For those of us who love food, Thanksgiving could arguably be the best time of year. But when I think about what makes Thanksgiving and the holiday season my favorite time of year — I realize it’s not the food. I mean — you can make mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and apple pie on any given day. The ingredients don’t change. The food will taste just as good on Thursday as it will on Friday. Thanksgiving is a holiday whose intentions are wrapped around love, family and gratitude — and that’s what makes it so special. We gather around our friends and family and take the time to truly cherish all that we have within each other by giving thanks. There’s a reason why everyone’s spirits around the holiday season are up — it’s the chain reaction of spreading around all of the good vibes.
The unfortunate reality of the holiday season is that it comes and goes in a flash and we go back to our lives and wait for the feeling to return next year. But the truth is — the good vibes don’t have to stop at the end of the holiday season. Those intentions of love, family and gratitude, they can stay with us all year round. But it’s going to take some work on our part or better yet, a conscious decision, to live in gratitude every single day.
Take this season and get into the habit of living life as if every day were a celebration.
Wake Up and Make a List
There is no better way to set the tone for the day than by making a gratitude list. Wake up and make the list a part of your morning routine. Make it as instinctive as your first cup of coffee. There is great power in writing it down, but saying it out loud is just as effective. List the things you’re grateful for — from the biggest to smallest things — everything counts. Let that list impact the way you view what’s to come. When you begin with gratitude, your whole day takes a biological shift into happiness, setting you up to have the best day ever.
2. Take Notice of Everything
Everything! Take it all in. Whether it be the beauty of your surroundings outside or the way someone held the door open for you at the store. You can choose to live your life with the idea that everything is something to be grateful for. It could be your old, outdated car with peeling paint, for instance. Every day it safely takes you from one place to the next in no time, and that’s something to be outrageously thankful for. Or it could be the receptionist that always goes out of her way to say hi when you’re on the way up to the office. She or he makes you feel seen and that sort of validation is something to be thankful for every single morning. Find that something to be grateful for by taking notice of all of the good around you.
3. Spread the Love
Invite others to live in gratitude by acting like the person who chooses to celebrate life. Instead of sulking and complaining about all of the things that are wrong, focus on all of the things that are perfectly right and encourage others to do the same. Lead with your actions. Put your gratitude where your mouth is in everything that you do. Gratitude is like a river — it flows through every part of our lives and it has the power to impact more than just yourself.
4. Speak Your Mind
Do you ever think something in your head and keep it to yourself because you’re afraid of how strange you’d look for saying it? Most of the time, we want to compliment each other but choose not to because of how strange it may seem. Which is so odd and absurd! Why should we feel embarrassed or scared when sharing compliments? Giving gratitude to others is arguably more important than giving gratitude to yourself. It’s like receiving a gift twice over — you get something out of it and so does someone else. Speak your mind! Tell the people you love and admire why you love and admire them. Be brave and say it out loud. You have no idea how much you can impact a person and yourself by simply giving thanks and telling them how you feel.
5. Feel the Feels
Gratitude is like magic, it only works if you believe it. Saying things out loud is a first step. To really tap into its benefits, you have to sit in gratitude and feel all of the feels. You have to feel gratitude within every part of your body and soul. Slow down, take the feelings in and allow yourself to embody what being grateful really means.
There are two ways to live life — one is to believe nothing is a miracle and the other is to believe everything is. Enjoy the journey of life by being grateful for every step. There’s no use in fighting against the current. Be like water and float. You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be — be entirely thankful for that. If you let it, the power of gratitude will bring you joy wherever you are and take you to wherever it is you need to be next. Take it with you beyond the holiday season and celebrate your life as if every day were Thanksgiving.
Born and raised on the island of Puerto Rico, Kaylee is a college graduate navigating the ebb and flow of this world. She loves yoga, snorkeling and falling off of paddle boards. She has too many favorite movies. And you can always find her procrastinating with a good show, a murder mystery novel or eating dates with too much peanut butter.