“Gratitude consists of being more aware of what you have, than what you don’t.”

The holidays are a festive time of year but they can also be emotional, especially for family caregivers. Perhaps gatherings with loved ones are different than they used to be, but there is so much opportunity for joy – with the help of a little gratitude.

Recent psychology research has shown that “gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness … [and] helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships.”

Here are a few simple ways to incorporate gratitude into your daily life:

Five blessings: As you lay in bed at night, close your eyes and think of five things that you are thankful for. It can be as simple as a nice conversation, fun activity or delicious dessert that you enjoyed sharing with your loved one.

Thank you notes: Buy a box of thank you notes to keep in a handy spot. Pick a time each week to write one note to someone who has been a support to you as a family caregiver. Taking the time to reflect on that person’s positive impact will lift you up and make their day.

Gratitude journal: Make a list of things that you are thankful for about your loved one and your time together – both now and over the years. Not only is it impactful to see the ever-growing list, it’s also beneficial to look back during difficult times to reflect on all the beauty.

As we enter this season, I encourage you to take time to be grateful for the big and little things in life. On behalf of the Kensington Park family, we are so very grateful for all of you!

Join Us for Caregiver Connect with Leslie Mason, LCSW every 2nd Monday of the month at 6:30pm in the Woodlands 3rd floor activity room.

*Dr. Summer Allen, PhD. with Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, “The Science of Gratitude” (May 2018)

Marilyn Rippetoe, LCSW

Director of Family Services

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