Written by contributing blogger, Daniela Forte.
With less than three months left in the year, it has made me stop and think about how much I am grateful for. As people we don’t always take the time (or have the time) to think about what we’re thankful for. At this moment in my life I am grateful for my family, particularly my grandmother. In the last five years she has been riddled with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. While she still remembers each of us individually, she has lost a great portion of her memory. She doesn’t remember where she is, she is often frightened and doesn’t remember the little things she used to do religiously. It has been huge burden on my family, and luckily for us we have my grandfather who has been our anchor to get us all through.
She has always been a force to be reckoned with, a strong willed person who has always taken care of my family and now she often finds herself lost. This year as I have gotten caught up in my own problems and daily stresses, I have had to stop and think about this, and I always say, what she is going through, what my family is going through is worth the time spent. Everything else will take care of itself as it should.
If you are at a point in your life where feeling grateful is hard to come by, think of the little things. Like a good cup of coffee, a cool fall morning, a peaceful sleep. Give yourself things to be grateful for. We all have them, they are there. You just have to have the strength to remind yourself everyday of what you are truly grateful for.
When you’re feeling sad, or stuck or anxious, take some time and remember those little things. I recently told a friend to think of one thing they are grateful for everyday. I admit I am not built this way, there are days where I hardly want to look at the world and get out of bed because of everything going on in my life, but I do. I plow through it, why? Because life is too short not to. I am grateful for my friends, my family, my little apartment that has offered me a ton of peace and solitude.
It is easy to allow the stress to get you and forget all the good things you have in your life that make you happy. You have to work harder during those times. Here are some ways I have found to be more grateful:
Live in the Moment: I am a “look to the future” planner type of girl, so this is difficult. However, it helps to live moment by moment and deal with where you are right now, because anything can change in an instant. Take in the moments, and be present.
Do for Others: Do things for other people, brighten someone else’s day, not just on special holidays or because someone told you to, but do it for yourself. You will be surprised how wonderful you feel.
Meditate: I am still working on this myself, but try to find some quiet time and meditate on the good in your life and answers to your questions.
Take Care of Your Body: Exercise, take a walk through nature, get moving. Movement isn’t only good for your body, but it helps your mind be healthier too.
Let It Go: Let go what worries you, what makes you anxious, makes you sad, makes you angry. Ask yourself if 1. Is it worth it? 2. Can you control it? 3. Is it something you can work out? If the answer to these questions is no, then let it go.
Meet New People: Meeting new people allows for new experiences, new ways of thinking.
Do Something New: Always wanted to knit? Take a kickboxing class? Finish that big book you have been meaning to get to? Find a way to carve out pockets of time each week.
Lastly, don’t let the outside world make you bitter and cold and hard. There is only one you, and you deserve to be grateful for yourself.