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Why self-care is as simple as saying "thank you"

An attitude of gratitude is fundamental to a great life. And it makes all those self-care steps you take go so much further.

Think about it – if you’re going through the motions and taking impeccable care of yourself, but fail to give thanks (or worse, complain about it all), it’s still going to feel empty.

I learned this firsthand when I began making self-care a priority in my life.

I carved out time in my days for myself. Took long luxurious baths (at least, they smelled amazing). I even got my nails done, which I never do (turns out there’s a reason – I just don’t like it). Yet, even with all of that self-care, I still found myself grumbling about things.

About how I felt like I was the only one who ever did the dishes (with four kids and no dishwasher). How my kids were constantly interrupting me. How I would be happier if this or that was different.

And then it dawned on me. Or rather, I started listening to that still small voice that asked me when was the last time I said, “thank you” for the many blessings in my life.

Oh. Ouch. My attitude was anything but grateful.

Thankfully, once I realized that gratitude was seriously lacking from my life, I began to make a point of saying thank you more often.

Thank you for this beautiful new day.

Thank you for my children.

Thank you for my warm bed.

Thank you for a spouse who is so thoughtful and encourages me to take care of myself.

Gratitude is powerful. It shifts paradigms and can instantly turn a crappy day into a wonderful one. It’s all in your attitude.

In fact, that’s one of my biggest self-care secrets.

Once I recognized that by giving thanks for everything in my life (the good and even the “bad”), I could find so much more enjoyment in the mundane. Everything shifted.

I became thankful for having to do the dishes with no help because that meant I could listen to Harry Potter.

I learned to be grateful when my children wanted my attention because it means they love me and still want to share things with me.

I even learned to just be grateful without having to justify it with a reason. Simply “thank you” for everything.

Because being grateful for everything means that you’re thankful for the life you’ve created. Even if there are many things in your life you desire to change, it’s not going to happen if you keep focusing on how much you hate it.

Gratitude softens our hearts, changes our perspective and helps us create more of what brings us joy.

Attitude is everything. Why not cultivate an attitude of gratitude?

A simple exercise …

Grab your journal/notebook and give thanks for everything in your life.

Everything.

Write it down. Even the job you hate and the fact that your kiddo needs expensive braces.

There’s so much to be grateful for, isn’t there?