This month is all about gratitude! In a long-standing tradition of harvest season and being thankful for the abundance of produce the earth has yielded to sustain us, November is truly a time of giving thanks. In the spirit of thanksgiving season, families gather, bountiful meals are prepared, and we reflect on the gratitude we feel towards our loved ones and our lives.
Here are some meaningful ways to give thanks this November!
Send a Handwritten Letter
Handwritten letters and notes are simple and meaningful ways to give thanks to the people in your life. These small gestures can mean the world to someone and give you an opportunity to express gratitude towards the people you love!
If you feel stuck writing a note or letter to someone, try to think of something specific that you are grateful for. This can be anything that you appreciate about that person or your relationship with that person. Try these prompts if you get stuck–
- I’m so thankful for the way you____
- The time you _____ meant so much to me
- I’m so thankful to have a friend/partner/parent/sibling that____
- The memory of the time we ____ is so meaningful to me
This doesn’t have to be a formal letter, either. Try some of these if letter-writing doesn’t suit you–
Make a list of things you like about someone. Mail it to them.
Find a photo of you and your friend/partner/parent/sibling that you like, get it printed, and give it to them.
Send an invitation. An invitation to anything. This could be an invitation to go out for coffee, take a walk through a park, go shopping, go to the gym, etc. Invite someone to go do something that you know they would enjoy.
A small, thoughtful note can have a huge impact on someone’s day. It doesn’t have to be well thought out or extremely clever, it just has to be genuine. Anything written from the heart is going to be meaningful.
Donate to a Charity, Shelter, or Non-Profit
If there’s a problem in the world that you feel passionately about–look up organizations who are doing something about it. These organizations often run on donations and can always use extra support.
Donating clothes to a homeless shelter, orphanage, or womens shelter is also a great way pass items on to someone who may need them more. When you donate clothing, you have the opportunity to be grateful for those items in letting them go. You can express this thankfulness by reflecting on the privilege of having an abundance of clothing and also having the privilege of being able to give them to others in need.
If you don’t want to donate money or clothing, you can always donate your time by volunteering. Many charities, non-profits, and shelters have volunteers as well as paid employees working with them! Volunteering is selfless and a wonderful way to express gratitude towards the organizations and people working to help others.
It’s not easy to constantly be grateful and thankful for the things in your life. It take focus, intent, and energy. And sometimes, when you’re having a bad day, it’s just really difficult to focus on the good.
But like almost anything in life, thankfulness can be practiced. Practicing thankfulness will help train your mind to focus on things in your life that you are grateful for, which has been shown to increase overall happiness and can help you develop a more positive outlook on life.
So how can you practice gratitude?
One of the simplest ways to practice is to write down things you are grateful and thankful for. You can keep a small notebook or journal to write these down in, so you have them all in one place and can reflect on them as time goes by.
Try to set aside time every day to write down at least three things you are grateful for. They can be anything. Think of opportunities, people, food, your health, self-gratitude, your hobbies, or anything else in your life that is positive. They don’t have to be broad topics, either! You can express thankfulness towards the nap you took earlier with your pet, the beautiful weather you experienced that day, or the bike ride you had after work. As long as you can express genuine gratitude and thankfulness towards something, it’s worth writing down!
And in case you didn’t already know, dear reader, we are grateful for YOU. Thank you!
How do you express thanks and gratitude in your life? Let us know in the comments!