Over the past year, a lot has gone on in the world around us - it's getting tough to turn on the news without being bombarded by terrible stories and images, and social media has been flooded with conflicting viewpoints and hurt feelings. In light of this, it can be difficult to find that "attitude of gratitude" that we all need around this time of year to help make our holidays bright and full of joy. So how do we get into that thankful spirit, and overlook the bad to focus on the good this holiday season?
1. Find something every day to be thankful for. You can ALWAYS find something in every day to be grateful for! Even if it's something as simple as the sun shining in the blue sky above, or the sound of a bird singing outside your window in the morning, take a minute every day to remember something that brought a smile to your face. Keep a journal and make it a point to write these little moments down so that you can look back when you're feeling blue and recall all the things that have made you happy. Or, try this great idea I saw online recently that I might try to implement in the coming year - write one nice thing every day on a scrap of paper and put it into a big jar. Then, on Thanksgiving, pass the jar around the table and have everyone read a few!
2. Embrace the bad along with the good. Nobody likes for their car to break down, and it can be a huge damper to both your mood and your bank account. But even when things seem low, try to find the silver lining! Yes, you need a new radiator, but in the spring when the weather warms back up, you'll have ice cold AC! I know, it can be tough in the moment to put a positive spin on things. However, it's helpful to try to remember that if there were no bad things in life, we wouldn't appreciate the good things nearly as much.
3. Do something for someone else! There isn't much in life that feels more rewarding than doing something selfless for someone else. Remember, no matter how bad you might feel in a given moment, there is always someone who's dealing with the same issues or worse. We're all in this together, we've all had hard times! Get out of your comfort zone and go volunteer at a local homeless shelter. Go to your neighborhood animal rescue and walk some sweet animals around in the sunshine. Ask the elderly widower down the street if you can bring him a plate of food for the holiday, or help him decorate his home for the season. Bringing joy to someone who may not see a lot of it in their daily life is something you will feel grateful for year-round!
What are some of the ways that you count your blessings during the holiday season?