Happy Thanksgiving! I used to say “happy turkey day!” until a friend of mine told me it made her sad to hear that. “What’s wrong with focusing on our blessings, and not the bird?” Ah, blessings, indeed.
We are a nation rich in so many ways, not only materially, but also socially and politically. And we as individuals are blessed – especially in the field of nursing, where there are such wonderful opportunites to bless others, often when they are most in need. Still, we sometimes lose track of the good stuff; it’s much easier to be aware of what’s missing.
On Thanksgiving we have a chance to slow down and savor a delectable feast, and if we’re lucky, the folks who are closest to us. Some families make a practice of going around the dinner table and having everyone say what they’re most thankful for. You might think that’s corny. Or maybe you’re too shy to share your most personal thoughts and feelings with a group. That’s okay — there are plenty of other options for giving thanks.
One of the simplest is to write a list of the five things that you’re most thankful for just that particular day. Don’t strain your brain to think of the biggies — go with your gut and capture what comes to mind first.
Here’s a sample list:
1. I have healthy children.
2. I’m healthy, too.
3. My close family members are alive and well.
4. I have a special breakfast treat of a mocha and almond biscotti.
5. My puppy is learning tricks — even pat-a-cake — and he hasn’t been getting into mischief at the doggy park.
The list can be all over the place — serious stuff as well as the ordinary or silly things that make life worth living. They’re all reminders of what we have to be grateful for. Many research studies have shown that a grateful heart is a happy and healthy heart.
So, here’s your challenge today: Take a few minutes amid the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving preparations to make your own list of thanks. If you don’t have a pen and paper, just think of what you’d put on your list if you did. A list, actual or mental, won’t help you get the cranberry sauce on the dinner table any faster, but it’s a sure-fire way to raise your spirits during this special holiday.