Like any other millennial living in a big city, I could go on and on about excuses for why I’m so damn busy. It’s my job, it’s the holidays, it’s that friend visiting from out of town. It’s always something. And it’s always something that has managed to allow me to validate actions such as ordering takeout, skipping a workout, or not making my bed in the morning. This "hectic lifestyle", has also been the primary excuse for my lack of writing (sorry) and frankly, it’s not something I’m particularly proud of.
Over the past few months and following a recent battle with anxiety and a series of unexpected personal losses, I decided I needed to take a step back and re-prioritize my life, including but not limited to: getting to bed at a reasonable hour, actually using all of my ClassPass credits, avoiding drinking during the week and focusing on gratitude. I’ll be the first to admit when I see wellness gurus preaching about gratitude while posed in some inversion on a yoga mat while simultaneously sipping their charcoal infused kombuchas, I can’t help but let out a serious eyeroll. However, snarky tones aside, these folks are onto something - the gratitude part that is - not the charcoal, THAT fad is a huge hoax.
So, when I discovered the app Grateful on a particularly draining day, I shouldn’t have been surprised by how much of an impact it would have on me. The digital gratitude journal is a super easy tool to help you focus on the good, and for me it was a great foray back into writing for pleasure regularly. After creating my account, I was prompted with my first entry question, a simple,
What made you laugh today?
Right then and there, I was forced to drain my anxiety from an emotionally taxing day and find the one silver lining, that as small as it was, was meaningful. I went to bed that night with a positive thought in my mind, that otherwise likely would not have been the case.
As I mentioned before, I’m not the most “woo-woo wellness-y” person (although sometimes I wish I was), so having a daily prompt ask me one thing to appreciate about the day is something that I love and now realize I need. Each day this tool asks me a different question, so I can search my dark soul for something good in different ways daily (I kid, but sometimes actually... yes).
What are you grateful for?
What are you looking forward to?
What made you smile today?
So, every night before I go to bed, I pull out my iPad and take five minutes to remember that joke with my colleague in the kitchen, that particularly insta-friendly sunset or that thoughtful “just because” gesture from my boyfriend. No matter how dark my day may have been, I can almost always find one thing that makes it just a little bit brighter.
Be grateful this Thanksgiving.