United in Gratitude: Three Fun Ways to Give Thanks as a Family

Health and wellness November 9, 2021 By Raquel Collings

We are in the season of giving thanks and gratitude surrounds us. Did you know that implementing a continuous Gratitude practice could have health benefits for you and your family? According to the Mayo Clinic, practicing gratitude regularly can:

  • Boost the immune system
  • Improve mental health
  • Improve and strengthen relationships
  • Increase optimism
  • Enhance the quality of your sleep

There are many ways you and your family can establish a practice of gratitude- through small daily steps like meditation, prayer, performing acts of kindness or journaling. Here are three fun ways you can give thanks this holiday season and beyond into the new year.

Gratitude Walks

Make it a habit to take at least one Gratitude walk as a family each week. Whether in your back yard, on your street or in a local park- get outside, get exercise, and give some gratitude. You can take turns rotating with each family member giving thanks for someone or something in their life or you can go freestyle. Turn “I spy” into “I see something I’m thankful for- examples: a bird, or a tree, or a leaf” or whatever it is you see that brings you joy.

(Estimated time to complete this activity: 30 minutes each week.)

Family Gratitude Station

Grab a notebook or a journal or even some loose sheets of paper along with some pens and create a Gratitude journaling Station in a common family space like the kitchen or living room. Make a commitment as a family to write something you are thankful for every single day. This will create a living history of gratitude you can reflect on any time together.

For extra fun- you can decorate the cover of your gratitude journal, so it reflects your family’s values and spirit. Also, grab a pack of stickers to have at your Gratitude Station- stickers can add color and fun to your expressions of thanks.

(Estimated time to complete this activity: 30 minutes to an hour for decorating the journal, 2 to 3 minutes every day per family member to capture your daily gratitude.)

Family Acts of Kindness Scavenger Hunt

Gather as a family and create a plan for giving through a random acts of kindness scavenger hunt. Make a list of family and friends you want to reach out to with special thanks. Write down ways that you can spread kindness daily with small acts and expressions like smiling at a stranger or holding the door open for someone else. Have fun working your way through the list and set aside time every evening so that you can each share your acts of kindness from the day.

(Estimated time to complete this activity: 30 minutes to an hour to create your acts of kindness list, 2 to 3 minutes every day per family member to complete the act of kindness, 5 to 10 minutes for daily debrief time to share the kindness you all have spread for that day.)

At First United, we are thankful for you and your family every day and are committed to helping you spend life wisely. Spending life wisely means taking small steps toward a life of love and impact- we are here for you every step of the way.

By Raquel Collings