Thanksgiving is upon us! The season of food, family, and football is fast approaching, and our to-do lists are growing to prove it. While we don’t recommend that you ignore that to-do list completely, there is a healthy balance of planning for the holidays and enjoying them at the say time. So instead of rushing through Thanksgiving and feeling accomplished when every chore on your list is checked off, take a moment to slow down and really consider how to be grateful this Thanksgiving.
We don’t all have the extra cash to donate to our favorite causes, especially around the holidays. But your time is just valuable as your wallet. There are no shortages of programs to which to give a few hours of your time, and you might find that once you start volunteering, it becomes a welcomed habit in your life. Animal shelters, retirement homes, hospitals, food banks—they all rely on the helping hands of volunteers. But if you do find yourself with some extra funds, use them! Keep money handy in your wallet for every time you pass a bell ringer. Hand out gift cards to the homeless. Or when a checkout clerk asks the standard, “Would you like to donate a dollar to…” proudly say, “Yes!” Whatever it is you have to give, a little goes a long way when we all give together.
2. Be Mindful of Being Thankful.
When the Thanksgiving meal is over and the turkey coma is just starting to set in, don’t rush from the table to the couch just yet. Give everyone a chance to first say something they are thankful for. Acknowledging what makes us grateful is the perfect way to make sure we don’t forget it. You can also use the coming year to prepare for your next Thanksgiving by keeping track of the thankfulness you feel every day. Keep a jar of colorful notes for yourself, reminding you and the whole family what you’re thankful for. Next Thanksgiving, open the jar and relive each special moment by reading it out loud.
3. Plan Ahead.
Whether you’re an organized go-getter or a procrastinator who needs a little nudge, this journal is for you. It’s a planner that’s geared towards you reaching success and helps breakdown those giant goals into feasible pieces that you can conquer at your own pace. Start one now, and you’ll be surprised how good you feel at the start of 2017 when you can measure your progress instead of lamenting over which New Year’s resolutions are right for you.
4. Put Yourself First.
We know, it doesn’t seem like the usual order of operations. But to truly be thankful, mindful, and give back to others, you must take care of yourself first. It doesn’t have to be expensive either, unless you’ve saved a little extra cash and can’t get that thought of a spa day out of your mind. An exercise class, book club, evening walk, or just taking time to enjoy a quiet cup of coffee each day all fall into the category of self-care. If you can’t decide, our favorite starting point is a little extra sleep. Nothing says you value yourself like granting your body some extra shut eye.
5. Love the Ones You’re With.
One of the best parts of the holidays? Being with friends and family, of course. Often the holiday season is one of the only times all year we can get the whole family together. So, enjoy it! According to The Huffington Post, surrounding ourselves with the ones we love is one of the 7 Habits of Grateful People. Use this time to make sure friends and family know just how much they mean to you because:
“Thankful people know they didn’t get to where they are by themselves — and they make it a habit to spend time with those people who matter most.” And it might just be a habit you want to continue all year long.