Thanksgiving is a time for family gatherings and downtime with the ones you love. It’s also, of course, an occasion to pay homage to all the things in our lives that deserve kudos.
And when it comes to giving thanks, kindness is never far behind. After all, what better way to say thank you than sharing an act of kindness?
Now that goes for how your treat yourself, too. You do a lot for others, so don’t wait until January 1 to make resolutions to focus on bettering yourself by forging a happier and healthier path, then.
Truth: To take care of others, you need to feel like your best self. Reminding people of that fact is part of the reason why WE Well-being started in the first place. And, with our Well-being program already in schools—curriculum developed in collaboration with leading mental health professionals—it's important to continue fostering the positive social, emotional, physical and mental well-being your children are learning in the classroom, at home through role modeling.
This Thanksgiving, take a moment to consider how you can make self-gratitude a part of your everyday life. To give you a head start, we’ve rounded up five tips from our soon-to-be released well-being book (watch for it on our site) to get you giving thanks today.
Sometimes life is hard to handle alone. How to cope? Identify your support network.
Consider your resources—friends, family, teachers—and never be too shy to ask for help.
Should the ones near and dear in fact be far and dear, try building a treasure chest with photos and souvenirs that remind you of them and the happiness they bring to your life. More of a Marie Kondo clutter-free type? Go digital and create a photo album on your phone, instead.
Remember to stop and smell the roses—no … literally, get up from your desk, go outside and interact with nature!
Did you know there’s a link between happiness and “nature connectedness”? Trust science on this one and dare to rethink your daily routine with Mother Nature in mind. Think of nearby green spaces to visit here and there throughout the day—a peaceful spot to reflect, rest and breathe while soaking in the sky and the air. Even the briefest of excursions can do a little to remedy the stress that ails you.
Reality check. Not everything you see on social media is as perfect as it looks—and that’s okay! Real life is pretty amazing … cracks and all.
True, a baby in an animal hat cozied up with a stuffy bigger than them is much cuter than a baby sitting in a mound of dirt from the houseplant they’ve uprooted, but the latter is a step in their development—it’s curiosity in action—while that giraffe hat isn’t doing anything for Jr.’s growth.
And when the shiny feeds of others have you doubting this truth (inevitable in the face of #perfection), repeat this mantra: life online does not equal real life.
Ever heard of self-compassion? Well, it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like (extending kindness toward yourself) and it just happens to be the bridge to well-being. In other words, something worth learning more about!
A core muscle when building coping mechanisms like resilience, self-compassion is a life-long survival skill, according to Dr. Kristine Neff, a researcher at the University of Texas in Austin. Given this scope, it’s no wonder the good doctor has dedicated her professional life to helping us understand why we should “embrace ourselves with a sense of kindness.”
And while the idea of this may leave the task-oriented ball-jugglers out there baffled as to who has time to spend on themselves, listen up. Practicing self-care and showing yourself a little kindness (like pausing to quiet that negative voice in your head through meditation or other positivity-pumping exercises) helps increase overall productivity. Translation: Happy mind, clear path forward.
See ya later, celly.
Without getting dramatic about the negative effects that little device stuck to our palm can trigger, let’s just say unplugging isn’t a bad idea. In fact, it’s good for you.
Depending on your work life and level of commitment to your social feeds, trying to disconnect and live IRL can be difficult. Still, it’s worth trying to squeeze in at least one social interaction a day where the buzz and beeps of your cell will not interrupt the discussion. The reason? Feeling socially connected reduces cortisol, the stress hormone.
Think of it this way, if—as proven by a study on Chicago commuters—small talk with strangers can have a positive effect on well-being, imagine what a phone-free hangout with friends could do. Should separation anxiety be a concern, opt to put your phone on do not disturb and keep the line open between you and those on your VIP list.