Why you too can be grateful for 2020 and a free Thankful Tree Gratitude activity download!
“Reflect upon your present blessings- of which every man has many- not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”Charles Dickens
Did you know that practicing regular gratitude not only improves your mental outlook on life, but improves your physical and emotional wellbeing?!
2020 has been a most difficult year for so many people around the world. Everywhere you look you find memes and sentiments of wishing for this year to end! I mean, what else could possibly happen? Our world as we know it has changed, and nobody really knows what the future holds or if we will get back to life as it was pre-covid19.
I get it… I desperately miss “normalcy” and I know my kids do as well. This year has grown us like no other year. My kids have learned to navigate some really big feelings of worry, fear, disappointment, and even anger as plans continue to change.
For many of you this Thanksgiving will look different and you might be missing what you don’t have in this moment. It might feel hard to enter into this season of thankfulness with real gratitude in your heart.
I want to encourage you today, not with a list of facts about how gratitude benefits you or a definition of gratitude. If you want to know those things you can find an abundance of information on google. Infact, Berkely.edu has a wonderful article called “Why Gratitude is Good” that you can look at.
Instead I want you to think about all the ways you and your children have overcome this year’s challenges, heartbreaks, and disappointments. Don’t let this contemplation bring you into a pit of despair; joy and gratitude can coexist with sadness. Consider all the things you have achieved not IN SPITE OF but BECAUSE OF. There are so many good things happening because of the events of this year- sometimes you simply need to reframe your thinking.
For example: Because of covid and the election, I chose to take a break from social media this year. I had never successfully managed to do this before, but being home and having screen fatigue was exactly the push I needed. Because I took that break, relationships with my closest friends have flourished. This experience forced me to put real effort into relationships to get the connection I so desired. I never would have found true meaningful connection on social media. So this year I am grateful that I re-learned how to connect with the people I care about most in this world.
Your turn, what are you thankful for this year? What has this year brought that you can be grateful for?
I encourage you to do this exercise with your family. To get you started here is a free download of a Thankful Tree. You can print it out and write the things you are thankful for on the leaves, then stick them on the branches. Display this proudly. Everytime you feel stuck in the disappointment refer back and remember there is always something to be grateful for.
If you are still finding yourself stuck in depression or overwhelmed with anxiety, consider chatting with one of our 16 qualified professional therapists. Take care of your mental health and contact us today!
About the Author:
Sarah Heimbruch is a social media manager, graphic designer, artist, and photographer in the Des Moines, IA area. Her hope in all her endeavors is to inspire, uplift, and show people the love of Christ. You can check out more of her work at www.blueivyphoto.com