It’s not uncommon to hear a lot about gratitude as the holidays approach. But gratitude isn’t just a feeling to cultivate on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day—to truly reap the benefits of gratitude (which include less stress, better sleep, and greater empathy, among other things!). it should be a lifestyle, a habit, a regular practice. And it should extend to your entire family, too!
When you practice gratitude together, you not only proactively build a positive habit in every member of your family, you also develop a deeper connection amongst one another and cultivate a theme of happiness and optimism within your home. Seems like a win-win-win, doesn’t it?
Here are three easy (and fun!) ways to practice gratitude with your family every day:
Make It Your Bedtime Routine
Get into the habit of sharing three things you’re grateful for with one another before you go to bed every night! If you make it part of your evening routine—after brushing your teeth, you hop into bed, and share your gratitude list!—it will quickly become so normal, you won’t even have to think about it. And you’ll have something to look forward to as you wrap up your day. Plus, focusing on the positive as you fall asleep keeps you from spiraling into the stress of the day-to-day and keeps you present to all that is good in your life every single day. If you’re looking for even more ways to make gratitude a daily habit, re-visit our top tips to practically apply gratitude to your everyday life.
Feel Grateful for One Another
One easy way to make gratitude a family practice is by sharing what you’re grateful for in one another! You might share one thing about each member of your family every evening, or assign each family member a new partner every night and have them share what they’re grateful for in each other. The most important thing is to do it consistently—even after a disagreement or when you’re finding it difficult to show the love. There is always something to be grateful for in each member of your family, and it’s important to make telling them as much a regular practice. However and whenever you do it, you not only get a chance to practice giving thanks as a family, you have the opportunity to show love and honor the goodness in the people you love most.
Schedule time in your planner to volunteer at your local food pantries, homeless shelters, or retirement homes. Few things inspire gratitude for everything you have like seeing how little other people have. While it can sometimes be a sad or overwhelming reality to face, it’s an important reminder for your entire family to give thanks for how much you do have—during this holiday season and at every other time of year. When you have the full perspective of how everybody lives—not just the reality of your own day-to-day existence—you also have the ability to quickly and easily identify all that’s great about your own life, and your own family, every single day.