With the holiday's quickly approaching you may find yourself busier and busier with a to do list longer than you can keep up with. End of fiscal year work crunch, holiday cards, gift shopping, stresses over holiday gatherings and travel plans in a pandemic environment, and the list goes on. Many of my clients tell me the holiday season is one of the most stressful times of the year for them. Oh how I can relate! At the peak of my burnout, I started dreading the holiday season because of how overwhelmed I was with all the to do's. And it's really no fun when your holiday spirit is in the toilet!
So with November being National Gratitude Month, I wanted to challenge you all to add a gratitude practice into your daily wellness routine for the rest of month. Science really does show that adding in this practice can improve your overall physical and mental health (links to studies below). So if you are feeling overwhelmed try one or 2 of these ideas!
Some of my personal favorite activities include an early morning mindfulness practice where I spend three minutes thinking about one or two things I'm thankful for. Start off simple ie) warm coffee, a warm shower, etc. There are lots of beautiful journals out there to purchase if you prefer writing it out. New York Magazine's Chloe Anello recommends The Best Wellness, Happiness, and Gratitude Journals that are easy to purchase off Amazon and other sites. Or if you prefer writing it down on the go I like the Grateful app.
I also loved starting a gratitude box or jar that my whole family can participate in. These especially come in handy when the negative moods kick in and everyone needs a reminder of all that we have to be thankful for. Michales and Etsy have some super cute ones for purchase or if you are looking for a DIY project to do with your kids, KiwiCo has great one here.
Thrive Global gives us 5 Easy Ways To Create an "Attitude Of Gratitude" This Holiday Season that includes a list of other ideas, and How To Incorporate Gratitude Into Our Work Day. They cite studies that find a brief end-of-workday positive reflection leads to reduced stress and increased health into the evening. I could've 100% benefited from this practice when I was racing from the office to pick up a kid, get dinner on the table, and squeeze in a quick errand!
As mentioned above there are many scientific studies that examine the health benefits of gratitude. A recent study from the Greater Good Science Center UC Berkeley explores how gratitude can improve your overall mental health and has lasting effects on the brain.
The Mayo Clinic adds that a daily gratitude practice has been shown to significantly increase your happiness and your physical health leading to better sleep, boosted immunity, and a decreased risk of disease. And Harvard Health cites studies that have looked at how gratitude can improve your relationships.
So happy November and cheers to finding new ways to be thankful for all the little things in life. Drop me a line if you have other fun ideas, recommendations, or scientific studies you want to share. Would love to hear from you!