Women have difficult lives, just because there are only so many hours in a day and so much to do! Handling work, dealing with relationships and children, performing more emotional labour than you should, and so on. But sometimes you really just have to stop and smell the roses. Life is a really wonderful thing, when you think about it, isn’t it? You have the potential to do something great with it.
But it can be difficult to always realise that or to think that you should actually be grateful for what you have. Not everyone has food or water, or an internet connection or a stable job (or hiring potential in the market), or a family and good relationships. And it’s likely that you have most of those things, and you don’t probably recognise that you’re pretty lucky. If you’re more grateful and you enjoy things more, you also become that much more happier. So how can you be more thankful, even on days when stuff gets rough?
Spend time outdoors
This might be irrelevant, but a lot of people find it really helps. Unless you’ve got a job that requires you to be outdoors a lot, you’re probably locked in an office or in your house dealing with paperwork and crying kids. But if you go talk a walk to the local park, or go for a hike, you’ll realise how much of a positive effect it has on you and your thoughts. There’s that whole cliche about being at one with nature, and that’s why green spaces are so good for us. You’ll see how much beauty there is in the world even if you just go to a park, sit on a bench, and watch the sunset.
Keep a gratitude journal
As they say, if you write it, you remember. Consider keeping a gratitude journal, where you can make short entries writing down positive things that happened to you, or things you were grateful for that day or that week. Write as often as you like, or only a few times a month. It allows you to actively engage with the things that really give you a reason to live, and you can read the entries anytime you feel low or you feel like you’ve had a particularly bad day. There’s so much to live for.
One of the best ways to learn gratitude is through volunteering. Volunteer for any charity when you have time, and pick a cause you’re passionate about. Teaching underprivileged children, going to an old-age home, or looking after animals at a shelter…whatever you like. Not only is it something that makes you actively engage with others, but you also realise how good you have it and how you can help to make the world a better place. People have really been changed fundamentally by experiences in volunteering, so you’ll be surprised how much you can learn from others through the process.
Look for the good things
Every now and again, you’re going to run into a bad situation. Maybe you said something you shouldn’t have to your partner, or you broke a valuable piece of furniture, or you lost your job. But there’s a good side to even bad situations. You can learn from your mistake and be better for it. You can go out shopping and buy a brand new, different piece of furniture. You can take the time you now have, without a job, to reevaluate your options and see if you want to try out work in other fields, or other positions in the same field. You have to look for the good in bad situations.
It might seem redundant, but be sure to vocalise it when you’re grateful. Say thanks to the people in your life who matter to you. Say thank you to the overworked waiter who brought you your meal as fast as she could. Say thanks to your nanny after she spent an exhausting day with your kids. We live in a world where people can often be harsh to each other rather than being kind. You might be taken aback by how well your expressions of gratitude are received.
Ultimately, don’t forget that it is okay to have bad days, and to go through rough patches. But as long as you’re grateful for what you have, you’ll be just fine.