This morning I woke up and was a bit unsure of how I was feeling. I have had a couple of tricky days with my foster daughter who I love very much. CC struggles with attachment and sometimes for no apparent reason, she will start to say and behave in ways towards my birth daughter mostly (and myself) that are far from kind. I understand it is not the behaviour but what is behind it. But some days I really struggle with the pain it can cause my other daughter. So today I woke up feeling slightly flat to be honest. I am hoping on our final days of holidays (and I actually have some time off myself), that we can enjoy our time together.
After about 10 minutes of feeling flat, I started to mentally list everything I am grateful for. The list was expansive. I truly have so much to be grateful for and it was lovely to remind myself of this. So now, as I type, and this was already my next subject, I feel buoyed to share how I build gratitude practice into our family home.
Each home is very different and you and your family are the most qualified to work out a practice for your household.
What is now evidential, is that a daily practice of gratitude and hope is beneficial for your wellbeing.
In my home, our practice is that each evening my daughters write a brief summary of their day into their journal, but more importantly, they write down the three things they are grateful for from that day (no matter how small or big) and one thing that they hope for tomorrow.
For CC, my foster daughter, we recently shifted to three feelings she experienced (to align with her trauma therapy and help her to identify her range of feelings more) and she continues to do her one hope. We will shortly revert back to gratitude and hope for her as well.
For me, whilst it only takes 5-10 minutes per evening, I am more sporadic in terms of writing it down. Instead, I have my own ritual, as I am about to blow out a candle, I too acknowledge three things I am grateful for and one hope.
We have been committed to this for at least 6 months now and it is very much embedded in our routine.
I love this practice! No matter how tricky or busy a day may have been, we all get to sit, reflect, be thankful and end the day on a positive note.
Consider the following questions for yourself:
- I have so much in life for which I am thankful for
- If I had to list everything that I felt grateful for, it would be a very long list
- I am grateful to a wide variety of people
- I had moments today for which I was grateful
- For each child/young person in my care, I can identify at least one action from today in which I am grateful
Just shifting our thinking from the ‘to do’ list or the worries we may have, can really help us re-set at anytime in the day.
Some other ways to enhance your gratitude are:
- Sending someone a note/email/message acknowledging you are grateful for them
- Letting some someone know verbally that you are thankful for them, their service, their support, their action (with meaning)
- A weekly ‘count your blessing’ exercise – nice to do this as a family
My hope for you is that this is helpful 😊
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