By Amy Wallish, NENA Vice President
CEO, Full Circle Employment Solutions LLC
‘Tis the season for strategic planning, reflections on 2020, holiday music, Black Friday sales, Services and Supports audits, lots of food, DOL RFI responses, Ticketholder successes and busyness. It can also be a time of uneasiness about the unknown. How can we shape our thoughts and attitude into one of gratefulness and thanksgiving each day? I invite you to reflect on a few steps we can each take to bring more gratitude and joy into our lives and those around us.
Smile more. A smile can make you feel better. A shared smile can warm someone else. I’m sure you can all think of a time when someone gave you that unexpected welcoming smile that just made your day. In our current times with masks, we need to smile more with our eyes. I challenge you to Google how to smile with your eyes. You’ll find lots of sites that talk about it. Take intentional time each day to smile to yourself, coworkers, clients, or strangers.
Send a handwritten note. Share your gratitude for someone with a handwritten note. Be specific and personalize the note with details that you learned by listening and knowing the person. The act of writing out your thanks and physical mailing it will brighten your day and someone else’s.
Gratitude time. Set aside a specific time each day to reflect on 3 things or 3 people that you are grateful for that day. Visualize them and give thanks again.
Help someone else. The simple act of helping someone else can be life changing and joy giving. So take time to ask, “How are you?” or “How can I help you?” and act.
Say Hello. Say hello to strangers. The act of acknowledging someone with a smile and a hello will allow you to express gratitude to those around you.
Dance. Take 5 minutes each day to get your body moving. Ask Alexa to play a song and turn it up. Stand up from your desk and just dance! How can you not have joy while dancing to… Fill in the blank and give it your best shot, baby.
Self-Examination. Take time to do a self-check-in. How were my words today? Did I leave someone in a better place? Did I leave a kind word? Did I pay attention to those I encountered today? Did I make time? Did I make peace? Did I say, “I’m here for you”? With self-examination comes understanding and self-compassion and in turn a spirit of inward joy and outward gratefulness to others.
Let’s pause here. Go back and re-read these ideas. Let’s challenge ourselves to do as many as we can in the next 30 days. Take note of it. How did it make you feel? Did anything surprise you? Did you surprise anyone? How did others react? I’d love to do a follow-up article in a future newsletter with feedback from this challenge, so please email me your feedback, stories, and responses on how it went.