Woo hoo! It’s the holiday season. Tis the season to sing carols and poop reindeer magic. Except… when life’s circumstances are not at their best and you are feeling blue. Despite your circumstances, this is still the perfect time to be grateful. But how? Here are some easy ways to be grateful during the holidays. Even if you really don’t wanna.
The struggle is real. You have this vision of the perfect holiday. Decorating the tree, parties with friends, cookie exchanges, singing to your favorite music, wearing a cozy sweater while drinking hot chocolate by the fire. Is it me or does life always seem to get in the way of our expectations?
You have a chronic illness or are experiencing some other kind of health issue. You are grieving a loved one. You just got a divorce. There are a million different reasons why you can be blue, and have no interest in being grateful during the holidays. It’s cool. I totally get it, my friend.
There were several years at Christmas when Mamma Fortitude’s Addison’s acted up and she was in the hospital. Then there was that year of a Very Merry Chemo Christmas. This year, we are celebrating our first Christmas without Mamma Fortitude and feeling the void in a very big way. It’s life. It happens whether we want it to or not.
Regardless of what you are going through, be present and acknowledge your crummy feelings. Your feelings are 100% valid. Feel them deeply.
This exercise isn’t designed to ignore how you feel and make you poop reindeer magic. All we are looking for is a gradual shift in how you view the holidays, even when every fiber in you wants to hide under the covers.
While you can’t always change your reality, you can change how you react. Manifesting an attitude of gratitude this holiday season is a great way to begin! Here’s how to be grateful during holidays, even in the middle of trauma or devastation.
7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude
Did you know that practicing gratitude helps to build your fortitude? Science even proves it! Here’s how and why it works. According to this article from Psychology Today, there are 7 scientifically-proven benefits of gratitude:
1. Gratitude opens the door to more relationships.
2. Gratitude improves physical health.
3. Gratitude improves psychological health.
4. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression.
5. Grateful people sleep better.
6. Gratitude improves self-esteem.
7. Gratitude increases mental strength. I like to call this one FORTITUDE.
Start a Gratitude Journal
Start a Gratitude Journal. With a gratitude journal, you can keep this list of ideas, create your own, or even keeping track of your own gratitudes. Find a beautiful journal that inspires you and take it everywhere you go.
How to be Grateful During the Holidays
Take 30 days, and each day and week, focus on something different to be grateful for. I’ll give you the basics here, and if you are interested in learning more, you can keep reading below and join our Gratitude Builds Fortitude 30 Day Challenge.
Week 1: Gratitude Mindset
We begin with mindset. Set your intention for the autumn months, and really try to embrace learning about gratitude, and be mindful of what it is teaching you.
Week 2: Gratitude to Self
You need to fill your own cup before you can fill anyone else’s. Start with being kind to yourself and focusing on your own gratitude practice. Once you have this down, it will be easy to be abundant with your gratitude toward others.
Week 3: Gratitude to Others
When I was going through cancer treatment, it was easy to focus on the boo-hoos and how much my life truly sucked. The second that I started to reach out to others and practice kindness, my attitude completely changed. It’s amazing how giving to others will fill your own soul.
Week 4: Gratitude to the World Around You
Gratitude is like the ripple effect. It starts small and then grows outward. This is your chance to see the world around you in a different light.
Take the Gratitude Builds Fortitude 30 Day Challenge
Gratitude in the middle of life’s chaos can help you to recenter yourself. But practicing gratitude on a daily basis makes it a habit and helps you to retrain your brain to see the blessings in life. This 30-Day Gratitude Builds Fortitude Challenge is simple, yet will have a profound and lasting impact.
Don’t let the word “challenge” scare you. You won’t be doing anything weird or crazy or dangerous. It’s more of a challenge for your mind and heart. It’s a challenge to take you out of the craziness of life and take some “me-time” to get centered again.
In a nutshell, I will provide a thought or activity for you to follow each of the 30 days. You don’t have to start on the first of the month. Any 30 days will do. The majority of the daily challenges are around thinking about something and then writing down how you feel. There are a few activities, but the majority of this can be done in the comfort of your home.
The majority of the days should only take about 5-10 minutes of your time. I wanted to keep it as simple as possible for your busy and chaotic life. If you have more time to dedicate, then by all means – go for it!
More Gratitude Resources You Will Love
Share the Love
What about you? How are you being grateful during the holidays? How are you using gratitude to build your fortitude?
Be sure to tag us @pinkfortitude on social media and use the hashtags #pinkfortitude and #gratitudebuildsfortitude
I can’t wait to see what you are up to and how you are inspiring others!
Are you Inspired? It’s time for more GRATITUDE!
Love, hugs, and gratitude is the magic of the season.
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