Take Time for Family Mental healthDec 01, 2021
It is hard to believe we are entering December. This time of year can become overwhelming with all of the celebrations and school activities but it is important to make time for our mental health. One easy way to improve your family’s mental health is to practice gratitude. It involves expressing thanks or appreciation for what we have right in front of us. It can be food on our plate, gifts, a comfortable home, or good health. Parents can role model gratitude for “little things” in life like beautiful weather, a good hug or a helping hand with the dishes. A good way to start is by verbally expressing thanks, journaling, or conversations at family time.
Gratitude can decrease sadness, improve mood, improve physical health, increase resilience, bolster self-esteem, improve sleep and lead to lower rates of stress and depression.
How can your family practice gratitude? The first thing is to build gratitude into your daily schedule – and practice it! Here are a few ways you can practice gratitude to improve the overall well-being of your family and those around you.
- Start your day by writing down one thing that went well the previous day and why it went well. You can do this while eating breakfast or before you start on work or schoolwork. Writing it down is important because it is a record of what happened that you can refer back to. This allows you to reflect on your actions and continue growing.
- Go around the dinner table and have each person state something general they are thankful for, and something specific to that day that they are thankful for.
- Share your gratitude with others by writing a note to someone you are grateful for.
Connect as a family and make a plan to practice gratitude this month.
by Beth Braun, PhD
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