The rumors are true: the holiday season is here again. This time of year can be so busy, stress inducing, tiring … it almost feels cliché to write about it. We are reminded every year to slow down, enjoy the family time, be thankful. This can be easier said than done.
We hear these messages so often during this season that they almost lose their meaning. And actually putting them to practice? That is difficult. What does it mean to slow down? How can I be truly be present with my family? How can I really feel thankful, rather than just saying I am?
I think one step towards finding answers to these questions is practicing gratitude. I recently read this article, where the author decided to think of five different things she is grateful each day for a whole week. She was surprised by how much of a positive impact this had on her life. Actively practicing gratitude allowed her to reflect on her day more, to be thankful for small, simple things such as a being able to help a plant grow or seeing a butterfly. This exercise also provided space for reflection and gratitude of bigger things as well, such as the love we receive from family and friends.
So, my challenge for you is to give this a try. Start out first by doing this for just one day; start today. Then try the whole week. Then, maybe, try the whole month or the whole holiday season. See what happens. This practice could lead to a new healthy habit of practicing gratitude everyday.