practicing gratitude for self care

Self-Care Sunday: Practicing Gratitude

Gratitude seems like a simple, obvious emotion that we all should be able to embrace and express. The truth is (and I’m not afraid to admit it), even when everything seems almost perfect in life, it can be hard to simply be grateful.

In this hectic and over-stimulated world we live in, we are always wanting more. More money, more friends, more purpose. We want things that are “better.” A better house, a better car, maybe even a better spouse. Whether these different negative thoughts are active or passive, at the end of the day, they are toxic, and they are most likely hindering the way you go about your week.

Today, I’m giving you five ways you can start practicing gratitude during your Self-Care Sunday so you can start your week off in a more positive and refreshed way (grateful people sleep better!):

Start a Gratitude Journal

I mentioned this in the first Self-Care Sunday blog I wrote for you guys, but it’s worth mentioning again, especially since we are on the topic of gratitude. I find this works best when you invest in a dedicated gratitude journal, one that is specific to the idea of sitting down at the end of your Sunday (or the beginning) and plotting out what you were grateful for.

Having a journal that has lines where you can add in the date you write on, and additional lines underneath for where you can list your thoughts, in my opinion, makes this easier to do. The best part is when you dedicate yourself to this task, you’ll soon have a journal full of fantastic things that you have documented, which you can always look back on if you’re having a rough day.

This is a great activity to implement on Sunday evenings, and you can even feel free to switch it up and write what you were grateful for in the entire week rather than just focusing on a day.

This is a great activity to implement on Sunday evenings, and you can even feel free to switch it up and write what you were grateful for in the entire week rather than just focusing on a day.

Embrace the Idea that Life Happens for You

Sunday can be one of those days where you fall into a rut. A rut of complaints, a rut of displeasure with how things might be panning out for you. Maybe you’re disappointed with your job and you’re dreading showing up again on Monday morning. Maybe it’s the opposite and you’re currently unemployed. The list of reasons truly is endless, and specific to all of our unique situations.

I get it - I do it too.

I used to get sick with anxiety on Sundays, because it somehow became my dedicated day of worry. I would question everything: am I on the right path? Am I working the right job to get to where I want to go? Why are these things happening to me? Why has life unfolded in this way?

Rather than dwell on negativity as you try and prepare for the week, try and flip the way that you think about the current events of your life. Rachel Hollis mentions this in her book Girl, Wash Your Face and it really was a massive eye-opener for me.

What if instead, as Hollis notes, we say “this is happening for me” instead of “this is happening to me”?

Okay, so what does this have to do with gratitude?

Between all the good, the bad and the ugly that life presents us with, we have to be grateful. We have to find that shred of light in the moments that feel the darkest, and we have to recognize the positivity that can often come out of something negative. In truth, it makes life a heck of a lot easier when we strive to be grateful for things that are happening to us because they are working to shape us into the people we were meant to be.

Okay, so you don’t love your job. But, you’re making an income, and you’re probably learning a few things here and there. Life is happening for you.

Maybe you’re unemployed in search of your next job. I bet you’re learning to be strong and finding ways to keep moving forward. You’re becoming strong and resilient to uncertainty, maybe even strengthening your networking skills and portfolio. Life is happening for you.

Use Sunday as a day to rework your outlook on life and practice gratitude.

Flip your Perspective By Putting Yourself in Someone Else’s Shoes

This ties in with the gratitude journal, and working on embracing the idea that life is happening “for you.”

There is a well-known graphic on the internet that shows a series of different frames and characters. In the first frame, we see two cars side-by-side, one obviously nicer than the other. The man in the older looking car has a thought bubble over his head, wishing he possessed the nicer car. Then, the frame is zoomed out, and another man on a bike is looking at the older car, wishing he had one.

Again, we see it zoom out, and there is a man walking who notices the bike and wishes he had one. Finally, there is a man in a wheelchair, jealous of the fact that the walking man can go anywhere he wants.

Instead of lusting over what you don’t have, or wish you did have, it’s important to understand that somewhere in the world, there is most likely someone less fortunate than you, and they might be happier than you just because of the way they think about it.

On Sundays, be mindful of this to help practice gratitude. You will be surprised how much happier you will feel when instead of wanting more, you become grateful for what you already have. This is a fantastic mindset to hold onto as you venture out into the new week.

Show & Tell People That You Love Them

Openly expressing gratitude to those who mean the most to you is a great way to practice gratitude (not only on Sundays, but every day of the week!).

Go on and text your mom and dad an “I love you” or “I’m grateful for you” message. Tell your grandmother how much she means to you. Give your friend a hug. These seem like super basic things, but we all forget to do them!

Spread the love. Making the people you care about feel good will inevitably make you feel the same way. Carve out time on Sundays to do these small things that will no doubt have a major return.

Make sure to continue to check back in for more Self-Care Sunday blogs!

Related Article: Inspired by Kintsugi - Mend What was Broken and Embrace Your Scars

Marina Khonaisser

Marina Khonaisser

Marina is a communications professional, content writer, and Daily Life's Managing Editor! With more than 3 years of digital marketing and social media experience, she has also written for magazines such as YouthInk (where she was first professionally published at the age of 13), and online publications like the Toronto-based Student Life... Read More

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