Five Ways to Practice Gratitude As We Enter the Holiday Season - Alterre

Five Ways to Practice Gratitude As We Enter the Holiday Season

Contributed by: Katelyn Chef

 Two friends smiling while they toss fall leaves into the air. They are thankful to be alive.

When it comes to the holidays, we’re in full ‘buy-buy-buy’ mode. However, before we make our next seasonal purchase, how can we practice gratitude this season? 


Melody Beattie once shared this sentiment about gratitude:


“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”


As we enter the holiday season, now is the time to start practicing gratitude not only toward others but to our families as well as ourselves. 


  1. Thank Your Body: In a recent Vogue article, actress Olivia Wilde shared her ritual with her children of employing a part of Eve Ensler’s book focusing on ‘good body.’ Here, is where we take the time to thank our bodies, out loud, for all of the things it allows for us to do in a day. For example, thank your body for allowing me to ‘walk, jog, play with my dog, etc.’ This simple act starts the gratitude seed from within so we can nourish it and plant it elsewhere.  
  2. Donate Your Time: We’re all sick of staying at home 24/7. The holidays are ideal times to try out new charities and places to donate extra time you’d otherwise use to scroll through your feed. Try ringing the bell for the Salvation Army holiday drive. If you love kids, look into your local Big Brother program. Even if it’s for an hour or two, you may find something you want to do well into the New Year. 
  3. Give Yourself a One-Minute Gratitude Break: Mindlessly spending time online isn’t going to fill you with gratitude. In fact, it may do the opposite. In a gratitude-centered post on Camille Styles, the site shares taking a one-minute break in the midst of your day to reflect on the little things that have so far brought you joy. Pro-tip, try this method when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed.  
  4. Mantras Matter: In moments of overwhelming feelings or when you just need to mentally reset, mantras can help center you. Try keeping a list (two to three) of mantras that speak to you near your bed or by your workspace that you can reflect on throughout the day. A favorite here, I am a light. You’re a light. We are light.
  5. Pay It Forward: Paying it forward doesn’t have to be a grand gesture like paying off someone’s holiday bills. Little acts of random kindness can go for miles. While we all wish to be Ellen giving away iPhone and spa packages, simple things like paying for someone’s coffee order behind you or leaving a little bigger tip than expected share gratitude through all communities. 


As we enter November, the holidays get earlier and earlier. Why not start practicing gratitude earlier? How will you do so? Tag us on Facebook with your gratitude story. 

Happy Thanksgiving!


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