I’ve continued to hear from many of you about how much you’ve appreciated the latest blogs and the focus on gratitude these recent weeks. Today I want to share some more of the everyday, practical ways to incorporate gratitude as well as some resources for doing so even amid this current reality. Again, for the achievers among us – please don’t read this as a “to-do list” that you must check off, rather think of it as a menu at a restaurant – try to find something that looks good to you. My hope is that each of you will find something to try and in so doing, will help to sustain and nourish yourself.
Everyday Prompts – Gratitude Journals
Last time I shared about some everyday electronic prompts. (Remember to join me on One Billion Happier People this week!) Many of us actually are drawn more to physically writing out our gratitude though. This is the camp I find myself in – in fact the picture on this blog is of the three gratitude journals that I’m using these days.
My kids call me a “Gratitude Geek” and this past Thanksgiving, I bought them each (ages 15, 13, and 9) The Happy Self Journal which they all used. We have experimented with a second round of less expensive ones now that they finished those but they all informed me at Easter Dinner that it’s time to go back to the original ones!
One of these days I’ll create my own gratitude journal because I can’t say that I’ve found any that are exactly just what I want as of yet. I like the ones that have a section for you to start by journaling in the morning about what you’re thankful for, and then an intention for the day – what would make this day great – kind of prompt. Then, at the end of the day, there’s a space for journaling the three good things about the day. The longer I do this, the more I can see where my intentions for “what would make this day great” start to come true! They become my “three good things” at the end of the day. It’s kind of uncanny how when we can focus our intentions on these aspects, they can actually come to be.
You don’t have to be as formal as I am with a morning and evening practice. Honestly, just journaling three good things at some point in your day has been shown to give you the benefit. Bottom line is – regardless of which mode (electronic or written) that works for you, and even if you don’t feel like doing it – there’s a benefit in just seeing if you can find something to be grateful for.
Filling Up on the Good Stuff
If you’re following us on social media (@dtaassociates) you have seen some of the links that I’ve shared for helping you fill your brain up with good stuff. Right now especially, we need to be focused on things that we’re grateful for, positive affirmations, and keeping ourselves strong and healthy. Click on the links for each of these to tune into a few of my personal favorite meditations to help you be focused on gratitude, positivity, and health. I encourage you to find one of these or something else that works for you and see where you can make space for even five minutes of relaxation, breathing, and focus.
Putting it into Action
Want to take the next step and put your gratitude into action? Last time I shared with you about the value of writing a thank-you note and I still believe there’s a tremendous power in encouraging those on the frontline of our communities during this difficult time. I know many people who are making masks and donating them to organizations. Others of us either lack sewing skills and expertise or just want to find another way to contribute.
Last week I was talking with the Patient Experience Officer at Hennepin Healthcare, Sheila Moroney, who shared with me something they are doing to help bring a little bit of gratitude to the patients in their organization. Sheila and her team are having folks create (arts and crafts permitted) or write out a note card sending good thoughts to each of their patients on behalf of their “friends at Hennepin.” Sheila’s nieces and nephews are working on cards and I am enlisting a bunch of people in my circles to do the same. Sheila is collecting the cards and will distribute them to their patients.
My encouragement to you is to reach out to your local hospital – the place you’d go to if you needed to seek care. Call and ask to speak with someone in Patient Experience or even the Patient Representative office and ask them if you wrote some cards like this, could they use them. Be sure to check with them on the language and how they’d like them to be signed so that they can be useful to the organization. If you do this, please send me a picture or a note of what you’re up to – I’d love to hear about it!
These are just a few of the ways you can practically experience and express gratitude. I hope they are helpful to you as you navigate this season. Meanwhile, be sure to follow us on social media @dtaassociates as I’ll be continuing to share some ideas there as well!