As a parent of a special needs child, self-care was one of those things that I often put last. I’ve learned, of course, that even a few minutes is better than nothing. And here’s one way to incorporate daily gratitude as part of your self care routine.
Do you have a self-care routine? As moms, we often tend to neglect our own needs. It’s important for us to recognize and realize that yes- it’s okay to take a break. And yes, it is okay to give yourself a time out. But there’s more to self-care than just taking a break every now and then.
Yes, it’s important to be mindful about your needs. And taking care of yourself is important too when it comes to your overall health and wellness routine. Meditation or prayer might also be useful. And you can also consider practicing daily gratitude as a part of your self care routine.
8 Ways to Practice Daily Gratitude as a Part of Your Self Care Routine
1 – Write a Thank You Letter
There is probably someone in your life right now that you need to thank. Take time to send them a handwritten letter of thanks. Don’t email them or text them. The time that you take to express your feelings by writing them down means more lasting rewards than using electronic media.
2 – Make a Gratitude Calendar
On your “grateful calendar”, write down 3 to 5 things you are grateful for each day. After writing them read them out loud. Keep this calendar where you can see it constantly.
3 – Say It out Loud
Each day, say “I’m grateful for you” to important objects, events and people in your life.
4 – Practice “One Person a Day” Gratefulness
Take a different friend, family member, acquaintance, coworker or service provider each day of the year. Tell them that you are grateful for their presence in your life. This works a couple of ways. It lets people know that you care about them and appreciate them, and it also forces you to expand your circle of influence.
5 – Say “Thank You” to Your Lunch
We take so much for granted. Many people in the world do not know if they are going to eat every day, while most of us have several choices as far as what food we are going to put into our mouth, how much we eat, and when we eat. Whether you have an abundance of food or eat sparingly, express gratitude for the food you put into your body.
6 – Donate, Give Away
You may lament the fact that you don’t have as many clothes, pairs of shoes or possessions as you would like. Find someone who has less than you. Give them something of yours. This can quickly make you realize how much you really have.
7 – Let the Most Important Person in Your Life Know That You Appreciate Them
Go to the nearest mirror. Do you see that person staring back at you? That is the person you should be most appreciative of. You obviously love your friends and family, but you need to express self-love first before you can form the deepest relationships with others. Frequently look yourself in the eyes and express gratitude for who you are and what you have given yourself.
8 – Keep a Gratitude Journal
Gratitude journals are often confused with happiness journals or some sort of spiritual journal. In fact, many secular people stay away from gratitude journals because they feel like it may be pushing a religious agenda. The truth is, the idea of a gratitude journal has nothing to do with spirituality or religion. It has to do with well-being and changing your life for the better. If you have considered a gratitude journal, but may find you were wrong about what they are, then consider why you should start one today.
The key point to remember with a gratitude journal, is that you are writing down the things you are thankful for in your day. You are trying to find some good even in a very bad day or series of days. This positive outlook can help you reduce stress, anxiety, and even depression.
Benefits of Mental Health
One of the leading reasons you need to start a gratitude journal is to work through mental health issues you may have naturally. You can start off by listing one thing a day you are thankful for. You will notice that this helps you move out of depression. For example, if you have depression and feel that there is nothing good left in your life, you can use the gratitude journal to show you that you do have things that are good. This can reduce your depression and give you at least one good thing to focus on.
Benefits of Overall Health
When you first start a gratitude journal, you may not see how it could ever improve your overall health. Consider a specific example though and how it would apply to your life. You have depression, you aren’t getting out much, you find yourself alone most of the time, and you are gaining weight.
As you start to list the things you are thankful for you, you will start seeing positive things happen. You are not longer focusing on the triggers of your depression. You are starting to look for the things that are good in your day. This will lead you out of the house to find more goodness and gratitude in others. Eventually you will see that you are more active and happier which leads to reduced stress, reduced blood pressure, and a more positive outlook.
As previously mentioned, you will see an increase in positivity. You may wonder why that is. For the most part it is due to looking for more and more gratitude in life. You will find that posting your gratitude will become like a challenge. You post three things one day, you may want to post five things the next. This will lead to focusing on positive outlooks overall.