For this Friday Five, I'm linking up with Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What, and Mar at Mar on the Run. The theme for this week, in honor of Thanksgiving, is gratitude.
The time leading up to Thanksgiving and running through Christmas is often filled with an external encouragement to show gratitude. From themes in TV shows to advertisements, we hear from so many sources how this time of year is when we should be grateful. However, when December 26 rolls around, we often return to a state of less thankfulness. As a result, the five suggestions below I am hoping you find to be timeless and can practice these simple means of gratitude year-round.
1. Write a Thank You Letter - A simple thank you note can mean the world to someone. As a teacher, I have received these notes over the years and have a drawer that I keep them in. Any time I need a boost of motivation, I read one of the letters. The writer of a thank you letter may never know how much his or her words mean to the recipient.
2. Donate to Charity - While the holidays are great times to give to charities, off-season donations also serve a need. Places such as food pantries often get an influx of goods during Thanksgiving and Christmas, but begin to run low in the summer and early autumn when schools and other organizations are not collecting and donating. Reflect your gratefulness for what you have by giving to others throughout the year.
3. Show Authentic Appreciation - Any time someone does something nice for us, we automatically respond, "thank you." However, when we say these words, they are more of a reflex than from the heart. Next time someone performs a generous act, respond in gratitude by thanking them specifically for what he or had done. "Thank you for...." This intentional thanking will help you become aware of just how many kind acts other people, even strangers, do for you throughout a day.
4. Appreciate What We Have - One of the simplest ways to show gratitude is to be content with what we have. Look around wherever you are reading this post and take in what all is around you. So many blessings we have in our lives!
5. Give a Wave of Thanks - As with every Friday Five, I always like to include a running-focused item on the list. The way in which we can show gratitude while running is giving some non-verbal thanks to drivers who are aware of us on the road and kindly give us space to run. While some cars may make us a little nervous as we feel the breeze of them buzzing by, other motorists provide us a wide breadth. By giving a small wave or nod of thanks, we show our appreciation to the drivers for watching out for our safety.
I hope you and yours have a wonderful and blessed holiday season and thank you for reading my blog!