Updated: Nov 24, 2020
This week, at many tables across the country, families will be sharing a meal and their thoughts on what they are thankful for. Although there may be less people at our tables, it’s still important, perhaps even more so, to be mindful of the message of the holiday.
If you have attended any of my virtual programs on “protecting your energy level during the pandemic”, you know that gratitude always makes the list of helpful tips. Instead of rushing past Thanksgiving in order to get to Christmas or Hanukkah, why not use this pandemic pause to ground yourself in the true meaning behind this important holiday?
The practice of being grateful has become a foundational principle of the Positive Psychology movement and is based on the fact that you cannot hold two emotions at the same time. Thinking about things to be grateful for, even at a tough time like this, can help you feel better and keep the negative, anxious thoughts at bay. In addition, you train the reticular activating system (RAS) in your brain to start noticing more things to be thankful for and this ultimately brings more happiness your way. Choosing gratitude literally is a way to choose happiness. Hence, the phrase “happiness is a choice”.
As we get closer to Thanksgiving Day, why not consider choosing one of these practices to help you stay mindful of the meaning of the holiday?
Start or end each day listing 5-10 things you are thankful for
Tell someone how much you appreciate them
Give gratitude mediation a try
The next time you are stopped at a red light, list as many things as you can that you are thankful for until the light turns green
Be thankful for the opportunity to learn something new
Thank a co-worker
Send a hand-written thank you note to someone who has really impacted your life or helped your during this pandemic
Call a loved one and say thank you
Give thanks for your health
If you are one of the many across the planet who have suffered the loss of a loved one in 2020, this exercise might not work for you this year and that’s okay. I want you to know you have my deepest condolence and heartfelt wish that someday soon you will be able to find gratitude for the memories that remain from the relationship.
As I am preparing for a smaller version of my family’s traditional Thanksgiving celebration, I am feeling profoundly grateful for the fact that we will be able to be together. I’m feeling way more appreciative of the people I will be lucky enough to be with and the valuable opportunity to share this meaningful holiday with them. I’m looking forward to an intimate celebration this year and am thanking my lucky stars for the health of my loved ones.
It’s also important to remember to be thankful for our work families. Whether that’s your employees, co-workers, manager, vendors or clients, chances are you spend more time communicating with them than your relatives. Why not take the time to share a kind word or note of appreciation? Let this time of year be a reminder of how far a kind word or gesture can go. What better time than now to set some goals for showing your gratitude for your work family throughout this holiday season? Your team probably needs it now more than ever.
As I close this post, I would like to say “thank you” to you. Whether you are a client, a colleague, a former co-worker, someone I met through networking or a mutual friend, or you’ve read, liked or shared one of my social media posts or emails, I truly appreciate it. I know there are millions of places you can invest your energy and attention, so I’m glad you chose to invest it with Choice.
Wishing you and your families (relatives and work) a very Happy Thanksgiving and lots to be grateful for!!
Janine Friedman, Owner of Choice Training and Coaching Solutions, Inc. is an executive and leadership coach. She coaches stressed out executives who want to work smarter, lead better and live happier. To learn more about her background click here.
To schedule a conversation to discuss these ideas further, click here.
Success is a Choice.