Both 2020 and 2021 were pretty tough years with so many of us facing challenges we never faced before the pandemic.

Challenges such as loss social connection and activities, jobs, income, and loved ones. Sometimes it seems as if everything in the world has gone a little crazy.

These experiences have tested the limits of many and make it hard to find the good in our lives or realize our blessings.

But, there are always reasons to be thankful and November and Thanksgiving are the perfect time to acknowledge just how blessed we truly are. No matter what you may be going through, giving thanks can help elevate your mood and even create better in your life.

What to Give Thanks For This Thanksgiving

  1. For those of us in the United States and other abundant “first-world” countries around the globe, we can be grateful for all the basic necessities in life that we take for granted that so many others don’t have. Food, clean drinking water, indoor plumbing and hot running water, electricity, heat and air conditioning, and so many other conveniences that make our lives easier. Did you know that, according to the Global Poverty Report 2020, 10% or 700 million people live on less that $2.00 a day and in unsafe and unsanitary homes? And as reported by the World Health Organization, 1 in 3 people don’t have access to clean and safe drinking water. If you have food on the table, a decent house or apartment to living, or access to clean water to drink, you are truly blessed.
  2. Certainly the U.S. isn’t perfect and we seem to be more divided as a nation than ever right now, but we live in peace. We have not had war on our soil since 1865 with the end of the Civil War. Right now there are about three dozen countries experiencing armed conflicts. But most of us living here will never know the true horrors of war, will never know what it is like waking up to bombs going off, gunfire, true oppression, and loss of freedom. And that is definitely something to count as a blessing.
  3. We live in a country of such beauty and natural wonder. The U.S. has 63 designated national parks that are protected for people to enjoy. We are a country of varying landscapes with clean beautiful beaches, miles of rich rolling plains that grow our food, mountains, lakes, rivers, and forests. When you need to feel grateful, just look outside at all of nature’s bounty.
  4. Whether you have a computer and internet access in your home, through your mobile phone, or access at a public facility or library, you have the power of the world at your fingertips and the freedom to improve your life circumstances. Now more than any time in history we have the ability to have information in seconds. We can instantaneously learn and improve ourselves. We can work from home or across the globe. We can start our own businesses. All from the click of a mouse and connection to this amazing resource.
  5. While there are definitely still inequites within our society that affect BIPOC community members, we live in a time where acceptance and opportunity are more available than ever to ALL people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, or sexual orientation. Opportunity abounds for those who believe in themselves and their abilities and don’t let themselves be held down by others or what’s going on in the world. You can truly be whatever they want to be and that is true freedom – and something to be thankful for.
  6. The simple things matter: fresh air, the love of your long-time pet, your morning coffee, a beautiful sunrise or sunset, nature’s beauty and all the autumn colors, a baby’s smile, a child’s laugh, the support of family and friends, a hug… there are thousands of small things to be grateful for that make life abundant and worth living.
  7. Be thankful that each day is new and an opportunity to make a fresh start, to be make life whatever you want it to be. It’s the chance to to do better, to love better, to let go of the past and look towards your future knowing an amazing life is within your hands, if you so choose. Be grateful, forgive, and love what you have.
  8. The fact you are alive to read this. You woke up today and get to experience another day on this amazing planet and spend it with the people who mean the most to you. According to World Population Review, there are 6,829 deaths per hour, 114 per minute, and 1.90 per second across the world. That’s almost 7,000 people daily who won’t get this chance to wake up and experience life again. Be thankful you get that chance and make the most of it.