Ways to Practice Gratitude this Thanksgiving

Ways to Practice Gratitude this Thanksgiving

There are many ways to practice gratitude this Thanksgiving, and throughout the year. By expressing gratitude you can help boost the spirits of others, as well as your own.

By focusing on what you are thankful for, you are shifting your mind to see things in a more positive light. This shift in mindset can help lower your stress and allow you to focus on finding happiness in day-to-day life.

There are many ways that you can express gratitude, and the methods that you choose can be determined through personal preference. To help get you started, we have provided the following tips for expressing gratitude and spreading happiness.

Ways to Practice Gratitude this Thanksgiving

Expressing Gratitude Towards Others

Everyone faces stress and internal struggles. For many, their day can be brightened through receiving gratitude and recognition for their efforts. Even the simplest acts of gratitude towards others have the possibility to make their day.

To help express gratitude towards others, we suggest:

  • Start by sharing your thankfulness for them. In situations big or small, expressing how thankful you are for another or their help can go a long way.
  • Actively listen to others and what they have to say. By being present and giving someone your full attention, you can help them feel important and cared for. Through caring and listening to what others have to say, you can help them see your gratitude towards them.
  • Recognize strengths in others and what they have to offer. Everyone offers a unique set of talents, knowledge, and skills. Many people often feel like their strengths are overlooked. You can help boost someone’s mood and confidence by providing them this recognition.
  • Celebrate the success of others and their accomplishments. Success brings most people happiness, but this joy can be increased by sharing it with others. When someone you know accomplishes something they were working towards, express to them the pride and happiness you feel for them.
  • Surprise others who you are grateful for with a gift, act of kindness, or touching words. By doing this, you can help them feel appreciated and see the gratitude you feel towards them.

Ways to Practice Gratitude this Thanksgiving

Expressing Gratitude Towards Yourself

It is important to take time to express gratitude towards yourself. Although expressing gratitude towards others can help boost your own mood, recognize that you also deserve to be appreciated. There are many things that you can be grateful for within yourself.

To help express gratitude towards yourself, we suggest:

  • Focus on your strengths and how you have built them. Often, we begin to look past the time and work that went into building our strengths and skills. Recognize your strengths and how you developed them, and be grateful for how they allow you to be your best self.
  • Enjoy the simple things and the happiness they bring you. Your joy may come from spending time on your hobby, hanging out with your friends, having a good meal, or anything else. Give yourself appreciation for creating your own happiness by engaging in what you love.
  • Focus on what you have rather than what you don’t have. There are many times when we may feel that we don’t have enough, or are not enough. Whether things are tangible or intangible, recognize what you do have in life and the value it brings you.
  • Recognize your efforts and see their value. Your efforts and hard work shouldn’t go unnoticed. Give yourself recognition for your efforts, and gratitude for all that you do. 
  • Embrace who you are without hesitation. There is no better person to be than yourself. Focus on the value that each person can bring to the world by having their own unique personality and set of skills. By being yourself, you also bring that value. Allow yourself to feel gratitude for being your own self.

Celebrating Veterans Day

Celebrating Veterans Day

Veterans Day is a time to honor and pay our respects to all those who have served. The sacrifices made by members of the United States military have granted us the freedoms we have today. For many veterans, this sacrifice has caused lasting effects on their mental health. On this day, and throughout the year, we encourage our community to help support veterans and their health.

In order to best support those who served, it is important to learn and understand what they may struggle with. To help spread education, we have compiled the following list of resources on veterans’ mental health, as well as the history of Veterans Day.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, “Veterans Day History”

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has provided an extensive history of how Veterans Day started, and how it has grown over the years. Although the meaning behind Veterans Day may seem simple, its full origin story offers a look into how truly meaningful the day is.

In addition to the history overview, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs also offers many resources for veterans’ health, finances, and more on their website.

Visit their website at: https://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), “Veteran Mental Health: Not All Wounds are Visible”

In this article by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), readers are provided a real look into the mental health issues that many veterans may face. They bring light to the fact that many veterans face wounds internally, and oftentimes in silence.

Visit their website at: https://www.nami.org/Blogs/From-the-CEO/November-2021/Veteran-Mental-Health-Not-All-Wounds-are-Visible

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), “Veterans and Active Duty”

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers a webpage dedicated to veterans and active duty service members. They offer statistics and insights into the many mental health struggles that may be faced by those who have served, or who are currently serving.

Visit their website at: https://www.nami.org/Your-Journey/Veterans-Active-Duty

Veterans Crisis Line

The Veterans Crisis Line offers 24/7, confidential crisis assistance for veterans and their loved ones. To those struggling, visit the following link or call the number below.

Visit their website at: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/

Veterans Crisis Line: Call 988, and press 1

National Native American Heritage Month

National Native American Heritage Month

National Native American Heritage Month is recognized each November. Its purpose is to celebrate the diverse and rich cultures, traditions, history, and societal contributions of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN). 

Although Indigenous peoples make up a significant portion of the United States population, much of their histories and cultures have been put aside.

As we celebrate National Native American Heritage Month, we encourage you to learn more about the Indigenous peoples of the United States. To help you learn more about the history of American Indians and Alaska Natives, we have provided the following list of informative resources.

U.S. Department of Interior, “Indian Affairs”

The U.S. Department of Interior’s webpage dedicated to American Indians and Alaska Natives provides various information on education, justice, economic development, and policies. They offer resources to help Native Americans find careers, pay for school, and much more.

In addition to the knowledge and resources offered, they allow for a more personal experience by letting individuals track their ancestry.

Visit their website at: https://www.bia.gov/

U.S. Census Bureau, “Facts for Features: American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”

The United States Census Bureau provides statistics on a variety of topics, including many pertaining to Native Americans. These statistics offer a look into population, education inequality, tribe distribution, and more. 

Visit their website at: https://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2021/aian-month.html

National Museum of the American Indian

The National Museum of the American Indian offers individuals to see real pieces of Native history in Washington, DC and New York, NY. In addition, their website provides education through text and pictures for viewers at home. On their website, resources are also listed for those in need of help finding education, a career, and more.

Visit their website at: https://americanindian.si.edu/

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center”

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers many informative articles and resources for those struggling with their mental health. They offer specific resources for Indigenous peoples, as well as education on the history and culture of Natives. Their “general resource” list is comprehensive, and offers a bit of everything relating to Native American heritage.

Visit their website at: https://www.samhsa.gov/tribal-ttac/resources

OCD Awareness Week

OCD Awareness Week

OCD Awareness week is recognized this year from October 9th to 15th. The week aims to spread awareness and education, provide hope, and put an end to stigmas about OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder). The International OCD Foundation has claimed the theme of this year’s awareness week to be “the road to reclaiming your life.” 

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a often long-term disorder in which an individual experiences uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions), and behaviors (compulsions) that they feel the urge to repeat over and over.

Based on data collected by Harvard Medical School and their National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R), the lifetime prevalence of OCD among U.S. adults was 2.3%.

In order to provide help for those struggling with OCD, it is important to understand what the disorder is. The following provides information on the symptoms, causes, and treatment of OCD.


Obsessive-compulsive disorder causes obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors that interfere with daily life and typically last for at least an hour each day.

Obsessions are repeated thoughts, impulses, or mental images that can cause anxiety. Common obsessions include:

  • Doubts about having done something right, like turning off the stove
  • Desire to have things be symmetrical or in a specific order
  • Fear of germs or contamination
  • Thoughts about harming or having harmed someone
  • Disturbing thoughts or sexual images
  • Fear of losing control of one’s actions 

Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that a person with OCD feels driven to do in response to an obsessive thought. Common compulsions include:

  • Repeatedly checking things such as appliances, locks, or switches
  • Putting things in a particular and precise order
  • Constantly seeking approval or reassurance
  • Excessive cleaning and/or handwashing due to fear of germs
  • Compulsive counting

Causes and Risk Factors

Although the exact causes of OCD are unknown, health professionals have determined various risk factors for the disorder. These risk factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Genetics are often looked at as a risk factor for OCD. Many studies have shown that people with first-degree relatives (such as a parent, sibling, or child) who have OCD are at a higher risk for developing OCD themselves. 
  • Brain structure has been found to have links to OCD, although the connection is not yet entirely clear and research is still underway. Imaging studies have shown differences in the frontal cortex and subcortical structures of the brain in patients with OCD. 
  • Environment, such as childhood trauma, has been found as a risk factor for OCD by some studies. However, further research is needed to better understand the relationship between one’s environment and OCD.


There are many forms of treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder, and some types may work better for different individuals. Many treatment options are often used together for the best results. Types of treatment include, but are not limited to:

  • Psychotherapy can be beneficial to both children and adults with OCD. There are various types of psychotherapy used to treat OCD including:
    • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help individuals better understand and learn to control their obsessions and compulsions
    • A type of CBT called exposure response and therapy helps teach individuals how to respond to the anxiety associated with obsessions and not respond with the compulsion
  • Medication may be used in the treatment of OCD. Various different medications may be prescribed, including:
    • SSRIs, a type of antidepressant, can be helpful for many in controlling obsessions and compulsions


7 Ways to Celebrate National Wellness Month

National Wellness Month is recognized each August in hopes to promote healthy habitats to take care of your mind and body. To help you celebrate, we are offering 7 ways that you can increase your overall wellness. 

Speak With Your HealthCare Provider

The first step towards improving your wellness may be speaking with your healthcare provider. With the help of your provider, you can create a personalized wellness plan tailored to your individual wants and needs.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is essential to both your physical and mental health. Especially as we experience high temperatures during the summer months, it is important to hydrate your body by drinking water.

Get Active

Physical activity, even in small amounts, is very beneficial for your overall health. If you are having trouble sticking with consistent exercise, we suggest trying new ways to get active. Finding an activity that brings you joy will make it easier to implement being active into your routine.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is vital to maintaining a healthy body and promoting overall wellness. The CDC recommends adults get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. To help you sleep better, we suggest creating a comfortable environment. 


Manage Your Stress

Stress can negatively affect your mind and body. You can increase your overall wellness by implementing activities in your life that help reduce stress levels. This may include reading a book, meditating, taking a bath, or anything else that might calm you.



Studies by the American Heart Association have found promising results that meditation is beneficial to the health of your mind and body. There are various different types of meditation, so we suggest researching what type might be best for you.

Make Time for Yourself

With a busy schedule, you may be neglecting to make time for yourself. It is important to make time for the things you love. Hobbies and other things you may enjoy can benefit your mental health and wellness.


Learn More and Resources

There are many ways that you can better your overall wellness. We recommend speaking with your healthcare provider to learn more. To read more about improving your overall wellness, the following resources are suggested:

What is Juneteenth?

What is Juneteenth?

Celebrated annually, Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Juneteenth is now recognized as a federal holiday, and has also gained attention worldwide. However, many individuals still don’t know the meaning and significance behind Juneteenth. To help spread the message and meaning behind Juneteenth, we have created the following list as an overview of the holiday and its origins.

Origin of Juneteenth

In Galveston, Texas on June 19th, 1865, troops arrived to the state to help ensure the freedom of enslaved individuals. The Emancipation Proclamation had been signed two and a half years prior, but this date marked a new era of freedom.

While in Texas, U.S. General Gordon Granger read General Orders No. 3: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” The words of Granger helped signal freedom to Texas’ 250,000 individuals. 

Although it took awhile for the full effects of emancipation to be seen, Juneteenth was created as the newly freed individuals celebrated. 

Juneteenth Today

In June of 2021, Juneteenth was officially recognized as a federal holiday. This came after years of work and advocating. Many have attributed the holiday becoming federally recognized to lifelong advocate, Opal Lee, who has became known as the “Grandmother of Juneteenth.” At 89 years old, Miss Lee walked from her home in Fort Worth to Washington, D.C. to call on lawmakers to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. In addition, she received over 1.5 million signatures to help pass the holiday. The determination of Opal and many others helped Juneteenth become what it is today.

In the past few years, celebrations of Juneteenth have continued to grow. These celebrations include parades, films, as well as educational resources. Many view the holiday as a day to remember how far we have come and the changes we have made. Through this progress, light shines for future growth. Although there is still work to be done, together we can use our voices and actions to help ensure the freedom of all.

Learn More

The history of Juneteenth has been centuries in the making and continues to grow. We encourage everyone to learn more about the holiday and its meaning. To read more, we recommend the following links:

History.com – “What is Juneteenth?”: https://www.history.com/news/what-is-juneteenth

National Museum of African American History and Culture – “The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth”: https://nmaahc.si.edu/explore/stories/historical-legacy-juneteenth

NPR – “What is Juneteenth and How is it Observed?”: https://www.npr.org/2021/06/17/1007315228/juneteenth-what-is-origin-observation