Thanksgiving is almost here! The holiday, as we know it in Canada and the United States, was originally celebrated as a day of “giving thanks” for the blessing of the year’s harvest. It originally has its roots in religious and cultural traditions too. In my religious culture, we have a big feast with all the foods out there from poultry to fish to fruits and vegetables to sweets.
But as much as I LOVE food, I realize I need a bit more gratitude for the rest of my life – especially when I’m feeling extra crappy. I’m sharing three of my favourite ways to find gratitude when you need it most:
Daily Digests of Gratitude
Make a deal with a friend to text or email each other three things you’re both grateful for that day. This can range from little joys like mints or the weather outside to the bigger things like your mother for taking care of you or your inner strength. Bonus: it’ll strengthen your friendship too. Find a friend who could use some cheering up and get started with your “I am grateful for…” lists right now.
List It All
This feels counter-intuitive but it works wonders for your self-esteem. List everything you like or love about yourself. Vanity is completely acceptable here. Grab a pen and some paper and start in whatever order comes to you. Whether it’s that your eyes are the prettiest shade of brown, that you have tons of friends, or that you’re a really caring person who makes sandwiches for the homeless – you have to list it all. Then tuck away the list in a drawer for another day or start fresh the next time you need to do this exercise.
Read through that Treasure Trove
If you’re anything like me, you’ve kept all your old cards and letters in a box (or in multiple boxes) somewhere. All those notes that you passed around in class, those birthday cards, even that cheesy poem some hopelessly-in-like boy wrote you in Grade 8 for Valentine’s. By the end of it, you’ll be too fuzzy to feel bad.
Now go out and find your gratitude. In the meantime, happy thanksgiving!