The traditions of Thanksgiving extend beyond the cranberry sauce, the turkey, and the stuffing. It is the perfect time of year to take stock of what we’re thankful for. Giving thanks and practicing gratitude offer a whole cornucopia of benefits. Studies show that practicing gratitude even for just five minutes each day can improve sleep habits, increase positive emotions, decrease stress, and boost the immune system. The act of giving thanks doesn’t need to be grandiose — it can be as simple as finding joy in a slice of pie or in the smiling faces of friends gathered around a table.
What is Gratitude?
Gratitude is an affirmation of goodness and the recognition that the source of this goodness often comes from outside of ourselves. It is also recognizing the innate goodness that we each possess. Practicing gratitude is a way to remain humble and to create an environment in which you and those around you feel valued and appreciated. Showing appreciation for the things you are grateful for is the way to put gratitude into motion. Even a simple thank you or giving thanks for a meal is enough to make someone feel valued.
Make Giving Thanks a Tradition
In home caregivers, seniors, and loved ones can incorporate these ideas for giving thanks into their Thanksgiving Day celebrations. There’s a little something for everyone, so you can sample the flavors and choose which ideas you like best.
Honoring loved ones, both past and present, through the art of storytelling is a beautiful way to keep memories alive. During the Thanksgiving meal, each person can take a turn telling a positive story about someone in their life.
This interactive activity also doubles as a creative centerpiece! Place a few small branches in a vase and hand out ribbons and small pieces of paper. Each person writes down a wish they’d like to share, threads a ribbon through the paper, and hangs it off a branch. At the end of the meal, people can take turns saying there wishes outloud.
Who says presents are only for under the tree? Small, inexpensive gifts can be exchanged at Thanksgiving to show gratitude for one another. Bonus points if the gifts are handmade.
Three Favorite Things
Either write down or say three things you are grateful for that day and why.
This is a simple gratitude exercise that can be practiced around a table, between in home caregivers and their clients, or even just on your own. Make it a regular gratitude practice by giving thanks for three things each night before bed.
With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, many people opt to order their Thanksgiving dinner or purchase dishes that are pre-made. Give thanks to family or personal traditions by choosing at least one recipe each year to make from scratch. Share memories from previous times you made or enjoyed the recipe. In home caregivers can help by learning which recipes were traditional ones for their clients.
Thanksgiving Gratitude Journal
Create a bit of history by keeping a gratitude journal each Thanksgiving. All persons attending Thanksgiving celebrations can take turns writing in the journal. Entries can include recipes, things people are grateful for, stories, memories, poems, and even drawings. Take the journal out every year and read the entries from previous years. The journal can be passed down through generations as an heirloom.
During Thanksgiving week or dinner, take a moment to write a letter to someone you appreciate. Express why you are grateful for them and what meaning they add to your life. Mail the letter without expecting anything in return. You can choose a different person each year or write to the same person. You can even write a letter to yourself for a little self-care boost!
Grateful for In Home Caregivers
At Alegre Home Care agency, we are grateful for our in home caregivers all year round. In home caregiving is a service that helps people feel valued while receiving care from the comfort of their own homes. It is the goal of in home caregivers to provide clients with a sense of dignity, independence, and self-worth.
We’d love to know — what are you grateful for? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!
Do You Need In Home Care Services?
Many seniors have the support of friends and family caregivers, but having the assistance of an in home caregiver who is professionally trained can make a world of difference when it comes to quality of life. If you are interested in receiving in home care services or if you have questions, the friendly staff at Alegre Home Care is happy to help! Give us a call at one of our Northern California locations.