While the holidays might look different for most of us this year, there's no reason the season can't still be filled to the brim with "thanks" and "giving!" We've rounded up eight simple ways to show gratitude this season and make the most of this special holiday.
1. Write a love letter to yourself.
It may seem silly, but this exercise is one of the most powerful ways to give thanks this season. What are you grateful to yourself for? What are your favorite qualities about yourself, and what are your talents? Start by addressing the letter to your name (ex. "Dear Emily"...) and list all the things you love about yourself. You'll probably be surprised about how many there are! Keep the letter in a place you'll be able to find it when you're having a bad day.
2. Host a virtual recipe swap with extended family members.
Thanksgiving is the time of year to gather with beloved family members, and thanks to modern technology, you can still come together during a pandemic! Host a virtual recipe swap on Zoom or Skype and tell each participant to "bring" their favorite recipe (aka type it out and share with everyone). Every guest will leave with a new side dish in their arsenal, and everyone will finally have access to grandma's famous dinner roll recipe.
3. Pass around a gratefulness basket at your Thanksgiving table.
If you're still hosting a small Thanksgiving gathering, invite your guests to dive deeper into their gratitude by handing out slips of paper and having them write down what they are grateful for instead. After everyone has anonymously placed their paper in the basket, pass it around again and have each person pull a slip of paper out and read it aloud.
4. Use social media to highlight someone you're thankful for.
Use the power of your Facebook or Instagram for good this holiday! Post about the people you are grateful for in your life and make them feel special.
5. Share your material possessions and donate items to a local shelter or thrift store.
Who doesn't love a little fall cleaning spree? Show thanks for all you've been given by donating items you no longer need to a shelter or thrift store in your community. It's a win-win: you'll declutter for the holidays while providing for someone in need at the same time.
6. Start a habit of writing in a gratitude journal.
Writing in a gratitude journal is a habit that's worth keeping, and there's no better time to start than the Thanksgiving season! If you've never tried this simple but powerful exercise, pick out a journal or notebook you love and start writing lists of what you're grateful for each morning or in the evening before bed. The more you write, the more you'll realize you're grateful for - and there's nothing like flipping through old entries for a positive energy boost.
7. Perform one small act of kindness for a neighbor.
Thanksgiving is a great time to lend a neighbor a helping hand, especially if that neighbor is elderly or sick. Make a plan to complete one small act of kindness for someone in your community this month, whether that's raking leaves, cleaning their garden for winter, or offering to pick up their groceries. In a world where so many of us have everything to be thankful for, nothing spreads the Thanksgiving spirit like helping someone in need.
8. Support local businesses.
Show the members of your community you are grateful for them by supporting local business and being a good customer! Tip your waiter or barista. Smile at the employee who is bagging your groceries. Find a local farmer and source as much as you can for your Thanksgiving meal from them. Post on social media about your favorite local restaurant, craft store, or floral studio and encourage friends to pay them a visit. The list could go on, and the support will return tenfold in growing your local community and economy!
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