Is it really November already? It feels like a few weeks ago I was having a hard time saying goodbye to Summer and now the holidays are quickly approaching and Halloween is now behind us. I try my best to never wish away time or any part of my life because our days are precious. I love that November gives me the gift of slowness, to take in these simple moments that make living so lovely.
Last year I was stressed out at this time, working in an environment that was toxic to my well being and my health, and struggling over thoughts on how to save money for a wedding and to spend more time doing what I love to do. Adopting minimalism, or at least some aspects of minimalism, into my life changed my entire perspective on happiness, success, money, and wellness. I came up with the idea of having a “thankfulness November” or a “no-spend November,” as a way to slow down, push back against the pull of consumerism, and to get my life under my control again.
The results of my simple four weeks of not spending money (besides necessities, food, and career related needs) helped me save a couple hundred dollars that month and my sanity. I was surprised to discover how much time it also saved me every week. It put me in a great mindset for the holiday season and for my everyday life and it helped me to be more appreciative. I wrote about the idea here in one of my first “Tuesday Tea” blog posts. I also feel that November, being the month with Thanksgiving, should be about being thankful for what we already have and for giving to those who have less. My soul always cringed at thoughts of black Friday, the greediest day of the year followed by what should be the most thankful day of the year here in the United States. How have we lost sight of that so quickly?
As much as I love Christmas, and I understand why people try to rush the holiday here a month early, I feel that it is important to focus on one thing at a time. I know that it is the feeling that people are chasing, not the materials things, but I still like to wait so that I don’t miss out on what is right in front of me. I save all Christmas activities, movies, and music until December first so that I can focus all my appreciation to being thankful this month.
I would like to invite my friends, my family, and my readers to join me in a Thankfulness November this month. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, short on cash, or unhappy with your life at this moment, this may be the best medicine. According to positive psychologist Dr. Rick Hanson, being appreciative not only makes us happier right now, thinking of people, events, places, and things that you are thankful for every day, changes your brain to “hardwire happiness.”
All month long I will be sharing ideas on how to have a Thankfulness November and to absorb the benefits that will carry you through the holiday season and into next year.
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