Y’all, I am tired. I’m so tired that I want to stop typing right here, but I have plenty more that I want to share with you. For example, I want to share that this month’s Daylight Savings Time horrors didn’t hit our home and my kids didn’t miss a beat. I also want to share that while I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been, I’m also more confident and secure in my body than ever before. These are just two parts of my life I am grateful for this season. As grateful as I am, I still find myself complaining and struggling with a heart of Thanksgiving because of how tired I feel some days.
I’m not sure whether it’s just this season of motherhood that has me drained or the last 18 months when our world was turned upside down. Either way, I struggle to maintain a positive outlook or a spirit of gratitude when my body is tired and simply asking for a bit more sleep. On those days, which happen more often than not, I try to practice one of three ways to practice gratitude. These are quick and have now become habits for me (although I do have to set reminders on my phone to let me know what I’m practicing that particular week).
Here are three ways to practice gratitude this month (and every day after that):
Be grateful for the people in your life.
I like to think that I tell the people in my life how I feel about them often enough, but I probably don’t. That is why I try to send one text to one friend or family member each week where I thank them for simply being in my life. I have a schedule in my Notes app where I type out who I’ve messaged and that helps me stay accountable to this goal of mine. You can choose to make a phone call, drop a note in the mail, or video chat, but I prefer the quick text because I can send it as soon as my reminder goes off and it’s done.
Give thanks for the things in your life.
On those days when I’m ready to just fall asleep or go through the motions, I make sure I at least give thanks for one thing near me. I literally say “thank you” to whatever happens to be near me. I’m curling up with my pillow – “Thank you for being there for me after a rough day.” I’m plugging my phone in as I hop into bed – “Thank you for lasting just long enough to scroll through Tik Tok just now.” I’m stepping into the shower – “Thank you for warm water.” Giving thanks for the small things will help us establish a routine that doesn’t feel like work in the long run.
Allow yourself to complain before practicing gratefulness.
Have you ever heard that you should give praise before giving criticism to someone? I like to do that when I’m in such a tired or frustrated state of mind but in reverse. For example, my daughters recently used pink lipgloss to create a masterpiece on their newly replaced bedroom carpet. You better believe that I allowed myself to be upset at that moment. My husband and I work hard for our money, so when we see brand new carpet that cost thousands of dollars ruined in just days it really does strike a nerve. Yet, I also reminded myself that this is a first-world problem and I am fortunate to have a home with carpet and that this can all be cleaned up with the running water we have. It’s not toxic positivity, because I’m letting myself sit in my negative emotions while working through them and reframing them to give me a new perspective. You can definitely practice gratitude while still acknowledging that not everything is perfect.
To be completely honest, being grateful is really hard some days. As moms, we are pulled in a million directions and we are sometimes overlooked when it comes to what we do for our families. Sometimes we only want a “thank you” and often times we have to pull it out of our family members. That is exactly why we should be the first ones practicing gratitude because little eyes are watching us and whatever we do they’ll more than likely do themselves.