October 19, 2021

How I Bid Adieu to Stress by Keeping a Gratitude Journal.


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Fall is an amazing time of year with its beautiful colors.

I’m enjoying some relief from the blazing North Carolina heat with the crisp, cool air each morning.

While walking, I adore the porches with multicolored pumpkins and mums. Each door is dressed in seasonal wreaths that are decked out in foliage and wearing a huge bow on top. I think of fall festivals and the apple orchard we excitedly attended as a family.

As this month creeps closer to November, my thoughts wander to Thanksgiving dinners. Everyone sitting around a huge table, sharing, laughing, and having a great time while devouring huge plates of food. Then my mind drifts off to memories of homeschooling my children and decorating our classroom in beautiful fall colors. It was a happy, crazy, busy, and rewarding time in my life.

One of the assignments each year in the curriculum was to write a list, paragraph, or journal entry of what you are grateful for. Throughout the month, we would add to the assignment. A project was the grand finale before fall break. As we celebrated Thanksgiving and went on holiday break, December welcomed us back to school.

Gratefulness wouldn’t be talked about and written daily. We marched on with Christmas. There was a new month and theme to prepare for. It was the start of winter activities—field trips and plays that we would enjoy. A newly decorated classroom showcasing Christmas and the winter season. We had new assignments and projects that held our attention.

As the kids became older, they were assigned a journal entry a day. I decided I would participate as well. I love to write and it would enable me to sneak in a few moments of peace amidst the chaos. I decided to create a gratefulness journal and find beautiful, little moments among the craziness of life. As a stressed-out mom, teacher, wife, and all the other titles I wore, it was easy to be overwhelmed most days.

The journal helped me more than I realized it would. It helped me grow in my writing because I made a daily commitment and didn’t put it on the back burner. Also, I was able to see the small moments of life, like little mud-covered toes and feet of my son after jumping in a mud puddle. How much fun being covered in glitter was instead of worrying about the mess. I was more and more present, having fun, and less stressed—genuinely grateful for the current chapter in my life.

Recently, I have thought about the journal and the gifts it gave me. I have several journals that I write in today because of the impact it had. It was a new beginning for doing something I loved. Putting myself first for a few minutes during a busy day.

In the end, I learned a few lessons in being in the moment, having fun, being less stressed about the small messes, and taking time for having gratitude each day.





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