by Sue Klick, MSN, RN, CNL Diabetes Educator
Thursday is Thanksgiving. Many of us will be busy preparing the turkey, dressing, pies. How many of us will stop and take a moment to give thanks? How many of us regularly stop to express our gratitude for the good things in our lives? We have a tradition in our home – every Thanksgiving morning my husband, our adult sons and a couple of their close childhood friends gather around the kitchen table and everyone shares what in the past year they are most thankful for. As these young people have grown into adulthood, their answers have also grown…from silly awkward moments, to statements of true understanding of what life means to them. Appreciation of others, appreciation of the beauty they have encountered in nature, and gratitude for the opportunities that they have been presented in life.
Being grateful is not only a good thing to do, it has been linked to increased happiness, better self-esteem, it helps to lessen stress, improves sleep quality, and improves your mood. All of these are also directly related to diabetes! Instead of seeing diabetes as a thorn, be thankful for the challenges that it presents. It can make you more focused, more disciplined, more active. It gives you a heightened awareness of your body, and a better understanding of nutrition. Diabetes management improves your overall health.
This Thanksgiving take some time to focus on the things you are grateful for. Ways to increase gratitude include:
- Create a list of 5 things you are thankful for every day or every week;
- List experiences or events for which you are grateful;
- Write about someone you are grateful for;
- Write a gratitude letter to a living person, and give it to them;
- List 5 things about your body, mental capacities, emotions, etc. that you are grateful for.
This year on Thanksgiving morning, we will again gather around the kitchen table. And I am thankful for the lessons in physics I will learn from Scott, the stories of the beauty of nature Kori will share, talking hockey and music with Graham, discussing medicine with Eric, learning new computer technology from Bryan, and the insightful discussions on diabetes I will have with Shauna. Most of all, I am thankful for having a wonderful husband to share it all with. We are truly blessed. From our family to yours, have a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving.
Sources: Diabetes Self Management and Diabetes Action.Org