Practicing Gratitude during the Holiday Season
PRACTICING GRATITUDE DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON
With the holidays in full swing we can easily get lost in it all. It can bring so much joy and long-lasting memories if we allow ourselves to stay grounded, take in the special moments with family and practice mindful gratitude for both the adults and children.
According to Psychology Today, it is scientifically proven that practicing gratitude can impact your overall healthy in a positive way. It can foster more positive relationships, improves self esteem, physical & psychological health and grateful people sleep better.
It’s also a perfect time to continue to teach our children what it means to be grateful and how it can impact them and others. Whether it is through gratitude, grace or giving back this season.
Here are 8 gratitude exercises to use as inspiration during the holiday season and beyond:
1. Be intentional on how you want to give back
It’s always good practice to set goals with your family on how you want to give back during seasons like Christmas. Whether it’s donating your time or donating to a toy drive, just doing one small piece of giving back during the holidays season can bring everything back into perspective rather than adding so many things to the wish lists that may not be as necessary.
2. Cut down on so many gift exchanges and make homemade gifts instead
It’s always so heartwarming to receive something that is homemade with love. Whether it’s freshly baked cookies, Christmas crafts, a special painting nicely framed for the grandparents, adding a personal touch to holiday gifts is a great way to teach the little ones on giving back and learning the true meaning of Christmas.
3. Surround yourself with grateful people
When you surround yourself with like-minded people who share similar values and goals which shine a positive light to life and lifts you up. Connect with friends or family daily and share one small thing you’re grateful for each day. It doesn’t have to be big, just something you can appreciate in your life at the moment. By doing this, it will help gain more gratitude in your life.
4. Minimize the gift overload on Christmas Day
On Christmas morning, once the presents are all open, it’s likely the kids are going to be so excited and a little tired they won’t remember every gift they’ve opened. A great opportunity, especially when kids are younger, is to put a handful of the presents away and bring them back out slowly one at a time over the course of a few weeks. That way the kids won’t be as overwhelmed, the post-Christmas piles will be minimized and if they start getting bored with one toy, you can rotate to the next.
5. Daily gratitude journaling
Journal writing is a nice way to process your thoughts and ideas. Start each day by writing 5-10 things you are grateful for. This will help with the way you see your daily life, goals, and others around you. Practicing daily gratitude brings a positive and peaceful tone to your day and allows you to see what you already have in your life and minimizes any anxiety with what you don’t have.
6. Enjoy more family time
Spending time outdoors at Christmas markets, driving around to see the Christmas lights, or just cozying up by the fire at home with a warm cup of tea. Having quality family time during the holiday season is the most memorable experience you can have.
7. Practice mindfulness
When you walk around always thinking about what is impacting you negatively, or worrying about the future, you can forget to be in the moment. It’s good to remember to be more present which helps build stronger connections with others and to become more mindful and notice the abundance around you. Another great mindfulness practice is to be more aware of your surroundings and make eye contact with others. The more you open yourself up to the world, the more it comes back to you and will show you its true beauty.
8. Write thank you notes
Teaching your children to write thank you notes at an early age can be such a powerful tool a life-long lesson which brings a touch of humanity and awareness for others who have in someway supported you throughout your life. Whether it was something small, an act of kindness, support through your career or family or a special occasion present, sending a small thank you to that person can go a long way in opening yourself up to gratitude and by making that person feel they are appreciated.