This morning I woke up and I decided to dust off the gratitude journal and start writing in it again. I hadn’t written in it since July. God knows I’ve been thankful and grateful for many things since then. Lately I’ve been reading articles and self-help apps that keep reminding me how a little goes a long way. For example, taking a few minutes in your morning routine to jot down three things you’re thankful for when you open your eyes in the am. Another easy and helpful technique- doing some breathing exercises with a mantra.
I felt like it was time for me to get back into these simple practices, especially in the am. As someone with anxiety, mornings can be tough. There’s nothing in particular that triggers it. Sometimes getting up is easy and quick, while other times, it takes me longer than I like to peel myself off from the sheets, turn off the ruminating thoughts, stop scrolling, and just get the heck up. Today I pushed myself to name three things that I’m grateful for and number one was ‘a brand new day to start fresh.’
And here we are! Everyday is an opportunity to start fresh. I mentioned this in one of my last posts. We put so much pressure on the start of a new year, the start of a month, the end of a holiday to ‘start over’ or ‘reset.’ We have the power and the opportunity to make it brand new, to start fresh every day; no waiting for a special occasion or a new year. Today is a brand new day to start fresh, to be better, to grow, to do things differently. Isn’t that an amazing gift?
And we forget that sometimes, I know I do, and instead we beat ourselves up for not being good, or reaching our potential, or slacking off, or just being off. Why do we do this?! We deserve to be kind to ourselves, to take care of ourselves, to be our own cheerleader, and yet, sometimes our toughest critic is, well, us.
I’m working on this because today is a brand new day, and Im thankful for the gift and the endless opportunities that are destined for me and I need to remind myself of that, in the kindest way possible.
You know what else I’m grateful for? Sitting down every night for a meal with my family. I truly enjoy the whole ritual of setting the table, everyone sitting in their usual seats, saying a prayer, eating together, the rustling of plates and cups, and yes, even the usual ‘eat your food!’ outbursts that happen. It’ happy chaos. And whenever I get to set up a nice table like this one, special occasion or not, it lifts my mood! I got all these items from H&M Home! If you haven’t checked out their items, you must! Flowers, for me, are part of my sanity and my mental health self-care. Every week, I pop into my favorite flower shop, Edelweiss Floral, on Court Street, and Eka makes me an arrangement. Whether it’s something as simple and rustic like this, or a full bloom, flowers are an instant pick me up.
When we sit down, I ask my kids and my husband to name something that they were thankful for today. I was listening to a ted talk where a psychologist talked about an approach she uses with her patients and her own home. So frequently, we just go about bitching and complaining about our day to our spouses or partners so what she does after said complaining is done, she’ll ask, “Tell me something good that happened today?”
Which prompts the person to change perspective and focus on the good that might be harder to see. I started doing this with my own kids and husband at dinner now.
All it takes is a couple of minutes and a simple practice….Go on, try it!
What are you thankful for?