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Tips for seasonal gratitude
Wellness
Published Wednesday Oct 30, 2019 by Paula Hoss

9 Unique Ways to Practice Gratitude This Thanksgiving 

Personal Growth
Fitness
Meditation

Welcome to Thanksgiving season; where the Halloween candy still lingers, the holiday decorations are sneaking in, and everyone is tagging you in their #gratitudechallenge.
 
If you’re like me, you’ve participated in your fair share of gratitude challenges, lists, and journals. I’ve found lists and journals difficult to stick to because it’s hard to see any impact as a result of my actions.
 
On the other hand, some studies show the deep and lasting benefits of approaching our lives from a grateful perspective—so we should probably be practicing gratitude in some way, shouldn’t we?
 
I’ve found the most powerful way to see results from a grateful mindset is to take those words off the paper and into the real world. Rather than simply writing down what I’m grateful for, I try to help others, connect with my community, and intentionally reflect on my blessings.
 
Check out these nine ways you can practice gratitude through action:

Make time to volunteer.

Volunteering connects us to other people, takes us out of our comfort zone, and helps us appreciate the things we have. Whether you choose to help with meals at a local shelter or help a friend move, gifting your time is a valuable way to bless others.

1
Make time to volunteer.

Volunteering connects us to other people, takes us out of our comfort zone, and helps us appreciate the things we have. Whether you choose to help with meals at a local shelter or help a friend move, gifting your time is a valuable way to bless others.

Do an act of kindness.

Even the tiniest acts of kindness can cheer up someone else’s day, along with your own. Try paying for someone else’s coffee, picking up something someone dropped, or holding the door and sharing a smile.

2
Do an act of kindness.

Even the tiniest acts of kindness can cheer up someone else’s day, along with your own. Try paying for someone else’s coffee, picking up something someone dropped, or holding the door and sharing a smile.

Take a tech sabbath.

Technology is a part of our everyday life, but it’s also been shown to increase stress and anxiety. Commit to a time every week where you completely disconnect. I personally put my phone on airplane mode every Sunday and am intentional in spending the day, unplugged, with my family and friends.

3
Take a tech sabbath.

Technology is a part of our everyday life, but it’s also been shown to increase stress and anxiety. Commit to a time every week where you completely disconnect. I personally put my phone on airplane mode every Sunday and am intentional in spending the day, unplugged, with my family and friends.

Say “thank you.”

Go out of your way to really say thank you to someone. Instead of just saying the words, make an effort to tell them that you appreciated what they did, how it helped you, and that they did a great job. Extra grateful? Try writing a thank you note!

4
Say “thank you.”

Go out of your way to really say thank you to someone. Instead of just saying the words, make an effort to tell them that you appreciated what they did, how it helped you, and that they did a great job. Extra grateful? Try writing a thank you note!

Create a gratitude collage.

Imagine if your gratitude journal and vision board had a baby that gave you all the warm and fuzzies. Grab a friend, a pile of magazines, and create a visual representation of all the things you’re grateful for.

5
Create a gratitude collage.

Imagine if your gratitude journal and vision board had a baby that gave you all the warm and fuzzies. Grab a friend, a pile of magazines, and create a visual representation of all the things you’re grateful for.

Write a positive review for a small business.

Did you know that online reviews of a small business can completely make or break their success? If you’ve had an amazing experience with a small business, anything from a restaurant to a fitness studio, take a few minutes to write a Yelp, Facebook, or Google review. It’s guaranteed to make the owners smile.

6
Write a positive review for a small business.

Did you know that online reviews of a small business can completely make or break their success? If you’ve had an amazing experience with a small business, anything from a restaurant to a fitness studio, take a few minutes to write a Yelp, Facebook, or Google review. It’s guaranteed to make the owners smile.

Bring a friend a meal.

We’ve all had a friend that went through a hard time, and you couldn’t figure out how to help them. I encourage you to drop off a meal for them. Ask them if they have any allergies or aversions, and bring them something good to eat. The key to anyone’s heart is a good meal, and you’re sure to feel amazing afterward, too.

7
Bring a friend a meal.

We’ve all had a friend that went through a hard time, and you couldn’t figure out how to help them. I encourage you to drop off a meal for them. Ask them if they have any allergies or aversions, and bring them something good to eat. The key to anyone’s heart is a good meal, and you’re sure to feel amazing afterward, too.

Pause before you eat.

Take a few seconds before meals to reflect on the fact that you have access to delicious, nourishing food. Whether it’s saying grace with your family, or a few moments of quiet meditation, reflecting on the joys of a delicious meal is sure to improve your mood.

8
Pause before you eat.

Take a few seconds before meals to reflect on the fact that you have access to delicious, nourishing food. Whether it’s saying grace with your family, or a few moments of quiet meditation, reflecting on the joys of a delicious meal is sure to improve your mood.

Honor something bigger than yourself.

We all know we’re not the center of the universe, but it’s easy to forget that when we’re feeling stressed or anxious. Spend time reflecting on the intricacies of the universe, the beauty of nature, and the fact that most of the time, things do turn out okay. Let go a little and breathe a sigh of relief.
 
Hopefully, these unique and actionable ways to practice gratitude inspire you to move beyond your gratitude journal and into the real world. By connecting with people and the world around us, we can not only grow personally, but also help others and improve our community.
 
Happy Thanksgiving, happy gratitude-ing and don’t forget to eat all the pie. 
 

9
Honor something bigger than yourself.

We all know we’re not the center of the universe, but it’s easy to forget that when we’re feeling stressed or anxious. Spend time reflecting on the intricacies of the universe, the beauty of nature, and the fact that most of the time, things do turn out okay. Let go a little and breathe a sigh of relief.
 
Hopefully, these unique and actionable ways to practice gratitude inspire you to move beyond your gratitude journal and into the real world. By connecting with people and the world around us, we can not only grow personally, but also help others and improve our community.
 
Happy Thanksgiving, happy gratitude-ing and don’t forget to eat all the pie. 
 

Paula Hoss
Written by
Paula Hoss
Founder | CLN&DRTY Natural Skincare
About the author
The founder of CLN&DRTY Natural Skincare, Paula Hoss is a mental health and substance abuse recovery advocate. Featured in Beauty Independent and Brit + Co, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband, two children, and a flock of chickens.
Scorpio Zodiac Sign
Wellness
Published Friday Nov 15, 2019 by Sara Lesher

What's the Deal with Mercury Retrograde?

Expert Advice
Personal Growth
Perspective

You’ve probably heard lots of buzz about the planet Mercury this month, or maybe you’ve felt a little out of whack and just can’t seem to figure out why. Well, the answer is retrograde. It began on October 31st and will last until November 20th, so right now, we’re still in the thick of it. If you’re wondering what the heck that means, read on. We asked our resident astrology guru, Heather McCormick, to give us a quick run-down on Mercury retrograde and what you can do to get ahead of it this month.


What does it mean when Mercury is retrograde?

When Mercury retrogrades, Mercury appears to be moving backward in its orbit. This happens three or four times a year, and lasts for around three weeks at a time. Mercury retrogrades are great, as they catalyze change by shifting the energy related to our communication and expression. This type of energy can be frustrating and test our patience, or it can allow for introspection and growth, depending on how you choose to participate. Mercury retrograde can make things feel weird, uncomfortable, and difficult, but these are the emotions necessary for personal advancement. It’s a time to review, observe, and pause the mind. I like to think of a Mercury retrograde as a mini New Year’s. At the end of every year, we assess our actions and make changes. Mercury retrograde is a marker, just like New Year’s. You can review what you learned during the past “year” and your goals for moving forward during this period to be in better alignment for continual growth.

 

Sun, moon, and stars
 
What can we expect from this retrograde?

Depending on which sign or signs Mercury journeys through during retrograde, specific energies will surface (think of your zodiac sign). This retrograde is in Scorpio. When I think of signs and what energies they have, I try to dissect the word. For example, Scorpio sounds like scorpions, which are piercing and deep. The colors associated with scorpions are black and red. They hide in the dark and prey at night, and they typically only hurt humans when they are stepped on. Mercury retrograding in Scorpio will target areas that are intense and sensitive. That means something different to each of us, depending on where we require healing. As I mentioned earlier, Mercury in Scorpio will provide an opportunity for headway and enduring transformation. Don’t fear the pain, but expect this retrograde to sting.

 

How does a retrograde impact each sign?

The sign that Mercury is retrograding in sends out a general vibe to everyone. Scorpio demands transformation. It also rules a different area of life for each individual sign, which is where we see it impact us. The area of life that Scorpio rules for your sun sign holds the highest potential for change. The more attention you bring to that area of your life at this time, the more you will get from this retrograde. Here’s what you can do...

Aries - Pay attention to the power you give to your thoughts.
Taurus - Restructure how you relate to others.
Gemini - Align your lifestyle with purpose.
Cancer - Own the ways you unconventionally express yourself.
Leo - Understand the roots of your home.
Virgo - Communicate to strengthen your connections.
Libra - Be aware that what brings you joy is an extension of yourself.
Scorpio - Recognize your relationship to your own agenda.
Sagittarius - Make the unseen seen with your creative process.  
Capricorn - Contribute your most unique opinions and ideas without judgment.
Aquarius - Strengthen your self-worth through achievements.
Pisces - Adjust your perspective to create opportunities.

 

Mercury retrograde planets

 
What should we try to avoid during this time?

The feelings and situations we avoid and blame during this time are exactly what we need to confront. To make the most out of this time, avoid having quick reactions, since Mercury retrograde is notorious for creating technical difficulties and can increase frustrations. Addressing challenging situations is never a bad thing, but take a moment before you switch on your autopilot reaction. Mercury retrograde gives us that moment as a choice with the potential to make impactful change. Also, steer clear of major binding decisions like signing a contract. If you can’t avoid this, cross your T’s and dot your I’s twice, and have your neighbor double-check it for you. 

 

What should we try to embrace during this time?

Reassess, reflect, and realign with what is true to you—no matter what your sign is. Embrace what finds you during this time, for it is an opportunity for transformation. When we look back on our past with a Scorpionic lense, situations, thoughts, and people that carry a bittersweetness will stand out. Think about what area of your life Scorpio effects during this time based on your sign and see what surfaces. You don’t need to understand astrology, to be honest with yourself. Seek ownership in all areas of your life and let go of blaming. 

 

Solar System
 
Do you have any tips for spinning it into something positive?

Mimic the motion of the planet. Shifting your mindset and being open to other perspectives is progressive in itself, especially if you are willing to revisit the past during a Mercury retrograde. Be prepared for things to be intense and serious (think journaling and meditating to 90s grunge instead of having a heart-to-heart with your best friend). Thank Scorpio. Proactively take care of your physical and emotional needs so that you can do intentional work. No matter what your sign is, increase awareness of your behaviors and reactions to your surroundings to make retrogrades work for you instead of against you.

 

Still curious about astrology? Find out what your horoscope *actually* means to learn even more about your sign and how all this planet stuff really works. While you’re at it, be sure to check out The Best Beauty + Wellness Treatments for your Zodiac Sign and The Best Workouts Based on Your Zodiac Sign!
 

Sara Lesher About the Author Headshot
Written by
Sara Lesher
Marketing Content Associate
About the author
Spoiled by the San Diego sunshine, Sara’s hobbies include beaching, hiking, concert-going, and brewery-hopping. As MINDBODY’s Marketing Content Associate, she naturally loves reading and writing… so if you have any book recommendations, let her know. And just between us: she’s committed to health and wellness but loves a good taco (shoutout TJ Tacos in Escondido).