Life on the grid can sometimes be a bit overwhelming, especially for professional gals trying to have it all.
Working a full-time job, being in a relationship, trying to maintain some semblance of a social life and fitting in a little “me time” is a difficult and delicate balance. Sometimes a girl just wants to throw her hands up and say, I quit. But we can’t do that, so we soldier on through our busy lives.
There’s a very simple tool I’ve learned recently that has helped get me through some challenging times. It’s so simple I don’t know why I never thought of it before, and why more people don’t practice this. It’s called a gratitude list.
At the beginning of each day, (good mood, bad mood or indifferent), you write down ten things in your life that you are grateful for.
They can be simple things like, ‘a break in the rain’ or ‘my morning coffee’, or things with a deeper meaning to you like ‘my health’ or ‘my best friend’. If you cannot come up with ten items off the top of your head that’s okay you can add to your list throughout the day and if on any particular day you’re grateful for more than ten things, keep going!
It’s okay to repeat certain things daily, but I find it’s best to try to add original items to your list, each time you write one. Otherwise, the practice will not be as effective. The idea is that if you take a moment out of your day to reflect on the things you’re grateful for, it will alter your perspective, improve your mood, and put you in the right mindset to get through your day.
I confess I don’t practice this ritual every morning, but on mornings when I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, I find the gratitude list especially helpful. It’s hard to feel sorry for yourself or be angry at the world when you take a moment to realize all of the things you have to be grateful for today.
Here’s an example:
Today Wednesday March 28th, 2012 I am grateful for:
1) Having time to eat a real breakfast
3) Emergency backup mascara and face powder in my desk drawer
4) My job
5) Exciting new opportunities for my boyfriend
6) My iPad
7) Unconditional affection from my cat
8) A solid support system
9) My new guilty pleasure reality TV show: Long Island Medium
10) My first purchase from ETSY arriving ahead of schedule
As you can see, the list will be varied. It can be vague or very specific. You can see I listed my iPad, please don’t be afraid to list material things. If you are genuinely grateful for your new snazzy boots or your go-to gadget, there’s no reason to be ashamed. Remember, this list is for your eyes-only, no one’s judging you, so be honest with yourself.
Hopefully adding a gratitude list to your morning routine will really help improve your overall sense of well-being. Personally practicing this over the past few months has helped me get centered, as well as remind me not to take myself too seriously.
Realizing how very much I have to be grateful for in life is humbling and helps me appreciate every day just a little bit more.
Now here’s one more thing I’m grateful for today: finishing my first GOTG blog post!
EDITOR’S NOTE: We encourage everyone to start this worthwhile daily routine! But let us know – what three things are you most grateful for today? Leave a comment below!