By Winfield Salyards, Marketing Coordinator at Heinz Marketing

With U.S. Thanksgiving right around the corner and December rapidly approaching, it’s a great opportunity for us marketers to exercise our empathy muscles by taking stock of what we’re grateful for in 2020. I know. 2020 has been a tough year for everyone. But that makes it more important to remember what good has happened, and it is a good way to practice tapping into empathy—an important part of being a good marketer.  Research has shown that regularly practicing gratitude has many benefits to our wellbeing and mental health, including improving your sleep, reducing aggression, and increasing social connections. Here are 4 gratitude exercises for you during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Identify 3 things you take for granted but are actually very thankful for.

Everyone has things they take for granted in their lives, so why not take a moment to identify those things you’re thankful for. For me, right now, I’m grateful for a stable Wi-Fi connection.

Identify 3 people who had a significant and positive influence on your life (or maybe just in 2020 even.)

Many of us will have socially distant thanksgiving meals next week, so why not take a moment to think about those persons we’re grateful to know and have/had in our lives, even if we can’t see them in person right now.

Write a gratitude/thank-you note to someone or something you’re thankful for in your life.

One of the first things I was taught to do when interviewing and building a network is ALWAYS to write thank you notes. Some have bemoaned the thank you note as a dying art, and with the difficulty—or impossibility—of in-person visits at the moment, take the time to sit and write a note of gratitude. Even a simple email or journal entry will do if you set some time to think and write about that one thing or a person you are grateful for.

Make a gratitude tree.

This is a fun one if you have kids or are feeling particularly crafty.  To make a gratitude tree, you need a pot, some stones/marbles/sand, construction paper, a marker, scissors, and some sticks and branches.  First, fill your pot with your weighted medium (whether rocks or sand), then arrange the sticks and branches within to look like a little tree. Cut out leaves from your construction paper and place them next to the ‘tree’ with your marker. Over the course of a week or two, draw or write down one thing you are grateful for on a leaf when you pass the tree. Hang the filled in leaf on the tree, and by the end, you’ll have a tree covered with leaves of things you (or your family) is grateful for!

Hopefully, some of these inspire you to think about the things you’re grateful for this holiday season as we round off 2020. Happy Thanksgiving.