Thanks-Living in Gratitude

Written by Destiny Wagner

November 15, 2022

I’m very much a summer person so heading into the fall and winter seasons shifts my mood in not the most positive ways. I try really hard to get a handle on my mindset, and one of the easiest ways for me to do that is through gratitude. In the US, we have the Thanksgiving holiday in late November so the reminder to be more thankful is pretty prominent.  

In the spirit of giving, I wanted to share some of the ways gratitude shows up for me and challenge you to give some of the following ideas a try. Here are my top 10!

1. Donate to a local animal shelter

Show gratitude for the furry friends in your life. Please consider donating to a local animal shelter. They could use towels, blankets, food, toys, and monetary donations.

I try really hard to get a handle on my mindset, and one of the easiest ways for me to do that is through gratitude.

2. Name something you like about the city you live in

What do you like most about your location? Perhaps you live in an area with some nice walking trails. Maybe you have access to a variety of restaurants. There might even be a local small business for your upcoming holiday gift list. Grab a friend and partake in what your town has to offer. 

3. Post a positive online review for a podcast, book, restaurant, etc.

Send some positivity into the world and show your appreciation. Is there a great book you would recommend to others? Is there a podcast you listen to regularly that has brightened your day? Is there a restaurant or some other service provider who’s gone above and beyond your expectations?

Post a positive review online. Go one step more – tag them in your social media and give them a shout out.

My personal podcast recommendations:  

The Ed Mylett Show – Most of the time I haven’t heard of the guests Ed interviews, but every time I am inspired and learn something both practical and positive. Every. Single. Time.

The Lazy Genius – Kendra Adachi’s tagline of “Be a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don’t” says it all. Give this one a try. Trust me. 

This Is Us Too and The Potterverse (or anything by Mary and Blake Media) – These are my go-to’s when I want to laugh out loud, relax, and have fun. Their rapport with each other, sound bites, and inside jokes with listeners make me feel like I’m hanging out with my besties. 

4. Compliment a stranger

Let’s continue to spread kindness – find a way to compliment a stranger today. Look for the goodness in others and be sincere. You may very well be the only positive thing that happens to someone today. Be the dealer of light, hope, and kindness. Make it a great day for others, my friends!

5. Get unplugged – appreciate a good conversation

When was the last time you gave someone your full, undivided attention?  Make an effort to spend at least 15 minutes of uninterrupted time with a friend or pet – no phones, tv, etc. Be present and make a connection. Bonus points if you can get outside.

6. Name a song that never fails to lift your spirit

Beat the “blah-weather-blues” with blasting a song that never fails to lift your spirit! Be “extra” and make a playlist. Heck, share the link with a friend who could use a boost!

In case you’re wondering, one of my favorites is “The Champion” by @carrieunderwood ft @ludacris. I also can’t help but dance to the intro of “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” by Shawn Mendes. 

7. Handwrite a letter or draw a picture and mail it to a friend

When was the last time you received something in the mail that wasn’t a bill or junk?

The handwritten note is a lost art form. Take the time. Send good thoughts, a note of thanks or encouragement, or your favorite quote to a friend. Perhaps you even draw a quick sketch – it can be stick figures! – or color in some clip art. (Coloring can be therapeutic so that one is a win for you and the person receiving your note). Most importantly, take the time to pause and recognize someone else. 

8. Spend an afternoon volunteering and/or donate to a food pantry

The upcoming holidays can be difficult for many people. I may be paraphrasing, but I remember an episode of The Brendon Show podcast where the host said something along the lines of, “When you’re feeling down and out, get out and about.” Spend an afternoon helping others. You can also find a local food pantry and donate. Set a reminder in your phone for 4 months from now to donate again. In addition to helping others, it will do wonders for your spirit.

9. Send a text to someone who makes you smile and tell them why

Who doesn’t love to hear how they brighten someone’s day? Send a quick text to a friend to give them a shout out. It’s so quick yet so powerful. Be the reason someone smiles today!

10. Reflect on what lesson in life are you most thankful for experiencing

What inspired this one was a post I saw on Instagram @inspirationwadi by @poemsvibe:

“A lot of things broke my heart but fixed my vision. Read that again.”

That lesson really spoke to me and made me curious…  What lesson do you appreciate having learned even if it was exceptionally difficult at the time? 

Remember, you have survived 100% of your worst days. 

That rounds out my list of personal gratitude challenges. Leave a comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences. Perhaps you add in your own challenge so we can collectively uplift each other. One more thing, I am thankful for you, dear reader, for investing your time here and supporting EdTech Nerds. 

Until next time, 


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