Practicing Gratitude (Even When You Don’t Want To)

Mom Life

As busy mamas, let’s face it some days it’s hard to keep your head above water and balancing it all feels like drowning in to do lists, carpool pick ups, after school sports, school projects and work deadlines. You know you have so much to be grateful for and your head knows you once dreamed of all of these things, but your heart is struggling to get on board.

All the people “in the know” and even google say “keep a gratitude journal”. It will help they say. It will make you feel less overwhelmed they say. All you can think is that you don’t have time to add one more thing to your list or worse yet, you struggle to even come up with 3 things to write down on the list!

Enter the Mamanista version of a Gratitude journal. Instead of jumping straight into the “grateful” part, I found it really helpful to start where I’m at and give myself permission to “unload” some of the stress first then focus on gratitude.

  1. I start by writing down 3 things I’m going to let go for the day. It could be a disagreement with my husband or traffic on the way to work or just generally feeling down about something. It’s up to you what you put there but write down what’s cluttering your brain and let it go.
  2. Then I look at my to do lists for home and work and type it all up or write it all down. I pick 3 from each that I want to make sure I complete that day I write them under “3 Things I’m Going to Complete At Home” and “3 Things I’m Going to Complete at Work”. Condensing my never-ending to do list at home and work to 3 focused goals helps me feel more accomplished at the end of the day. The rest of the items stay on the list but just aren’t the focus for the day.
  3. Listing a few targeted goals for the day at home and work was a really helpful to quiet the chaos so it was easier to see the things I was grateful for in my life each day. The list can include small  things like a hot cup of coffee or a compliment from someone or bigger things like an upcoming vacation or a sweet date my husband planned for us. There are no right or wrong answers here.

A gratitude journal doesn’t have to be fancy or anything formal. I keep mine in my yellow notes page of my phone but feel free to keep them in a Gratitude Journal or use the template below or a spiral notebook.

So what are you grateful for today?


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  • Reply
    January 28, 2019 at 6:50 am

    A gratitude journal seems like a great idea even for non-mommies like me! We can all tend to get consumed by hectic life routines feeling bulldozered under the pressure. I think this could be a great way to stop and think of all the good things in life! Thank you for the idea!!! This is brilliant!
    ~ Saraallie
    Sara Writes ~ The Crazy Life of a Silly Little Sister

    • Reply
      Sarah | The Modern Mamanista
      January 28, 2019 at 6:53 am

      You’re so right! This practice really has helped me in the day to day! Thank you so much for the comment and for following along with us!❤️

  • Reply
    January 28, 2019 at 8:29 am

    I started journaling regularly about 6 months ago and it has been such a life changer for me. I love the idea of a gratitude journal specifically. ❤️

  • Reply
    January 28, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    Love this! I make a point to write a list of at least three things in the morning, and often go well beyond three! It’s made such a difference!

  • Reply
    Sarah | The Modern Mamanista
    January 28, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    It really does! You’re so right that once you get going it gets easier to come up with more than 3!❤️

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