As I spend my Thanksgiving weekend concerned for my Mom's recovery from a surgery that didn't go well, I'm not going to lie and tell you it's been feeling very festive.
However, despite the rollercoaster that our family has been riding, I've been able to feel the care, connection, and support of family and friends. I've also been able to be thankful for the comforting home we've created that helps us find moments of peace between visits to the ICU. I am so grateful for that, and it truly has made a difference.
As I contemplated what to post on social and write for what was planned to be a Fall decor blog, I began googling gratitude and Thanksgiving for quotes and caption ideas. What started as a business task, quickly became therapeutic for me, and so when I came across an article that summed it up perfectly, I felt the need to share it in this blog post.
With everything going on in the world, I think everyone could perhaps be helped with this reminder of the importance of gratitude and thanks.
According to professor - and world-renowned gratitude expert - Ryan Fehr, it's during a difficult time that gratitude is more important than ever. Research shows gratitude can help us cope with traumatic events, regulate our negative emotions, and improve our well-being. More importantly, gratitude can have a positive effect on our friends and family, too. It’s a small way to have a meaningful impact.
Here are the 5 Steps to Gratitude he shares and recommends to cultivate gratitude this week (and especially in tough times).
Step 1: Put Your Gratitude On Paper
Write down the names of three people or things in your life you are grateful for and why.
Step 2: Have a Gratitude Conversation
Have a conversation with a friend, family member or coworker to share what you’re most grateful for in life.
Step 3: Tell Someone You Appreciate Them
Identify a specific person in your life and tell them why you are grateful for them in person, over the phone or a video chat.
Step 4: Pay It Forward
Find a way to show your gratitude to someone in your life by helping them in some small way.
Step 5: Reflect and Repeat
Take a few moments to reflect on how your gratitude exercises went and commit to at least one act of gratitude every week.
The simple impact of sharing gratitude towards those people in your life can have a beautiful ripple effect, helping them as much as us, and then so on as they follow suit.
Another important aspect is being grateful for the little things in life and your environment.
I strongly believe that your environment can positively affect your health and well-being; the people, your experience and user friendliness within the space, and the comfort and meaning of the items within it. So to have and create a personal sanctuary, whether your home, apartment, or a room, can make a big difference everyday, but especially during hard times.
In that spirit, I'll share with you what I'm grateful for this Thanksgiving:
I'm grateful that my Mom is still with us fighting, and we are hopeful.
I'm grateful for my family and friends who have shown their love and support, offered help, food, and a listening ear.
I'm grateful for my husband, and having my two kids in my life.
I'm grateful for the hard-working doctors, nurses and hospital staff who have been kind, communicative, and dedicated to giving the best care they can in a situation we didn't anticipate.
I'm grateful for having a home. And with that, one that we've created that gives us comfort (even if I haven't dusted this week).
I'm grateful for dog snuggles and the three dogs being calmer than normal. Isn't it crazy how they know when something is going on?
I'm grateful for my clients, my design and trade colleagues, how rewarding being creative for a living is, and for all of you that follow along with me. Thank you.
I'm grateful for cozy blankets, good music, books and puzzles for distraction and rest today, and being comforted with plants, diffusers, and a warm cup of tea.
What are you grateful for? I hope you can try to cultivate and share some gratitude this week, and every week. And I will continue to do the same.
Yours in Design,