Embracing Gratitude As We End 2020

December 7, 2020

I think it’s safe to say that few things, if any, have gone according to plan in 2020. The holiday season will not be an exception. Given the ongoing threat from COVID-19, many of us are having to change our holiday plans in hopes of being able to once again enjoy those treasured holiday traditions next year.

This is a difficult time of year for many, even under the best circumstances. The winter months often bring with them feelings of sadness, anxiety and depression. On top of that, many of us are dealing with additional stressors right now, from worrying about our health or finances to general uncertainty about what lies ahead. The winter months can be daunting. But in the spirit of the holiday season, I want to encourage each of us to do one important thing that can be beneficial to our mental health: be thankful.

Taking a few moments each day to practice gratitude may seem silly, but it can help improve our mental state. When we practice gratitude, we often feel better. Taking just a few moments to remember what brings us joy can help us reset and recharge.

With everything that is going on in the world right now, it has become too easy for us to focus on the negative and forget all that we have to be thankful for. COVID 19, racial inequity and violence, and the political division weigh on us all. Me too. At the same time, I have never been so thankful for family, friends, colleagues, my health, and the many other little things I might otherwise take for granted. I truly see every day as a gift.

I want to challenge you to find time in your day to practice gratitude. Maybe you scribble down what you’re thankful for in a journal between meetings. Maybe you discuss it during dinner. Find those things that bring you a sense of joy and peace and be thankful. A little bit of daily gratitude can go a long way toward helping us cope when things don’t go as planned.

After a long and difficult year, many of us cannot wait to close the book on 2020. But before we turn the page to 2021, I want you to take a look back at how far you’ve come this year. Think about all the challenges you’ve faced and how you pushed through. You’re still here and you have a chance to keep moving forward. I think that is something we can all be thankful for. 

Randy Callstrom