Thanksgiving is almost here and the holiday is more than about eating turkey and arguing with family members. Thanksgiving is a time for reflection on the things we are thankful for in our lives. It’s the one day of the year where we can have time to take a look at all the things that happened to us over the year that can be added to the blessing column.
This week, we’ve asked our team of mental health professionals to share their tips and strategies on creative ways to say thank you during Thanksgiving this year. Below are some fun recommendations for showing gratitude on Thanksgiving Thursday and all year long.
#1 Amanda Landry, LMHC, CAP, NCC
About a week before Thanksgiving, I start working on art therapy projects with all of the teens and children I work with. We work on making turkey hands and writing things that we are grateful for about ourselves. While it’s always nice to think about how grateful we are of other people, so often I find my clients struggle with thanking and honoring themselves.
Therefore, my first recommendation for Thanksgiving is to honor yourself.
You can thank yourself by:
- Buying a gift on Black Friday for yourself
- Making a Turkey Hand and writing things you love about yourself on the feathers
- Writing yourself a gratitude letter about everything you’ve accomplished this year
- Making a commitment to spend time every week doing something good for you
- Using positive affirmations throughout your day that encourage you
Now, another thing I teach to my clients is balance. Being grateful to yourself is one side of the coin and the other side is being thankful and showing gratitude to others. This year, take some time out to make other people feel appreciated for their hard work in your life.
Therefore, my second recommendation for Thanksgiving is to honor other people.
You can thank other people by:
- Sending hand written cards to friends and family members
- Creating a Facebook post for someone and thanking them for their help
- Making a charitable donation in someone’s honor
- Picking up the phone and calling a relative you haven’t spoke to in a while
- Saying thank you in a way that is meaningful to them (Read the Five Love Languages for suggestions on where to start).
Amanda Landry, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Pembroke Pines, Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-378-5381 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
#2 Anthony Naguiat, LMHC, MCAP
Hey everyone! As they seem to every year at this time, the holidays are rapidly approaching! Thanksgiving, for those who celebrate, is a day for people to recognize for what and whom they are thankful in their lives. I know this blog is about showing thanks during Thanksgiving, but why not learn how to have an Attitude of Gratitude every other day of the year too?!
Taking a solution-focused approach, by practicing gratitude daily, we learn to shift our thinking to look through a more positive lens. This can help us to really hone in on the little things that went well, even in a day full of struggles. Eventually, this can help to make us happier, more positive, and less stressed. So…what are things we can do to express our thanks?
1. Make a List: Every morning, or every evening before bed, think of at least 3 NEW things that you are thankful for or that went well throughout the day. You don’t have to think big…even small wins are something to be thankful for. Perhaps your kids didn’t argue as they usually do every other morning…WIN! Maybe you wanted to go to the gym and only made it for a short walk outside…still a WIN! Did you make it to work without the usual huge traffic jam? HUGE WIN! Writing them down helps us to put things into perspective.
2. Express your Gratitude: Now that you’ve gotten into the practice of identifying things that you’re thankful for, express them…whether it’s to yourself or to others. TELL yourself that you are proud of what you’ve accomplished or recognized today. Make it known to your significant other how much it meant to you that they did something like make dinner or take out the trash. Those kids that didn’t argue this morning? Tell them how happy and thankful it makes you feel when they get along. Just Say it!
Try to get creative. There are plenty of ways to show your gratitude and these are only a couple of many! I hope these help you get started on your path to an Attitude of Gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving all!
Anthony is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and Master’s Certified Addictions Professional (MCAP) in the state of Florida. He is also a Qualified Supervisor for Registered Mental Health Counselor Interns and is currently in private practice in Boca Raton, FL.
His passion is in helping teens and adults find balance and satisfaction in their lives. He specializes in helping people feel calmer, cope with life’s stressors without self-harming/cutting or using substances, increase happiness, discuss concerns related to sexuality or sexual orientation, or improve relationships with others.
His approach to therapy is brief, positively focused, and solution-oriented. Anthony utilizes Dialectical (DBT) and Cognitive-Behavioral (CBT) skills to help clients improve their ability to regulate emotions, as well as manage stress and crises.
Anthony is a Board Member of the FL Southeast Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).
For more information, please visit www.NaguiatLMHC.com or call (561) 289-2810 for a free consultation. Also check out www.facebook.com/naguiatlmhc.
#3 Thalia Rydz, LCSW
William Arthur Ward said that “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it”. With Thanksgiving coming up, it is the perfect opportunity to express gratitude towards our loved ones. Sometimes we get so caught up with the stress of our everyday life and forget to take a step back and show gratitude. What we don’t realize is that we spend too much time focusing on problems rather focusing on our blessings and being thankful for them. There are many benefits associated with showing gratitude. These include the improvement of physical and psychological health, aggression reduction, increases self-esteem, and improves mental strength
Here are my suggestions on how to show gratitude this Thanksgiving:
- Having a gratitude journal where you write down things you’re grateful for
- Just simply saying thank you to friends and co-workers will improve that relationship
- Writing a thank you note
- Thanking someone mentally
If it has been a while since you’ve said thank you to our loved ones, we should take it upon ourselves to reach out and express our gratitude for everything they have done for us.
There are many benefits to showing gratitude, the most notable being happiness. Remembering to be grateful allows us to stay grounded and focused on what we have instead of focusing on what we don’t want. Remembering to be grateful allows us to have a positive state of mind and will positively impact our whole lives. As stated earlier, with Thanksgiving coming up along with the holidays let’s remember to invite gratitude to our celebrations.
Thalia Rdyz is a clinical social worker, working with RK Care Group. She practices in Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County. As a social worker, she has had the honor of helping individuals and families of all ages and hope to continue to do so. She is also pursuing her Ph.D in Family Therapy and hopes to be done in 2018. She is passionate about helping others in their pursuit of improving their well-being.
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