Thanksgiving can be a rough time for many women. Stress around gearing up for the busy holiday season on top of your normal to do list can be enough to send one over the edge. Add the Norman Rockwell image of a “perfect” family, and it’s enough to make you throw up your hands in defeat–families are inherently messy and imperfect.
During this busy, stress-filled season, it’s easy to lose sight of important things. One of the easiest ways to help cultivate gratitude is to start a gratitude journal.
The journal itself is the easy part! You can use a plain notebook or pad of paper or can get fancy. Here are a few options:
- DIY Frugal Covered Notebooks (makes a great Christmas gift, too)
- Gratitude Notebook Printable Cover
- The Happiness Project 5 Year Record
- Colorful Printable Gratitude Page by Week
- A Month of Blessings Printable Page
Making It Pretty
Having pretty things makes them more fun to do and use. If buying a fancy moleskin or beautiful journal is out of your price range, try making it pretty with:
- leftover scrapbook supplies
- washi tape (Zulily often has these on sale)
- colored pens
If you are the artsy type, have you heard of art journaling? You can look it up on Pinterest. You could get lost in the ideas for hours–beautiful stuff!
If you are having a particularly bad day, a quote might get things rolling. Feel free to try one of these:
Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.
—Gilbert K. Chester
Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of the rain, the taste of your favorite food, or the sound of a loved one’s voice.
—Joseph B. Wirthlin
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
– Psalm 118:24
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
– 1 Thess. 5:18
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
– James 1:17
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.
– Colossians 3:15-20
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
– Romans 8:28
You can also download a printable version with the quotes here and the version with the bible verses here. I saved it as a JPG so that when you are ready to print it, you can select a size that will fit on the front & back inside covers of whatever size journal you are using. I wouldn’t go smaller than 4×6, though.
Cultivating an attitude of gratitude can help change your attitude and help you live a happier life. If things are perpetually bad and its not getting better, please consider getting some help. Just the act of writing this made me realize that my last thyroid adjustment went too far and I needed to bump it back up. It’s worth getting to the bottom of!