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Nurturing Gratitude and Hope for the Holiday Season and Beyond

Sometimes it feels like I’m holding the sky up with one hand, while juggling sandwich-generation family matters in the other. I know I’m not alone. Between our keeping Democracy alive and maintaining mental, physical and community health during turbulent times, living life on auto-pilot is not an option in my opinion.

Given the challenges we’re facing, I like to think that I do a decent job of walking the fine line of being a realist plus a hopeful optimist. And I’ve found some best practices that get me through these days with less drama and more groundedness. So in advance of the stressful season that is the winter holidays, I wanted to share some of them. I *know* they’ve made a difference in my life and I’m sure they can make a difference in yours.

Six Best Practices for a Steady, Calm and Hope-filled Life

1. Keep a gratitude journal.

This year I started my second 5-year gratitude journal. It’s a perfect prompt each evening to reflect on sources of gratitude from the day and jot down a few items. Some days it’s easy to do: “A lovely conversation with my daughter.” “A delicious meal with my husband.” “A walk in the cool sunshine.” And other days, it takes me a while to even come up with something basic: “A roof over my head.” “That we can afford to pay the orthodontist.” “Food on the table.”

I have no doubt that going to sleep feeling grateful is healthy, restful, and sets one up for a better start the next morning.

Coffee cup with napkin that says "Gratiitude changes everything."

2. Get a regular dose of good news.

This one might sound impossible these days, but it is worth the effort to seek out good news. I have two great sources to share!

I discovered Future Crunch on Medium earlier this year and have since