Finding Gratitude: Be Grateful for You

When we think about gratitude, we often focus on noticing and expressing gratitude for others. While this is important and can help us build stronger relationships with our loved ones, it’s also important for us to feel grateful for ourselves! 

At times, it can be really challenging to feel and express gratitude to ourselves; however, it is important to remember that we are deserving of self-love. You are worthy of the same appreciation and gratitude that you show your loved ones! This holiday season, take some time to reflect on the things about yourself that you are grateful for.s

A great way to express gratitude to yourself is to practice self-care! Take some time to focus on yourself and do something kind to celebrate you. When we take care of ourselves and practice self-gratitude, not only are we building our self-esteem, but we are also more capable of noticing moments of joy and gratitude during the chaos of the holidays.

As you go throughout the rest of your week, we encourage you to reflect on this question: What can you do to practice self-gratitude this holiday season?

Finding Gratitude: Let Go of Expectations

The holidays are often filled with unrealistic expectations that can lead to added stress and leave us feeling overwhelmed. We are flooded with advertisements of the perfect holiday decorations and meals on social media platforms, websites, and other media outlets. These images and messages can often influence our expectations of what the holidays “should” look like. When we get into this mindset of perfection, it can be easy to forget about the most important part of the holidays – spending time with our loved ones and fostering deep, and meaningful connections with one another. 

We encourage you to take a step back, reflect, and let go of any unrealistic expectations you may have about the holidays. Instead, focus on staying in the present moment and connecting with the people you care about! This can help you recognize and lean into moments of joy and gratitude, helping you build your relationships and create lasting memories with your loved ones this holiday season.

Finding Gratitude: Holiday Traditions

A great way to reflect on and express gratitude during the holiday season is to incorporate it into your holiday traditions! This allows for you and your loved ones to take some time to explore who and what you are grateful for as a collective, which can promote connectedness and help create lasting and meaningful memories with family and friends. 

Some examples of holiday traditions that promote gratitude among your friends and family include:

  1. Going around the dinner table and saying what you are thankful for. This is a great way to come together with the people you care about and celebrate each other! Though this activity is a wonderful opportunity to spread joy and share gratitude, it’s important to remember that some people may be more introverted and feel shy when sharing. If this is true for you, your friends, or your family members, it may be beneficial to choose a gratitude exercise that does not involve directly sharing in front of a group.
  2. Participating in a gratitude reflection/meditation before meals. Another great way to incorporate gratitude into holiday meals is to have one person lead the rest of the friends and family in a gratitude reflections/mediation before the meal. During this activity, everyone will reflect on the people and things in their lives they are grateful for, and if they feel comfortable, they can share afterward. This can be a good option if anyone in the family feels uncomfortable with sharing/expressing what they are thankful for in front of the group!
  3. Writing gratitude letters to one another. Before everyone gathers for the holidays, have each person write a letter of gratitude to someone to show their love and appreciation. Then, when everyone comes together, set aside some time to exchange and read the letters as a group, or individually. 

We encourage you to try some of the holiday gratitude traditions discussed above or to come up with your own transitions to show gratitude to your loved ones this holiday season!

Finding Gratitude: Keep a Gratitude Journal

A great way to find gratitude during holiday chaos is to keep a gratitude journal! Set aside some time throughout the week to write down something or someone you are grateful for. It doesn’t have to take long and can be as quick and simple as a short phrase.

When you dedicate time to reflect on what you are grateful for, it becomes easier to notice moments of gratitude throughout your day. This can be especially helpful during moments where it feels hard to focus on the positive, as it holds you accountable for reflecting on moments of joy amidst feelings of stress, worry, and sadness. 

Finding Gratitude: Pause & Reframe Your Perspective

The holidays can be exhausting and overwhelming, and it’s easy to feel like you’re getting buried under responsibilities. It’s also common to feel added tension due to potential family conflict that may arise with complicated extended family dynamics. When you begin feeling overwhelmed and notice the pressure and tension that often goes hand in hand with the holiday season, take pause and redirect your perspective to a place of joy and gratitude.

When you slow down and take a step back, you can reframe your perspective to focus on the moments of joy and gratitude present during the holidays. There are often many people and/or things in our lives that bring us happiness and thankfulness, and it’s up to us to make the conscious choice and effort to recognize these people and things during the chaos of the holidays. 

The next time you begin feeling overwhelmed and stressed this holiday season, we encourage you to pause, take some deep, calming breaths, and notice one thing you are grateful for in that moment. 

6.19.2020: Navigating Friendship Challenges With Your Children

This free, online Relationship Booster will offer insight and strategies for how parents can help support their children through friendship challenges. HRI Director, Dr. Christine Murray, will facilitate the hour-long discussion, with Aimee Denny, Professional School Counselor in Guilford County Schools.

The interactive program will include an opportunity for participants to ask questions to be addressed during the program, and additional resources are provided for participants via the chatroom discussion.

A link to connect to the online program will be provided to all participants via email at least 24 hours before this program is scheduled to begin.

Click here to register for this program.

6.5.2020: HRI Relationship Booster on Setting the Tone for a Healthy Marriage

This free, online Relationship Booster will offer insight and strategies for how engaged couples can have premarital discussions that help set the tone for a healthy marriage. HRI Director, Dr. Christine Murray, will facilitate the hour-long discussion with Kalie Moore and Lauren Bowman, counselors in the Greensboro area.

The interactive program will include an opportunity for participants to ask questions to be addressed during the program, and additional resources are provided for participants via the chatroom discussion.

A link to connect to the online program will be provided to all participants via email at least 24 hours before this program is scheduled to begin.

Click here to register for this free program!