Gratitude During the Tough Times

This year will be the first holiday season in 9 years that I will be with my family. We moved 1200 miles away and it just wasn’t possible to connect in person during the actual holidays until now. I know from personal experience that for one reason or another, being with your family or loved ones is just not always possible. It’s important to recognize and remember that this time of the year can be challenging for many, to say the least.

In the midst of these challenges, how can we be okay and take care of ourselves? We start by cultivating gratitude. Not some list of 5 things that we’re grateful for (those lists just annoy me!), but genuine gratitude will rock your world and turn it upside down in the best possible way.

Gratitude is so much more than a polite response to life and others; but can serve as a powerful coping mechanism. It can allow us to surrender and feel the tough feelings while recognizing that it won’t always be like this, with the knowledge that better days are coming.

Small steps have always been the way to go for me. During some of my toughest holidays, I have turned to walking in nature. Something as simple as walking or driving to a local park, taking in the deep breaths of crisp air is invigorating and cleansing. I have always found that being in nature helps me re-connect me with my truest self and helps show me what is most important in life and in this moment.

Coming home, grab a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate. I like to drink something warm because I need to be a little snuggly and warm in contrast to the coldness of harder times. Watch or read something that is good for your soul. You know what that is. For me, every time, it’s a Hallmark movie. Yes, I know they’re terrible, but there is beauty in the simple familiarity of it all.

I also like to ban together with others and form my own Island of Misfit Toys. When life is difficult, I always have found great solace in giving myself the alone time that I need to be able to get in touch and process what I’m feeling and then… get out of my own head! Get together with friends or even acquaintances who may need some support. By shifting our focus we can change our perception.

Finally, do what you can to focus your thoughts on what you can control. This allows you to change the narrative to empowerment and strength. Acknowledging those small moments of joy and expressing gratitude for them can and will change your perspective.

I’m grateful to all the beautiful people who take the time to keep the love going, no matter what.

Lynn Devasto
Lynn "Pippy" DeVasto is an NAHA Level 1 Certified Aromatherapist specializing in custom crafted therapeutic blends. She can be found on all things social @pippysbotanicals as well as on her website. When not blending oils, she can be found at the beach with her granddaughters looking for the most beautifully imperfect shells.

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