For many families, Thanksgiving is one of the most loved holidays of the year. It’s a time to celebrate with family, feast until our pants don’t fit, and – most importantly – reflect on everything we have to be grateful for.
Now more than ever, it’s important to appreciate the little things (and the big things) that make life meaningful. Practicing gratitude isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary, and it always leaves you feeling better than you did when you started. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to show your thanks – after all, the literal definition of Thanksgiving is “the expression of gratitude.”
Looking for some easy ways to show your thanks this year? Here are a few different ways you can practice gratitude on (or around) Thanksgiving:
VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME
What better way to show your appreciation for all of the good that’s happened in your life than to give back to those in need? From food banks and soup kitchens to hospitals and nursing homes, there are no shortage of places who could use a hand – especially around the holidays.
While there are few things more fulfilling than directly helping those in need, there are plenty of other ways to help your community, including options from the comfort of your own home. Write cards to soldiers abroad or children in hospitals, make blankets or knit mittens for the homeless, or find another way to make an impact.
MAKE A LIST
Find a piece of paper, pick up your favorite pen, and challenge yourself to make a list of 100 things you’re grateful for. It can be anything – your home, your car, your determination and willpower, the people in your life, the experiences you’ve had, places you’ve explored, opportunities you’ve been blessed with. It might feel like a challenge when you start, but once you start to move past the stuff you own and start thinking about the things that truly make your life more meaningful, you might just be surprised to see how much you actually have to be grateful for.
Feeling brave? Share your list – or part of it – with friends or family. Post it to your Instagram or Facebook, or simply read a few items from your list as a conversation-starter around the Thanksgiving dinner table.
SEND A LETTER (OR GIFT) OF APPRECIATION
When is the last time you told someone how much they meant to you? Chances are, it’s been a while. As a way to practice gratitude, consider sending a heartfelt message to let someone – a mentor, a relative, a close friend, or someone in your community who has helped your or made an impact – know just how much they mean to you. As you’ll quickly learn, a little “thank you” can go a long way!
And if you can’t find the right words? A small but heartfelt note combined with a meaningful, personal gift can be a great way to show your appreciation.
Practicing gratitude can involve something as big as volunteering your time or as small as writing a quick note to show your thanks. Find a way to celebrate that’s right for you and your family and infuse a little gratitude into your Thanksgiving plans this year!