School can be busy, even overwhelming at times. You are probably grateful for fall break and the Thanksgiving holiday, and for time to relax with family and friends. Hopefully your teachers spared you from any holiday homework!
During the time off, why not take a minute or two of your time to write a gratitude list? Start small – you don’t have to write much. Think of five people who have helped you in your school journey – teachers, counselors, parents, coaches, friends, etc. How have they change your life for the better? If you are truly inspired, turn that list into a thank you email or note, or tell them in person that you sincerely appreciate their help. Psychologists note that having an “attitude of gratitude” can benefit you in a number of ways. Gratitude can:
- Increase your feelings of contentment and reduce anxiety.
- Promote your physical health by reducing symptoms of illness, helping you feel more rested, lowering blood pressure, etc.
- Strengthen your relationships making you feel closer to friends, family and mentors.
- Encourage you to “pay it forward” – making you more helpful, generous, and kind.
Spending a small amount of time during your break cultivating your attitude of gratitude will put you in a positive frame of mind when you return to school.