If you do not have a daily gratitude practice, this is a good time to start. You can do a moment, or five minutes. You can write, or just pause and reflect. You can do this in the morning, or just before bed, or when a designated timer goes off on your phone. But try to make it a practice, starting now. If you already have a gratitude practice, then try changing it up. This psychologist says that “gratitude fatigue” is a real thing, when the daily practice becomes meaningless. See what you can do to shake up your routine and still maintain your practice.

This will help you stay grounded and less overwhelmed in the upcoming months.

To teach this practice to children, you might make it a routine at their bedtimes. Ask them to name 1-3 things they are grateful for (with no judgment from you), and you can respond with your own list to set an example. Alternatively, you might ask them if they did anything kind for someone else today, or to think of a kindness they received. A 3rd option for children is to ask them to think of the best part of the day today and tell you what it was. Get The Best Part of the Day (affiliate link) by Sarah Ban Breathnach, from your local library. This is a children’s book that is beautifully illustrated and helps establish a nightly routine. The examples given in the book’s lovely poetry are all free. (The best part of the day was playing outside, seeing the sunset, etc.)

This study of 900 adolescents, published in 2018, showed a correlation between expressed gratitude and reduced materialism. That always seems positive to me, but especially at this time of year!

(Image credit: AndreyPopov)

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