Tips for Being Thankful Even When Things Aren’t Going So Well
The coming of the holiday season can be a time of great joy for many. It can also be a time of stress, emotional challenges and difficult circumstances.
Holidays with family can be a stressful time if family relationships are strained. Or if one or more family members struggle with addiction. Or if someone is often angry or short-tempered or controlling.
The coming of winter can also be a difficult time for people who are especially affected by limited daylight. Colder temperatures and a feeling of being trapped inside can be hard.
Add into this mix any of a number of other personal challenges such as tight finances, job stress or an unintended pregnancy and the holiday time appears anything but happy.
So, how do you maintain a thankful heart and mind in the midst of life’s challenges? Here are five ways to help us be thankful at Thanksgiving and always.
- Count your blessings. Counting your blessings helps tremendously. Do you have a safe and warm place to sleep tonight? Will you have food on your table for Thanksgiving? Do you have a job? Is there one person who cares about you? Are you healthy enough to go for a walk? Thinking about what we do have instead of what we do not have can be a great way to develop a heart that is thankful.
- Look at the beauty around you. Have you seen the sunrise or sunset this week? Did the clerk at the grocery store smile at you? How many cute dogs have you seen out walking with someone? When we notice the beauty around us, it can lift our spirits and we can feel thankful.
- Develop a spirit of generosity. Even if finances are tight, consider sharing something you have with someone who is less fortunate than you are. Giving can be a greater blessing for the one who gives than the one who receives.
- Do your job, or volunteer, with excellence. Do you work in housekeeping? Make the rooms you take care of as clean as possible to help someone else enjoy their day. Do you bag groceries? Make someone’s day by having their bread get home without getting smashed. Are you caring for children? Help them to be safe and well fed.
- Look for opportunities to make someone’s day. Smile at that person you pass on the street. Offer to help an elderly woman load her groceries into her car. Let a pedestrian cross the street in front of you. Or let someone else have that last parking spot that is close to the mall.
Whether your life has never been better – or never been harder – or somewhere in between, you can choose to be thankful day in and day out.
Happy Thanksgiving – every day!