Things can often get overwhelming - especially as we come to the end of the year.
Not only do we have Christmas to deal with, but also the fact that maybe we've not fulfilled the new year resolutions we set for ourselves in January - not to mention the pressure of doing better next year.
We can forget that we’re the lucky ones. We have a roof over our head. We have clean running water. Our children have access to schools and healthcare. You're reading this on a computer or smartphone, so you are literate and have access to the internet and a digital device. If you're in the UK, like me, despite its faults, you live in a tolerant, free society in a climate where our biggest problem is a bit of rain and snow from time to time.
And yet, despite our privileged position in the global society, we sometimes feel down, fed up and as if our life is a mess (please note, I'm not talking about depression or any other very real and serious mental health issues here).
That's normal - and if our lives were just one big high, even that might become boring after a while!!
So, what can we do to lift our mood during these short, dark days of winter?
You can make self-care a priority - I shared my top self-care tips in my guide HERE, but I think that the best way to get some perspective is to consciously practise gratitude.
To quote Oprah, “Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.”
By being grateful for even the smallest things in your life, you can generate an enormous sense of wellbeing, which will have a knock-on effect throughout your life.
I'm a mum of two small boys - I know you don't need yet another thing to add to your to-do list - but I’ve also personally felt the benefit of adding just a little dose of gratitude into my life.
As with all good habits, to really see a difference, you need to practice every day in order to build the gratitude “muscle”. Adding time into your morning or evening routine to list the things in your life that you are grateful for, even if it's just five minutes, will help you to start seeing how wonderful your life really is.
However, it's not just about listing the good things - that's a good start, but after a few days it will just become a list-making exercise, and you won't feel that internal “shift” to a better place.
You need to consider why you’re grateful for each thing, for example, “I’m grateful for my husband because he brings me a cup of tea every morning and that makes me feel looked after.”, or “I’m grateful for my job because it allows me to pay the mortgage on my beautiful home”.
You get bonus points for being grateful for the more difficult things in your life, “I’m grateful for the big pile of laundry because it means that I have my children to care for”, or “I’m grateful for my mortgage because it enables me to have a home that I love”.
Start with little things if you're struggling to find things to be thankful for, “I’m grateful that it’s sunny today” or “I’m grateful that the bus arrived on time”. (Note here the positive language - negative language in these instances would be “I’m grateful that it’s not raining today” or “I’m grateful that the bus wasn’t late”).
But don't just take my word for it - the very real physical and psychological benefits of regularly practising gratitude have been proven by science (for more on this, read HERE).
Have you tried practising gratitude every day? How has it affected your life? Let me know your thoughts on this subject over on my Facebook page
All my love,
P.S. Just in case you were wondering, I'm grateful for every single woman who supports my little business by following me on social media, buying from me and reading this blog!