My first wedding anniversary is coming up. I (OT Jen) have been reflecting on celebration and ways to share appreciation. Here is a list of a few of my favourite ways to celebrate little and big wins with family and friends.
- High fives. (Yes, even with adults. Think about your last high five. It was pretty fun, right?)
- Smiling with another person until you both feel more energized.
- Taking a moment to notice an awesome thing that happened. Name it, share it, spread the love. Appreciation is a skill that can be practiced and learnt.
- I love the way you _____. Fill in the blanks with a few things that a person in your life did that made you feel heard, loved, and appreciated. Think of simple things like "I love the way you remember to hand wash my favourite mug."
- This is a game I learnt from a new friend that I use with my family regularly and will try out at my next dinner party! Have a few questions written on cards on your table. The questions prompt you to share something you are grateful for, something you read or learnt today, someone who made your day better, ways you showed yourself compassion - just to name a few. Go around the table, select a card, read it outloud and answer your question. This is a fun and easy way to bring gratitude, growth and celebration to the dinner table!
- Using descriptive praise with children, friends, and partners! Thank you for doing ____ because it made me feel _____. Let people know their actions meant something to you. Appreciation can be quite overt sometimes.
- Playing the “one up” game. This started when I told by husband that “wow, you are so hardworking.” His instant reply was “and smart and good looking.” Have some fun tell your partner an awesome quality of theirs and get them to add to it. This game seems easier for him but it is a much needed challenge for me. Try it and see how easy or hard it is to compliment yourself. P.S. It okay if it gets silly. 🙂
- Call a friend or family member out of the blue. Share a little win and encourage them to share one too! It’s amazing how supported you can feel after a phone call like this.
- Before bed, if you are ever wound up and thinking about the 2034726 things you need to do tomorrow... STOP! And ask your partner/child/friend/yourself three things they are grateful for today. These can be little or big things like that your favorite coffee was on special or that you have a warm safe bed to sleep in. If you enjoy journaling start a gratitude journal and celebrate and appreciate life with yourself!
- Write a note or a card for someone you care about. Try an "I appreciate you" card, a thank you card, a reminder that time card, or just an I was thinking about you card. This could be a social media direct message, text, voicemail, or a handwritten note dropped off at their workplace.
- Ask someone how they feel most appreciated and loved. Get out of your comfort zone and try to celebrate in the other person’s favorite way instead of yours.
I appreciate that you took the time to read my blog.