Shift Your Mindset in 5 Minutes

My Self-Care Basics

One of my essential self-care basics may come as a surprise to you: it’s gratitude.

It takes 5 minutes a day. It’s so easy – and it’s a complete game-changer. This is alI do: every night before bed, I pull out a notebook from my bedside table, think about my day and write down 5 things I am grateful for.

Some days the writing is easy and I end up writing an even longer list. When I see old friends and we laugh like no time has passed. When the sun is shining and I am walking with my headphones and the perfect song comes on, bringing a huge smile to my face. When life and conversation and timing perfectly align.

And other days feel harder. When I am moving through a transition. When I’m tired or overwhelmed, or just down-and-out after months of snow and dark, slushy afternoons. But, always, even on the hard days, there are things I’m grateful for – and taking the time to articulate them makes a huge difference.

 
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The Benefits

Science backs the fact that gratitude improves physical and emotional health and increases self-esteem and resilience. I’ve experienced this first-hand, as well as the following benefits:

  • Increased motivation

  • More optimism and an ability to naturally see the bright side

  • More appreciation for my relationships

  • A deeper sense of trust in the ebbs and flows of life

Especially Helpful When the Crap Hits the Fan

Last year, when I was blindsided after losing a job opportunity I believed was destined for me, I went though a period of intense disappointment. Gratitude was one of the tools that helped me re-contextualize and process the experience so I could bounce back. I focused on the goodness that surrounded me and the experience:

  • Friends and colleagues who piped up with declarations and gestures of love, lunches, coffees and bamboo plants.

  • A recognition of how my own disappointment mirrored the experiences of many others in my life - how connected that made me feel.

  • A realization of all the other possibilities that now existed before me.

  • Living proof of one of my favourite sayings: "If a door doesn’t open, it is not your door"

  • Living proof of another one of my favorite sayings (this one is actually ON THE COVER OF MY GRATITUDE JOURNAL. REALLY!): "Make room for the new"

What once felt like a big mistake – a curveball at best, and a failure at worst – now took on a whole new light. I felt richness, possibility and growth.

Don’t Wait for the ‘Perfect Moment’ to Start… Just Do It!

Establishing a gratitude practice is something I recommend to people all the time – and today I recommend it to you!

To get started with any new habit, keep it simple at first. No need to wait for a ‘perfect moment’, or to have a fresh, new notebook, or to have a lavender candle burning beside you. Now is the perfect moment. Your practice should be easy and fun.

So this is my challenge to you. Every day for the next week, write down 5 things you are grateful for. Click here for a template I have created for you that makes it extra easy. Gratitude for the people and opportunities in your life. Gratitude for yourself. Gratitude for possibilities that you are creating.

Try it out and let me know how it goes at the end of the week. What changes have you noticed? What has come up for you? I can't wait to hear.

With gratitude ;)

Sarah

Sarah LangComment