One of the best things you can do for yourself is to practice gratitude every day.  There are a lot of reasons, but one is it connects you to good things, it reminds you of what you DO have and it helps your brain’s neural pathways.

I try to do this each day when I wake up and just before I go to sleep. Why? Because I am truly grateful and this practice serves to reduce or eliminate any anxiety or uncomfortable feelings I might be having, or had during the day.

We are all experiencing some form of post-traumatic stress syndrome related to everything that has happened and been happening this year – the pandemic, uncertainty, the election, the climate, and fires, just about everything. Some people have lost everything, Some people have lost loved ones. Jobs. Hope. Every imaginable human emotion has put all of us to the test, myself included.

But I find hope every day in gratitude. Gratitude, for me, strips away all the unimportant stuff and makes me aware of all the amazing things I have to be grateful for. My family. My health. My friends. My job. My company. Freedom.  A beautiful world to live in, having water to drink and food to eat. Shelter. Being educated. The list is long. And I am grateful.

When you strip away all the things and focus on what you have, who you love and the many many liberties we have living in a free country, you find a lot of those things that were bothering you melt away. For this I am grateful.

Yes, there are problems and horrible things. No question. But at the end and beginning of the day, we can stop and take a minute to remind ourselves of what we DO have, how lucky we are, and practice gratitude.

Gratitude also serves to help us think of others, especially during the holidays when many are without important things. Why not take gratitude one step further and take some socks to a homeless shelter, some canned goods or other food to Food Bank, or a deserving charity or church who will get it to those in need. There are so many little things we can do that make a difference to someone else, for which they are very grateful.

Small and random acts of kindness matter and go hand in hand with gratitude.

We will get through all the things, all the craziness of these past 9 months. It will take time to get the vaccine to the people, to restore the lost jobs, to unite our country for the things that matter to everyone. But gratitude is free, and it makes us all better for it.

Enjoy your holiday, your loved ones, and your many blessings. I am very grateful for you.