Are you facing an unusual or difficult holiday season this year? If so, it’s important to cultivate gratitude to help you navigate the circumstances and keep your heads above water.
Gratitude is an important habit even on the best days, but it becomes even more critical when you’re facing hard times. Today we’re going to show you three ways to cultivate gratitude, no matter what is happening around you this season. Let’s dive right in.
1. Talk about and write down your blessings together.
The old adage “count your blessings” is timeless for a reason: it works! Even though you may be experiencing an unusual or unprecedented holiday season, there is still so much to be grateful for. Focus on what you’re thankful for and keep a record of those blessings.
You could make a daily habit of discussing your blessings together. In addition, you could keep a journal where you record the things you’re thankful for. Even in the midst of a difficult season, it’s always surprising to us when we get our blessings down on paper. There are always many more things to be grateful for than we realize before we begin writing them down.
2. Focus on one another and on your loved ones.
Focusing on your relationships with one another can take your focus away from the unusual situation. How can you connect authentically and create new memories with them this year? What can you do to bring them joy?
When you stop focusing so much on your negative emotions and instead work on giving joy to others, it can be a transformative experience. So instead of thinking too often about the things you’ve lost due to circumstances out of your control, consider how you might brighten the season for your family–and you’ll experience real joy in the process.
3. Enjoy happy memories from past holidays.
Reminiscing about the past can help you remember and cultivate the feelings of gratitude, nostalgia, and joy you want to feel during the holidays. Pull out your old photos and home movies, and spend time going through them together. Share your favorite holiday memories with your spouse and loved ones. If you have children, have them tell you their favorite stories from holidays past.
Remembering past joy can alleviate present pain. It’s not just a temporary escape from what you’re facing right now. You can harness that joy from the past and bring it into the present. Recall how you felt back then, and create an atmosphere that cultivates those feelings and memories now. It’s not about forgetting present circumstances, but rather about re-focusing your emphasis on feelings of love and joy.
You have so much to look forward to.
When you feel discouraged about the unusual season you’re experiencing, remember–it’s only a season, and it will pass.” There’s so much to look forward to in the future. If you’re struggling to find joy in the season, remember that better times are ahead. Stick together and you’ll get to the other side of this stronger than before.
If you need help moving through the situation at hand, take a look at the book, You’re Stronger Than You Think. God has given you the power and strength to overcome circumstances that feel insurmountable. Learn more and pick up your copy here.
Are you facing an unusual holiday season this year? How are you navigating it? Let us know in the comments below.