In case you missed it, November was National Gratitude Month, so every night (well, almost every night...!) for the month of November I would post on my Instagram story one thing I was grateful for in that moment and ask what my followers were grateful for. At the end of the month, I shared a small recap of the categories of gratitude that were shared with me.
With the each new year, I always try to meditate on my accomplishments of the previous year and what I hope to see in the new year. With this January also bringing the end of 2020, I feel like this year's reflection is more important than ever. So I was brought back to our #NovemberNationalGratitudeMonth and thought that it shared salient messages about what's important, especially what we found important during this past year with so many hardships due to COVID-19.
• Having a home with people I care about
• My family
• Walks with my dog
• Spending the day with my mom
• My father
• Finally get to see my mom tomorrow after she had COVID
• A family walk in the fresh snow, also a good FaceTime date with my long-distance boyfriend
• A quiet night
• Privilege to participate and make a difference in my democracy
• Being able to have a voice and given the opportunity to vote
• New jobs in better places
• My new job
• Ability to express my true emotions in any way that feels right for me in the moment
• That I learned early on to be optimistic and positive so I have the power to MAKE good days
Family + Friends
With almost half of the responses being related to family + friends, it's clear that this is important. Not that we didn't know this before, but 2020's quarantining + social distancing showed us how truly vital these relationships can be to our well-being, and how much we're affected when we can't regularly see those that we love.
The second most popular response had to do with relaxing and various ways to do that - even including wine + CBD. The word "self-care" is thrown around a lot but it is genuinely absolutely vital to your health (physically, mentally, and emotionally, especially since they all affect each other), growth, and your overall well-being. Relaxing is crucial to refreshing yourself. Even these words sound "froofy" and luxurious...but how can you continue doing your work, keeping up with your passions, tending to your loved ones, and caring for yourself, if you don't take time to rest?
This is what takes up nearly 1/3 of our day - and even more if you're one to "take your work home with you," which most of us do. It is so important that we love, or at least enjoy, what we are doing every single day, which can be hard especially if you're in a marginalized, oppressed, or struggling community. So many people just need to take whatever job they can get so that they have the money to provide for themselves or their family. So, if you're privileged + lucky enough to be able to choose your work, make sure it's one that you love. Or if you can't get there yet and are at a stepping stone, just keep remembering what you love and keep working your way towards it as much as you can.
Voting + Democracy
I was so excited to see this mentioned during the daily gratitude. Most of my followers are younger demographics around my age (18-35), and since we are the immediate future generation, our voices are so important. Especially with this historic election.
Expressing Emotions + Positivity
I love this!!! Emotional and mental health are so important, and especially since I'm studying for my Masters in Art Therapy, I was so happy to see people acknowledging and actively working towards expressing their emotions. "Fake it til you make it" is true, and even just faking a smile or positive attitude will actually eventually turn into a real one.
I wanted to reiterate these as 2021 begins as a reminder to take care of the things that matter most. Especially with the false idea that a new year will magically transform all of the negativity in our world, it's vital to actively tend to yourself...which, as our November Daily Gratitude proved, includes family + friends, relaxation, your jobs, using your voice, and expressing emotions.