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Today, I am Grateful for My Bed

2019 was a rough year for me, for fear of turning this post into an emotional rant, I'll summarize my feelings with an overly exaggerated comparison. All 12 months kinda felt like standing at the base of the mountain, enduring a pretty consistent avalanche. More than once, I would laugh when the FRIENDS theme song reminded me that sometimes people have bad days, weeks, months or even years. Then, to bookend the year, FRIENDS was removed from Netflix...OUCH. Sidenote, there's nothing FRIENDS can't get you through and I stand by that.

As I opened my eyes on the first day of 2020, I decided that this year had to be different. Fast-forward almost two months and it has been. While much of the improvement comes from ditching negative influences and making it through a season of uncertainty, a lot of it has to do with the conscious effort I make every single day to make it better.

A few weeks into January I started listening to a Podcast called The Happiness Lab by Dr. Laurie Santos. I ADORE it. Yale psychologist Laurie Santos breaks down the science of being happy and let me tell you, it's life-changing. Also, it's free so really you have no excuse for not at least giving it a try. Anyways, I'm listening to the podcast and one of Laurie's guests is talking about the importance of intentional gratitude to our own wellbeing. While listening to the man talk, I thought, "I have a ton of gratitude. I say thank you and I think about the things I'm thankful for."

Just about that time, the podcast informed me that taking the 10 seconds to actually WRITE out the things you're grateful for on a daily basis is the only real way to reap the benefits yourself. Well dang, okay. Thus began my 10 page (and growing) "grateful heart and self-love" Google document.

Like a good majority of my female friends and peers, I've struggled with self-acceptance and insecurity for quite a while (sounds like a painfully vulnerable blog post for another day). Based on my desire to combat this mental hurdle, I decided to incorporate self-affirmations into my gratefulness practice.

Every day, I take 30-60 seconds to fill out the following prompts. The daily format looks like this:

This may seem a little weird and to be honest, getting started is way harder than you think it will be but the impact is HUGE. Even after just a few months, I can already feel a difference in myself and see a difference in the way I cope with hard days. I look at my "tough year" as a "growth year" and thinking back, I wouldn't change a dang thing.

Some days, finding things to list feels impossible. I sit down and stare at the screen and my 30-second activity turns into a 5-minute activity. Without any guilt in the world I write;

Today, I am grateful for my bed.

Some days, that's really all I want to write and I feel LESS than ashamed because there are plenty of people out there who wish they had a super comfortable bed to appreciate. Good day or bad, I take the time to complete my list. Oftentimes, this time comes while waiting for my class to start, laying on my couch, cooking dinner, procrastinating homework, sitting in the parking lot of the gym (trying to force myself to go inside) or laying down to go to bed. The days I don't "have time," I feel like crap.

Maybe you think this isn't your thing. Maybe it's really not. Or maybe, you just don't want to tip-toe out of your comfort zone to try. My document is private, even writing this article felt like a slight personal violation but it's worth it if this is something that can help you, too.

Pro-tip: download the google doc app on your phone or even decide to create your list on the "notes" app. For me, I like to have my lists somewhere that is easily accessible whether I'm on my phone or my laptop. Something different works for everyone, though.

Today...I am grateful for you all, those that take the time to read my blog, to send me texts, to give me feedback, to call me out when I spell TikTok wrong (rough start) and to make the effort to stand with me as I work every single day to make life better for myself and for those around me.

Today, I am grateful for 2020 and many more good days than rough days.

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