With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I started thinking about what this holiday meant to me. Honestly, first thing that popped in my head was food. What can I say, I'm a sucker for a good old fashioned turkey dinner. But it's not called Foodsgiving it's called Thanksgiving! So, perhaps, I was missing something.
I found it a little difficult to just sit down and feel thankful. Sure I thought about the many ways I have been blessed in my life but truth be told, I thought about how thankful I was for about 10 minutes then went on with my day. I needed to think outside the box to truly have a continued spirit of thankfulness.
These are some creative ways I found I could be more thankful and let me tell you, they've definitely helped focus my thoughts on what is truly important this season.
1. Three "Thankful" Things
Every night before you go to sleep, write down 3 things you were thankful for that day. Write them some place you know you'll see them in the morning. I put mine on the mirror in my room because that's where I sit every day to do my hair and makeup. Dry erase markers work just fine on mirrors! I loved this because I got a special reminder first thing in the morning about the nice little things that happened to me yesterday. Remembering things I was thankful for yesterday already had me on the lookout for things I could be thankful for today!
2. Keep a Gratitude Journal
You've probably heard this one before but it really does change your attitude! There are a few ways you can do this. You can write down everything you're thankful for during the day, keep the journal for a week, and then read the whole thing at the end of the week. Or you can write down one thing every day for the month then read 30 things you've been thankful for in November. Since I was already doing some form of these by writing things on my mirror I decided to take a different route. I set aside about 30 minutes and wrote out anything and everything I was thankful for. I ended up with about 150 things! And I wrote down ANYTHING I was thankful for. My list ranged from having a roof over my head to developing a love for running. From being able to read to looking forward to getting Starbucks on my way to work. Some things you write down may seem silly. But what may seem silly or insignificant to you could be a dream for someone else.
3. Write Thank You Notes
With texting and Facebook and other technological means of communication, I feel like handwritten notes have become a thing of the past. However, it will always feel better to get some snail mail than check my email. If I had to choose this one would be my favorite. I sat down and thought about not the things I was thankful for but the people. Not because they gave me a gift, not because I owed them something but simply because I was thankful to have them in my life. I wrote one note to a dear co-worker who was starting a new job and another to one of my best girlfriends. It filled my heart to be able to tell each of them how thankful I was just to know them.
4. Give Back
(image via salvationarmyorlando.org)
The holidays are traditionally a time for giving. You see those red buckets and hear those ringing bells just about every time you step out of your house. There are SO many opportunities to give back this season. And you can choose any that are near and dear to your heart! For me giving away some of what I have, whether it's the extra change in my purse or the clothes in my closet I don't wear, always reminds me of how thankful I am for the things I do have. And I know it's easy to blow off these opportunities but maybe you'll gain something by giving something this season.
'Til Next Time