This time of year can be tough for a lot of people. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, and Christmas already on everybody’s mind, it can be a lonely time of year for those that are struggling. For example, an active addict who is in the depths of her addiction may not feel the joy of this season. A mother who lost her son to an overdose may not be feeling very thankful. A child whose dad has left him and made him feel worthless may have a hard time finding gratitude. A college student whose anxiety and depression are both on overdrive after a stressful semester may just want to curl up and relax until the next semester and not talk to anyone or do anything.
But we have learned some things along the way about being Thankful and Grateful, even if we’re not feeling up to the task. Honestly, sometimes it’s a “fake it til you make it approach”, and that’s OK. This isn’t a cure-all for feeling better and covering up whatever pain you are going through, but rather, a new perspective or a feeling of hope that you’ve been missing.
So, if you’re like one of the above examples, start with the basics. Start with the smallest thing in your life that you’re grateful for. Did you wake up today? Be thankful for that. Do you have a roof over your ahead? That’s certainly something to appreciate. What about food in your house and a car to drive? Both are blessings. Do you have at least one person in your life that you can call and talk to? Make sure to let them know they are appreciated. Are you grieving and missing someone special? Thank whoever you believe in that you had the opportunity to love someone so much that you miss them.
And if you’re really too overwhelmed to see the blessings around you, say a prayer. You don’t have to be religious to do this. Simply offer goodwill to the universe. Send out some compassionate vibes to those who are suffering, including yourself. Pray for strength to get through this hard time. Not to change it, but to endure it. Because you are strong, and you will endure it.