Hudson Valley Parent

November 2013

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 9 of 39

A month of gratitude 30 creative ways to give thanks By HEIDI SMITH LUEDTKE Y ou've probably heard gratitude is an attitude, but it's more than that. When we practice gratitude, we react to unexpected events with delight instead of disappointment. We savor positive experiences, making them richer and more fulfilling. A thankful heart also prevents us from overlooking everyday blessings, like a delicious dinner or a warm bed. Counting (and recounting) blessings has benefits. Research shows people who practice gratitude feel greater joy and connectedness, cope better with stress, and experience less illness and depression. Put these prompts on your family calendar now. In 30 days, thankful thoughts and pay-it-forward actions will be almost automatic. 1 9 Start a gratitude journal. List three things you're Bring a comforting dinner to someone who nurtures the good in others. Fall food doesn't need to grateful for today. Do it again tomorrow. Gratitude journals focus emotional energy on what's right, not what's wrong. 2 Rock out to "I Thank You," by rhythm and blues legends Sam and Dave while you clean or cook dinner. Get the kids in on the act. It's impossible to be ungrateful when you boogie to this beat. 3 Acknowledge your partner's financial, practical, and emotional contributions to the household. Look him or her in be fussy. Soup and bread are perfect for sharing. 5 6 the eye and say, "Thank you for working to support our family" or "thank you for doing the laundry." 4 Pen a traditional thank-you note to someone who doesn't expect it, like the bus driver, your babysitter or a crossing guard. Seal it with a smiley-face sticker. 10 Hudson Valley Parent n November 2013 Give a bouquet of fall flowers to someone you appreciate. Mums speak volumes. Set a grateful example. Say "thank you" for kids' help with table-setting or toy cleanup. Go global — say "Gracias," "Danke" or "Merci!" — to make it more memorable. 7 Light a candle and spend 3 minutes focused on one recent blessing. Can't light up? Go to and light a virtual version instead. 8 Be grateful for financial resources. Make a microloan to someone who needs it to get back on their feet. Learn more at or 10 Make collages of the people, places and opportunities for which you're most grateful. Cut out pictures from magazines or make a word cloud at Laminate your creations to use as a placemats. 11 Bake "thankful pie" using your family's favorite ingredients (apples, pears or sugar pumpkins). Savor the bounty of this year's local harvest. 12 Take a walk through the woods and notice the color and texture of the leaves, the cooler dampness of the air. Be thankful for the changing seasons.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Hudson Valley Parent - November 2013