'Tis the season for giving thanks! There's really no better time than November to remember to give thanks and gratitude for the countless people in your life for whom you're thankful. I put together this list (with the help of my handy-dandy boyfriend, Patryk!) to help you think of new, simple, easy ways to show the one you're with how grateful you are for them daily.
1. Post it notes! My boyfriend and I always leave cute little post-it notes for the other to find throughout the day! I'll stick one on his work laptop to find later, or he'll put mine in my workbag. It always brightens my day and reminds me that he's thinking of me! (They say anything from "Love you!" to "Yep, I'm probably thinking about you, too." to "Go crush it in that meeting today!") They're wonderful.
2. Make a toast. When we have dinner together, no matter how rushed or crazy it is in our home, we ALWAYS stop for a moment to toast to something. Even if it's just delivered pizza, we always toast. Our toast is either to each other, or something great that happened for one of us, or even just a moment to reflect on the progress of our relationship. It only takes 30 seconds, but feels so good to make the world stop turning for a moment to pause and reflect.
3. Adding gratitude to our routine. He does things daily for me, I do things daily for him. That's how relationships work, give and take. He wakes up early to take our dog for a walk, I make us dinner. No matter how many days in a row this happens, we always are sure to still thank the other for it. Even if it's routine, never take it for granted. So, a simple 'thank you' and tight hug does wonders, no matter how many times it happens!
4. Check each other out. I know this is silly, but you're attracted to your partner. Sometimes in relationships, it's easy to take that for granted. You see them every day, and sometimes you forget that you picked this human out of a crowd to be with them! Complimenting their appearance with give them an extra spring in their step and remind them how attracted you are to them. I call my boyfriend 'stud' or 'handsome' all the time, or will tell him how good he looks before he leaves for work in the morning. Always gives him a big smile!
5. Tiny gifts! Similar to postits, I love hiding tiny little gifts in my boyfriend's bag! A piece of his favorite chocolate, a little nick back he'd like, anything, really! It is so easy and simple to do -- I'm at the grocery store and his favorite candy is right by the register -- and has such a big impact! I remember after complaining about not having a good thermos for coffee, I was at work, opened my bag, and found this amazing thermos full of fresh coffee! He had put it in my bag when I wasn't looking! Something so easy to do brought me SO much happiness.
6. Letters. Written letters are the most romantic and special thing you can do for someone (in my opinion, at least!). My boyfriend and I will write letters to each other to thank each other for something or to just tell each other how we feel. They are always so, so meaningful and special. They should be reserved for special things (we wrote them after traveling around Europe together, or after spending a weekend with my family out of town, or after getting our puppy), but are so very romantic. Hand writing your feelings are such a strong way to show appreciation and gratitude.
7. Put yourself in the other's shoes. I know we hear this a lot, but it really can do wonders. If you're getting frustrated with your partner, just take a beat to imagine what they're thinking and going through. Sometimes I get frustrated when my boyfriend doesn't rinse the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, but then I take a step back and think about his day and how tired he must be after work and how happy I am he does our dishes! Or, if I know he's extra tired in the morning after being up with our puppy, I'll jump to make the bed before he can help out just to do something nice.
8. Personal time. No matter how much you love your partner, if you spend 24 hours a day with them it is nearly impossible to not take them for granted. Spending countless hours with someone else and not taking time for yourself can be toxic in relationships, and makes it difficult to appreciate everything your partner gives you. Taking some personal time to fulfill what you want and love to do allows you to come back to your partner appreciating your time with them and what they bring into your life so much more.
9. Listen, communicate, compromise. Disagreeing is almost inevitable in a long term relationship. However, the way in which you disagree with the other person can be greatly improved with some gratitude. By listening to their side of things without interrupting, clearly communicating your side, and finding a middle ground rather than a winner and loser, you're both able to show gratitude even when arguing! An example of this is when we were moving: he wanted a projector in our living room, I wanted a television. We each clearly articulated why we wanted what we did and listened to the other. We knew we needed one or the other so we tried out each option for a few days. We couldn't find a good spot to mount a TV, and the project actually ended up super cool. Neither one of us "lost," but rather we both "won" and now curl up with an awesome projector to watch movies.
10. If you feel it, say it. Don't be afraid to share how you feel, no matter how vulnerable! Nobody has ever said, "Gross, he said 'I love you'!" or "Ugh she told me I'm amazing"!! If you're feeling something -- say it! They deserve to hear it and will trust and appreciate that you're always being open and honest with them. Additionally, telling them how you feel or reminding them of your feelings is a great way to show them how much they mean to you.
Do you have any go-to actions to show your gratitude? Spill in the comments below! :)