The holiday season is fast approaching, and with Thanksgiving being just around the corner, we like to center this month around one word- Gratitude.
However, if you are separated/divorced and co-parenting, or still needing more time to heal from a recent separation or divorce, the last thing that might be going through your mind is celebrating, let alone feeling thankful.
Developing an Attitude of Gratitude
Gratitude is more than simply saying “thank you”. Gratitude’s amazing influence has the ability to shift us from focusing on the negative to appreciating what is positive in our lives. Practicing daily gratitude gives us a deeper connection to ourselves, the people in our lives, and the world around us.
Everything in our lives has the ability to improve when we are grateful. Research has shown that gratitude can enhance our moods, decrease stress, and drastically improve our overall level of health and well-being. On average, grateful people tend to have fewer stress-related illnesses, experience less depression, and have more satisfying personal and professional relationships.
As parents, showing our gratitude can also leave lasting positive impacts on our children. Along with the benefits associated with adults, studies also show that grateful kids are even more likely to get A’s in school.
Where Do I Start?
There are several ways to incorporate gratitude into your own life. Here’s a few ways you can celebrate this month:
Start a gratitude journal. Write about someone or something you’re thankful for every day. You’ll find your appreciation for those around you grows deeper the longer you keep it. When you read back on what you’ve written, you’ll be able to reflect on the relationships and their accomplishments.
Share your gratitude with others. Letting someone know you’re grateful for their care, service, or friendship often lifts their spirits or lifts a burden.
Take action. Show your appreciation by giving back to your community, neighborhood, or favorite organization. You can also find volunteer opportunities in your area with websites like JustServe.org.
This holiday season, we encourage you to incorporate gratitude into your co-parenting relationships and to try putting differences aside for the benefits to yourself, as well as your children. If everyone practiced daily gratitude, we could change ourselves and the planet for the better.
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