. When we acknowledge how much someone means in our lives, it reminds us of the gratefulness in authentic connections.
In the comments below, I would love if it you shared some ways you build an attitude of gratitude into your day.
As we journey this road together, may you look for the simple ways to grow gratefulness in a season that can feel hard. Love, Nikki