It’s hard to believe that we’re already in the month of November. 2020 has been quite a roller coaster, and it’s easy to look back and focus on all the challenges we’ve had this year. But with the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner, I am reminded to reflect back on the year I’ve had with a new perspective. I am reminded to find a silver lining in a tumultuous time. As I look back over the past year with fresh eyes, I wanted to share a few things that I’m grateful for in this unprecedented time.
A greater sense of empathy and compassion
Everyone has been touched by the challenges of this year. As we’ve all learned how to navigate through this uncertain time, we’ve been reminded that we are all in the same boat. We’ve become more understanding and empathetic about little ones accidentally interrupting an important client call on Zoom, and we’ve laughed together over the continued struggles of remote working with children and/or spouses at home.
New experiences to treasure
Many of us have had to cancel big trips this year. And while cancelling a trip that you’ve looked forward to is never fun, it’s given us the opportunity to explore closer surroundings, whether that’s a walk around your own neighborhood that you just never had time for before, or some of the nearby parks and sites near your home.
Extra time with loved ones
With most activities off the table, limited travel, and many people working and schooling from home, there are so many more opportunities to spend time with our spouses and children. Maybe you’ve added a mid-afternoon walk around the block with your spouse, or you’re now able to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with your child each day.
By sharing a few things that I am thankful for, I am reminded that even in the darkest times, with the right perspective, you can still find a silver lining. It’s not always easy remembering to foster gratitude, and it’s often when we need it most that gratitude is difficult to come by.
3 simple tips to help foster gratitude
I wanted to share 3 simple tips to help you foster gratitude in your daily life. These are things that have worked for me, and my family, and I hope they work for you to.
1. Start your day with gratitude:
A great way to incorporate gratitude each day is to build it into your morning routine. Think of an activity you do every morning where you can take a moment to ask yourself what you are thankful for in your life. Maybe it’s during your morning shower, or while you’re brushing your teeth or running on a treadmill. By pairing this mental exercise with a daily morning habit, you are less likely to forget to make time for it later in the day.
2. Express your thankfulness:
Also ask yourself who you are grateful to have in your life. Maybe it’s a vendor who went out of their way to help you out when you were in a bind, or a spouse that makes you that perfect cup of coffee every single day. Once you’ve thought of someone, take a few seconds to tell them about it. They will appreciate it and you’ll feel happier, too.
3. Ask yourself what you take for granted:
What happens when you’re struggling to find something to be grateful for? We’ve all had these days – everything seems to be going wrong. Maybe a loved one is ill. Maybe we’re stressing about our financial obligations or upset at having to cancel a vacation that we planned for a special occasion. In these moments, it’s difficult to find things to be grateful for, but it’s exactly in these moments that we must—instead of asking what you’re grateful for, ask yourself what you take for granted. Maybe it’s your health. Or your access to drinkable water. I often take for granted that I don’t have to go to bed hungry or that I have reliable access to internet. As you start adding up all the simple things you have in your life, your mood will start to turn.
I hope this article motivates you to take a moment and reflect on all the things you can be grateful for this Thanksgiving, and every other day, too!