The summer months are often filled to the brim with activities, outings, trips, and time spent enjoying the great outdoors. Needless to say, by the time fall comes around, it can be difficult to make the transition from the relaxing days of summer to the busyness of a fully-packed schedule.

Fortunately, you can take steps to help change your outlook, promote gratitude, and get you (and your family!) through the school year in one piece.

Learning to practice gratitude year-round, and not just at Thanksgiving time, can help to make the transition a lot easier, allowing you to adjust your perspective, giving you much-needed motivation, and even helping you to relax during the stressful parts of the year. In fact, practicing gratitude when things are stressful will help you remain calm and focused—and let’s face it, being calm and focused during the back-to-school season is the ultimate lifesaver!

Gratitude can do a number of positive things for you and your family, especially during this hectic time. A few benefits include:

  • Improving the quality of your life
  • Shifting your focus
  • Making you happier
  • Blocking negative emotions
  • Making you more resistant to stress
  • Giving you a higher sense of self-worth
  • And more!

While we can all use a proper dose of this year-round, the chaotic back-to-school time is an ideal one to be reminded of all the good that we have.

With this in mind, let’s look at a few ways that you can cultivate a genuine sense of gratitude in your life.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Keeping a gratitude journal can help you be more aware of your blessings; those things that are often overlooked yet for which we can genuinely be grateful. When you wake up in the morning, instead of grabbing your phone to check your schedule or social media, consider taking a few minutes to jot down all of the things you are thankful for. There is a dedicated spot in the Day Designer daily planner for just that! If you’re a night owl, you can also do this last thing before bed. While it might sound trivial, documenting all of the things you have to be grateful for can be especially beneficial when life gets busy, or you hit the midday blues.

Appreciate the Small Things

Being a full-time mom and working –or working at home, can be a lot to juggle! The old saying, ‘take time to smell the roses’ rings true in this time of your life! Taking time out of your busy schedule to appreciate the small things can help rejuvenate your grateful spirit, shift your focus onto the positive aspects of life, and help you thrive in your work and at home.

Make Time for Those You Love

According to Dr. Robert Emmons, a gratitude researcher and psychology professor at the University of California, gratitude strengthens your relationships; and relationships are the “strongest predictors of happiness and coping with stress.” In short, while you may be busy, making time for friends and loved ones can actually help to improve your attitude, boost your gratitude, and make you a happier person. Don’t let life’s stresses and busyness get in the way, instead, block out time in your schedule to spend with the ones you love.

Express Your Gratitude

Gratitude is not simply something that you should keep to yourself. In fact, you can increase your feelings of gratitude by expressing them to others. Even in your busyness, it’s important to remember to express gratitude to those you care about. Say thank you to the teachers who make a difference, write notes to encourage those who have made an impact on you or your child’s life, and remind your family that you love them. These small and simple acts of gratitude can have a meaningful impact on your outlook and can help to kindle a sense of real gratitude within your heart.


How do you take time for the small things during the busy school year?