We all know that there is a lot of power in gratitude. And there’s nothing unique about pointing out that the Thanksgiving holiday — in itself and as the kickoff to a season of giving — is a great time to reflect on what you are grateful for.
And yet. Many of us find these final days of the year a little … nuts. There’s cooking and cleaning. There’s traveling. There’s shopping. There’s the end of year school celebrations (multiply by however many kids you have …). It can leave very little time to reflect.
So here are the three things I’m doing over the next six weeks to tap into the power of gratitude, no matter how busy it gets.
- I’m recommitting to taking care of myself. I can’t feel grateful at the same time as I feel resentful. I have a strong theory that the resentment that weighs many of us down and prevents us from feeling and expressing gratitude stems from not taking care of our own needs. When we fully care for ourselves we have more capacity to take care of others, and to feel grateful for what we have. Lack of self-care leads to a feeling of scarcity. It’s very hard to give to others when you don’t feel you have enough for yourself. So I’m making sure that I don’t take on more than I can handle, that I’m taking time off and that I’m keeping up all my good habits around sleep, exercise and eating well.
- I’m mindfully looking around to take notice of what I have. The first step to feeling grateful is noticing how much you have to be grateful for. I find it’s all too easy to start feeling overwhelmed and then forgetting that this life — the career, the kids, all of it — is something I wanted. This is it! This is what it’s all about. I’m going to mindfully take some time over the next six weeks to put down the phone, shut off my monkey-mind and really look at what’s happening around me. Is it perfect? Nope. Is it awesome? It sure is.
- I’m going to give back. I wrote a post awhile back about Catchafire.org, a platform to find meaningful projects for nonprofits of all sizes. I went on the site this week and found an organization that supports children with apraxia, a speech disorder. My son has apraxia so I know a lot about it. They are looking for some PR support. I signed up to do a call to give them some ideas for an updated press kit. It was amazing to see an organization that I felt a personal connection to that was also looking for the exact expertise I can offer.
What are you doing this year to make sure you make time for truly feeling gratitude for everything you have?
If you happen to feel grateful for the work Path Forward is doing to relaunch the careers of those who’ve been focused on their families, please consider a donation in any amount. We would be truly thankful.