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Write A Different Kind of Gratitude List.

Good Morning Ladies,

I can't believe we're already a week into November! One of the things I look forward to this month is seeing the daily gratitude posts that many of my friends write. I love reading about what they're grateful for, and it's also such a great visual reminder that I should practice that kind of mindfulness myself.

Usually in these posts people are thankful for things we already expect them to love, their family, friends, health, etc. However, one of the hardest things to be grateful for, though arguably the most important, are things about ourselves. As women, most of us are not raised to be confident, to boast about our skills or taught how to love ourselves. We're taught that our place is to love and care for others and to put ourselves last. This is never specifically said to us, but it's what we're taught by watching our mothers, aunts and grandmothers. I don't want my kids to grow up watching their mom deflecting compliments, complaining about her body and not taking care of herself. This November, I want to start being grateful for me, and act accordingly. No pressure, but I really think you should too!

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My Self-Gratitude List: (Gah, this is hard!)

  1. I have a great memory. It's always been easy for me to memorize facts, and remember names, numbers and peoples' birthdays.
  2. I have a heightened sense of empathy. I can easily put myself in other people's shoes and try to see the good in everyone.
  3. I'm creative and love to sing, act, write poetry and write in my blog.
  4. I don't take myself seriously. I love to laugh at myself, and I'm very self-aware.
  5. I've been spending a lot of time outside my comfort zone in the last few months. Being brave is scary, but it makes me feel awesome and strong.
  6. I'm kind, thoughtful and courteous to everyone I meet.
  7. I see people. I try my best to smile at strangers and make them feel noticed.
  8. I'm a good friend. I think I'm easy to talk to, genuine and with me you always know where you stand.
  9. I'm a good mom. I show up for my kids every day. I love them for who they are as individuals and listen, with interest, to all of their (many) stories.
  10. I don't give up easily. If something isn't working, I don't quit. Instead, I proactively search for all possible solutions.

That actually did get easier as I went along, but man, it was still really tough! Why is it so hard to think of the things we like about ourselves? Maybe it's because a lot of my strengths; empathy, kindness, thoughtfulness, just aren't as valued in our society. They're not money makers. It's easy to think that, just because they aren't valued, everyone must have them, but this just isn't true. These are important gifts, and they deserve to be recognized.

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I'm challenging all of you to create a list of at least ten things about yourselves for which you feel grateful and to practice the tips for self-gratitude below. I promise that if you practice them regularly, the holidays will feel a lot less stressful. Your family may still be cray-cray, but you will be able to stop and realize that you aren't responsible for their feelings aren't your fault, and you're not responsible for them.

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Practice Self-Gratitude:

  1. Write your self-gratitude list.
  2. Stop deflecting compliments- I'm a pro at this. Simply say thank you. It's not bragging to just say thanks, I promise.
  3. Stop the negative self-talk, especially if you say things out loud in front of your kids. You may tell your kids that they should love themselves completely, but they learn more from watching your actions.
  4. Don't be afraid to express yourself. We all have something special to offer the world, and everyone is at a disadvantage if we don't share those gifts..
  5. Whenever you look in the mirror, give yourself one compliment.
  6. When you make a mistake, treat yourself the way you'd treat your kids. You wouldn't make your kids feel stupid or worthless for making one mistake, so why would you do that to yourself
  7. Appreciate small positive changes, even if you aren't where you want to be yet. Slow progress is still progress.
  8. Stop trying to fix everything and everyone. It is not your job to make other people feel better about themselves. Only they can do that. If you feel guilty this holiday season for disappointing family, or not living up to the expectations of others, let that guilt go. Tell your family that you love them and then go on with your life, on your own terms.

The holidays can be so fun, but for many of us, they can bring mixed emotions. It seems like the stress and sadness of family drama, divorce, mourning lost loved ones, etc. are amplified this time of year. This is why it's even more important to be kind to ourselves and to remember that we are all worthy and wonderful mothers, wives, sisters, daughters and friends.

Let's Make November the Month of Self-Love, Ladies! You deserve it!

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♥ Erin

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