During the Thanksgiving Season and Beyond
November is well under way, and I don’t know about you, but the month of November always fills me with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. We’ve got Thanksgiving, which is a great excuse to think about all the things in our lives we have to be grateful for, but why not practice gratitude all November long? Why not all year long?
Developing a gratitude practice is not always the easiest thing, and it can feel especially daunting in the times of 2020, where so much has gone wrong for so many. Despite the many, many mishaps of 2020, I think now more than ever it is important to take stock of what we have to be grateful for and hold onto that with all out might! Here are a few ways to begin developing your gratitude practice this month so you can carry it with you out of 2020 and into the new year!
Make a list of all the people, things, experiences, etc. that you’re grateful for, every day
I think this is probably the easiest way to start a daily gratitude practice! Without any prompts to follow, you can simply just write out all the things you know you are grateful for. Sit with your thoughts and think of every little thing you can think of! It doesn’t matter when you do it, you can do it any time you have a moment to pause in the day (and if you’re having trouble finding a moment to breathe, this could be the perfect excuse to make one for yourself). First thing in the morning, before bed, during your lunch break- literally any time! If you don’t have a journal or paper handy, your phone will be your savior. Maybe make a note in your phone dedicated to your daily gratitude list!
Get yourself a gratitude journal!
As we know, I’m a journal freak, and having a gratitude journal was how I started developing my gratitude practice! I do my practice before bed, and my journal prompts for every day are “Today I am grateful for___,” “Tomorrow I will remember___,” and a word for the day! It’s that easy! I know there are lots of gratitude journals on the market, some more affordable than others, but you do NOT have to break the bank on a journal! You have my prompts, so you could copy those into your own journal daily or look up a few prompts online and copy those into your own journal! If you have a bullet journal, a gratitude page would also be an awesome thing to add into your daily, weekly, or monthly layout!
Find quiet time to sit with your gratitude
If journaling isn’t your jam, you can still have a daily gratitude practice! Truth be told, I don’t write in my gratitude journal every single day. Sometimes I’m away and I’ll forget to take it along, or I slide into bed, turn the lights off, get snuggled up, and realize I didn’t journal. It happens! But when things like that DO happen, I simply sit in my gratitude. For me, sitting with my gratitude often looks like praying, or simply talking things out with the universe. Over time, you will come to learn what “sitting with your gratitude” looks like for you. Maybe it’s praying, or just replaying your day over in your head and pinpointing the things you were grateful for or the happiest moments of the day. Simply taking the time for yourself to revel in your gratitude will make all the difference!
Move your body
If you are able to, moving your body (to me) is one of the greatest gratitude practices you can adopt! Think about it. If you are capable of waking up each morning and getting your body moving, you have SO MUCH to be grateful for. I think of Amanda Kloots and how she documented her journey while her husband, Nick, was in the hospital with COVID. Exercise was one of her ways of coping, and while she could have sat in her grief and sadness, she was up and moving her body most days to honor those who could not. So, not only is the capability to move your body something to add to your gratitude list, but it’s also something we can do to honor those who may not be so lucky.
If you’re looking to start small, incorporating a daily yoga/meditation practice into your daily routine can help you cultivate your gratitude mindset immensely! Perhaps sitting with your thoughts of gratitude becomes your meditation, which fuels your yoga practice! It’s all connected, my friends!
Actively let your people know you’re grateful for them
This one is something small, but I think it’s extremely important, especially as this crazy year we’ve all had starts wrapping up. Personally, I found that throughout the early months of quarantine that were filled with a lot of disappointment, I came to discover who my “people” really are. They were the friends and family members that were constantly there to be my shoulders to cry on (literally and figuratively) and my rocks in tough times. The people I could count on to answer my calls so I could just talk things out like I need to do, and the people who talked me down when I found myself spiraling. And in the moments where I felt secure enough to hold my head high and keep pressing on, I came to understand that that wouldn’t have been possible without my people. I hope you have your own “people,” and if you do, I encourage you to take the time out of your day, week, month to thank them for being your support system. That little acknowledgment goes a long, long way. Add your people to your gratitude list, show up for them as much as you are able to, and let them know you appreciate them!
And there you have it, friends! 5 ways to get your gratitude on! If you have a gratitude practice that you love, I’d love to hear all about it in the comments! I hope that adding these little actions into your daily routine allows you to relish in your gratitude, recognize the good in your life, and practice more love- towards yourself and others!
As always, I am eternally grateful for each and every one of you reading this post today, supporting me on this journey!
Lots of love