Halloween is over, so you know what that means … Christmas! Just kidding. In between these two widely celebrated holidays, there is a meek holiday called Thanksgiving. 

While the face of Thanksgiving has changed over the years, many continue to celebrate traditions of remembering things for which they are grateful. This may seem a bit cliché, but the process of gratitude can actually help with managing stress, anxiety and depression. That’s right—the age-old tradition of being thankful is, in fact, a coping skill.

This November, take a moment to practice gratitude to help get you back to living in the moment and being mindful of the good things. Here are some gratitude activities/ideas that you can practice:

Gratitude Jar/Box: Decorate a jar or a tissue box in whatever way you wish. Then, on strips of paper, write at least three things throughout your day that you are grateful for and place it in your jar or box. It can be something as simple as your morning tea or coffee or as grand as your best friend. Over time, you will have a jar full of many reasons to be thankful for what you have. If you are ever feeling down, you can turn to your jar and read a few notes to remind yourself of who, and what, is good in your life.

Gratitude Journaling: Take a moment, maybe 2-3 times per week, to write down things you are grateful for. Try these prompts:

  • I am grateful for my family because…
  • Something good that happened this week…
  • I am grateful for my friendship with_________ because___________.
  • I am grateful for who I am because…
  • Something silly that I am grateful for…
  • Something else I am grateful for…

Gratitude Rock: Pick a rock, or another small object, such as a shell or a button, that represents what you are grateful for. Be sure to pick something you like to make it special for you. Carry the rock around in your pocket, place it on your desk or maybe wear it on a chain. Whenever you see or touch it, let it be a reminder to pause and think about at least one thing you are grateful for—whether it’s the sun shining on you or being able to go to college. When you remove the rock at the end of the day, take a moment to remember what you were grateful for throughout the day. Repeat this in the morning when you put it on again, remembering what you were grateful for yesterday.

Taking time to remember things you are grateful for can help bring focus off of anxious and negative thoughts. It can help you find a calm moment, which can help you better tackle your day-to-day life. Enjoy these gratitude activities or try some new ones you create on your own. Happy Thanksgiving!

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