Since the holidays are steadily sneaking up on us, now is the perfect time to brush up on your gratitude-showing skills. You should show your gratitude for your family, friends, and yourself throughout the whole year, of course. But this time of year serves as a handy reminder to appreciate everyone in your life. Coming up with ways to show gratitude seems like a daunting task. Luckily, you don’t have to organize a surprise party or drain your savings on an expensive present to let your loved ones know how you feel.
Just be there (without your phone)
In today’s digitally saturated world, being fully present with someone can be a big gesture. Practice your active listening skills by putting the phone down, shutting the laptop, turning off the TV, and talking to the person you’re with. I struggle with this too. I think I can multitask through a lot of quality time, but this lets them know you appreciate their company and truly want to hear what they have to say.
Tell them you appreciate them
It’s so simple, but so often forgotten. You might think it’s implied that you’re grateful for your loyal friends or helpful coworkers, but it’s always a wonderful feeling to be told, in person or in writing, how much you mean to someone. Be sure to be specific and thank them even for the little things they do for you.
Help without being asked
This proves you’ve not only been paying attention to what they need help with, but you’re willing to act on what you’ve learned. If you’ve been wanting to show how grateful you are for your roommates, pick up more than your part of the chores or come home with that thing they keep forgetting to grab at the store.
Give just-because gifts
Don’t wait for a holiday to show your gratitude for the people in your life. It doesn’t have to be anything big or expensive. Even just a pick-me-up present like a snack or Starbucks gift card given out of the blue is always a great surprise.
Show off their gifts to you
One of the most common ways to show gratitude is thanking people for gifts they give you. This being said, make sure your actions back up your words. You might not love the shirt your grandma gave you, but if you wear it the next time you see her it will make her day. I don’t see it as being fake, but more of doing something to make the gift-giver feel appreciated.
Be patient during their hardships
Sometimes showing support during a difficult time is one of the best ways to show gratitude for someone else. Make sure you’re checking in on them, giving them the time they need, and offering help as your schedule allows.
Write down what you’re grateful for
You need to show gratitude to yourself, too! If you’re into bullet journaling, try writing down one thing you’re grateful for every day. You can also hang up a list to remind you of all the good things in your life. These are both good ways to show gratitude without spending money or taking up too much time.
Shut down your complaints for a day
Focusing on the positives for a day will shine a light on what you have to be grateful for. This can be a useful tactic just for yourself, but it also is great for friendships, family, and the workplace. You’d be surprised how much not complaining about daily things like the weather or being cold can affect your mood.
Share your stuff
Don’t be stingy when it comes to your loved ones. Just the gesture of being willing to share your material possessions can show how grateful you are for your friends and family. Plus, sharing clothes means you essentially have two closets, right?
It doesn’t have to be a big milestone for you to go out of your way to show your appreciation for someone. If you know they’re excited about a new opportunity or you just want to spoil them a little, put together a special event. You could also invite them to do something you know they’ve been wanting to make the time for.
There are a lot of ways to show gratitude. Comment how you’re making time to do so this season!
Opening image by Emma Marlow.