- Give thanks
- Take time to appreciate
- Enjoy the little things
- Send someone a note to let them know you are thinking of them
- Reach out if you need some words of encouragement
Developing a gratitude practice has so many benefits for your mental health, it helps build connected and strong relationships, builds resilience and helps us feel more positive emotions. A great way to encourage your family to participate in a ritual of gratitude this season is by creating a gratitude tree or a jar! For the tree grab some forking branches outside and place in a vase with some sand or rocks to make it stable or cut out or draw a large tree shape from construction paper that you can hang on a wall. Encourage family members to write things they are grateful for on colorful paper leaves and stick them on to the branches. Adding a couple colorful leaves each day as part of your dinner or bedtime routine grows your tree creating a beautiful centerpiece in your home and helps solidify the practice of thinking about and sharing things we are thankful for each day.
Creating a gratitude jar is very similar. Start by decorating a large jar together. Daily, have family members write statements of gratitude and place them inside the jar. Fill it up and occasionally take a look and reflect on all the wonderful things your family has to be thankful for by emptying the jar and sharing what has been written.
The concept of gratitude can be tricky for younger children. Children (and adults!) often need some simple prompts to help them think about items they are grateful for. Try these thought starters as you are getting started:
- One thing I love about my family is..
- I felt happy today when…
- I am proud of (person) because they….
- Something I like about myself is…
- Something I look forward to everyday is…
- I am glad I am friends with…
- Something that made me smile today is.
We are grateful to be on this journey with you! We encourage members to gather in person to discuss, create or attend events with their chapter, in addition to your scheduled monthly gatherings. We would LOVE to see your photos, artwork, videos, and hear your stories about how you incorporate gratitude into your rituals and rhythm.