Self-Care: self-reflection + Gratitude
Do you need something positive, for yourself, in your life?
Often times, it can be difficult to look at life and see it for all the beauty that it brings. It is so easy for us to judge, point fingers, and complain, but it is important to point out the blessings in our lives because this is what keeps us humble. Expressing thanks and gratitude are so important, because even in difficult times, we are able to focus on the positive aspects of life. Stress is a killer, and finding ways to reduce stress is so important for healthy living.
Introducing positive self-care habits into your life, can help relieve stress and give you another outlook on your current situation.
Keeping a Gratitude Journal can help with can provide multiple benefits:
“As we’ve reported many times over the years, studies have traced a range of impressive benefits to the simple act of writing down the things for which we’re grateful—benefits including better sleep, fewer symptoms of illness, and more happiness among adults and kids alike.” -Jason Marsh
Read More: Tips for Keeping a Gratitude Journal http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/tips_for_keeping_a_gratitude_journal
What is a Gratitude Journal?
According to Jason Marsh , “The basic practice is straightforward. In many of the studies, people are simply instructed to record five things they experienced in the past week for which they’re grateful. The entries are supposed to be brief—just a single sentence—and they range from the mundane (“waking up this morning”) to the sublime (“the generosity of friends”) to the timeless (“the Rolling Stones”).”
“For years I’ve been advocating the power and pleasure of being grateful. I kept a gratitude journal for a full decade without fail—and urged you all to do the same. Then life got busy. My schedule overwhelmed me. I still opened my journal some nights, but my ritual of writing down five things I was grateful for every day started slipping away.” -Oprah Winfrey
Read More: What Oprah Knows for Sure About Gratitude http://www.oprah.com/spirit/oprahs-gratitude-journal-oprah-on-gratitude
The most important aspect about keeping a Gratitude Journal is highlighting those things that you are grateful for, the positive things in your life, and the things that bring you joy.
It is important for me to keep this journal because I have low moments, and I need to remind myself of my blessings. I have been slowly adapting self-care habits into my life because I do not want to be a pessimistic, negative thinking, spiteful person. I have not always expressed myself in the most healthy way, and with this Gratitude Journal, I am hoping I can express and remind myself that there is so much to be thankful for.
Pledge: Every day, for the next 7 days, I will write down 5 things that I am grateful for; the positive things in my life, and the things that make me happy!
Below is my Gratitude Journal that I kept for 7 days. Spend one week a month doing a active gratitude journal for your self-care. Remind yourself of all the things that you should be grateful for.
Journal Entry: Day 1
Today was a really rough day for me. I have not been in the best mood…my personal life is a little rocky but I can still see the joys in my life. Although, I am not sure of what the future holds, I know that God has me in his hands and he will guide me through whatever obstacles that may come my way. I am truly thankful and so grateful for so many things in my life, but it is important to document these things because it is easy to take things for granted. I don’t want to forget my blessings, and I don’t want to be ungrateful for all that God has blessed me with.
1. I am so grateful for my beautiful daughter! She is so intelligent, energetic, and she has a beautiful spirit. I am so blessed to have her, to hold her, to watch her grow up. I thank God for this little girl and I love her more and more every day.
2. I have a great family! My mother, father, younger sister, my cousins… their support, love, and prayers are what motivates me to be a better me.
3. I am grateful for waking up in the morning, for life and breath!
4. I am grateful for writing. It helps me get through tough times because I can express my thoughts in a way that I cannot when I speak.
5. I feel so blessed for my boyfriend. He is such an awesome father, and I do not tell him enough. No matter the difficulties, we have so much love for one another. I cherish our love and value our relationship.
Journal Entry: Day 2
I am so grateful and thankful for:
1. The sunrise… as the sun shines through my window every morning to remind me that there is always light after darkness!
2. COFFEE!!!! The smell… The taste… it is my life line!
3. My porch….the security, seclusion, the peace & quiet!
4. Forgiveness! I am so imperfect, and yet, God, my family, and my friends continue to forgive & support me. That is amazing.
5. My Weekends…to spend time with my daughter, my family & friends.
Journal Entry: Day 3
There is always something to be grateful for. They can be huge things and they can be small.
The five things I am grateful and thankful for today are:
1. My daughter’s smile
2. My Godson’s
3. Red Wine 🍷
4. My bachelor’s degree in creative writing
5. My master’s degree in Social Work
Journal Entry: Day 4
Even when I am hurt, sad, disappointed, angry…. I remind myself that there are so many others who are in worse situations, and that could be me. Life is full of many blessings… joys… pleasures… Here is the list of five things that I am truly thankful and grateful for today:
1. Ladies night at the bar…. I love my friends and family. Our responsibilities cannot keep us from enjoying time with our loved ones.
2. My WordPress Blogging Community… I have reached 1,000+ views for the month of February; 😄 the highest number of views in my blogging career! I am so grateful to all those who view, like, comment, and reblog my posts!
3. Car rides with my daughter…. I love her broken English gibberish as she talks to me from her car dear!
4. Romantic evenings… candles, red wine, Slow Jams, dim light, hot oil massages….
5. Love… ❤ it is patient, kind, understanding, playful, giving, powerful, intimate, loyal, blissful….
Journal Entry: Day 5
Here are the five African American leaders that I am thankful/grateful for because without their service, dedication to uplift others, example and motivation to continue to fight for equality, we would not be where we are today!
1. Michelle Obama
2. Maya Angelou
3. Nelson Mandela
4. Mahatma Gandhi
5. Taraji B. Henson
Journal Entry: Day 6
The five things that I am grateful for today are:
I am so blessed, and it is all because of God! I take no responsibility for the good in my life outside of him!
2. Family (thankful again and again)
Even through the difficulties, my family is always there for me. They are always uplifting me, supporting me, and motivating me. I am so grateful to have my boyfriend/daughters father, my daughter, my father, my mother, and my younger sister in my life!
3. Friends (I can’t say it enough)
I do not have many friends but the ones in my life that have been there for me, even when I make mistakes are the ones I adore. No one is perfect, especially me, but i cherish those friendships that have lasted through tough times.
4. My daughter’s Godmother
Words cannot express how thankful I am for everything she has done for me and my daughter. The love, support, prayers… I can’t put it into words, but I will forever love her!
5. My Home
Going from a 1 bedroom apartment, living with my boyfriend and a newborn was hard, but now we have a 2 bedroom with space so that my daughter can run around, a yard, and a porch. It may not be a house, but it’s our home!
Journal Entry: Day 7 (final)
So it is the final day that I am sharing my gratitude journal responses with you and and I am so thankful to each of you who have read, liked, and commented.
Here are the 5 things that I am grateful for today…
1. My daughter’s childcare…
They are a low-income, non-profit organization for single mothers and families with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. They provide the children with breakfast, lunch and snacks throughout the day; diapers & wipes are also provided! For parents in school, services are free, with a commitment to attend parent support classes, which they provide, and to complete monthly volunteer work and clean up at the childcare. They have been a major blessing to me and my family!!!!!
2. Older Adults
So much wisdom, strength, knowledge, understanding, and their many stories. I wasn’t blessed to have my grandparents in my life. I met my maternal grandfather, but I was to young to remember. I appreciate those who have grandparents in their lives and those who value older adults. They are national treasures and should be treated as such.
3. The #blacklivesmatter movement
Images Source: Google
As a Black American, who does not know ancestry, due to the oppressive manner, that my ancestors were brought to this country, I will never understand how you can’t support members of your nation, your country; as a patriot. I may never know who my ancestors were because there was no Census of people of color.
To be oppressed, to be discriminated against, are only understood when you experience it. There are different levels of oppression, but it is still oppression. It hurts! It alters your self-esteem for generations after generations! That is why everyone should support the #blacklivesmatter movement. It is about standing up for those who are being discriminated against.
4. Pride Fest
Images Source: Google
Pride parades (also known as pride marches, pride events, and pride festivals) for the LGBT community are events celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) culture and pride. The events also at times serve as demonstrations for legal rights such as same-sex marriage. Most pride events occur annually, and many take place around June to commemorate the Stonewall riots, a pivotal moment in modern LGBT social movements.HTTPS://EN.M.WIKIPEDIA.ORG/WIKI/PRIDE_PARADE
To those who have stood up for their rights… you are strong!
To those who advocate for those who are oppressed…. thank you for your support.
To those who continue to struggle with determining how to speak out about their sexual identity…. you are loved, strong, your opinion matters, and you should not have to feel like you should be scared, embarrassed, or guilty for being you!
I will never know the personal struggle of being LGBTQ+ but i do know what it is like to be oppressed, discriminated against, and called out of my name. It hurts! #LGBTQmatters
5. Reaching 1,000+ likes and over 1,000 views in the month of February!
I am truly honored for those who follow me in this blogging community. For every view, like, comment, and reblogs; thank you all so much for the support and the motivation to keep writing so I can accomplish my dreams.