5 Days of Thanks and Giving: A November Gratitude Challenge

BY SHELLEY HOPPER, FIT4MOM Digital Media Manager and Editor

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This time of year the days are shorter and the holiday chaos begins to sneak in, but there is SO much to be grateful for. Join us in our 5 day gratitude challenge, the 5 Days of Thanks and Giving, which starts next Monday!

Researchers, psychologists, and psychiatrists have proven that gratitude positively impacts the following (Positive Psychology Program, 2018):

  • Well-being
  • Relationships
  • Optimism
  • Happiness
  • Stronger Self Control
  • Better Physical and Mental Health
  • An Overall Better Life

As mamas, we have SO much to be grateful for, but often the days are long and leave us exhausted, so it can be hard to give ourselves and others some TLC. This week, in honor of the holidays approaching, especially Thanksgiving, we're so excited to kick off #5DaysofThanksandGiving, where for 5 days, we'll be sharing a daily and weekly challenge for you to participate in. They are quick and take only a couple minutes to complete, and are a reminder to all of us to slow down and just be, even if just for a few minutes each morning or evening.

Join in the challenge by SIGNING UP HERE to get everything you need to participate. P.S. It's totally FREE, because, the holiday expenses are REAL. We feel you...

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So, what's the schedule?? Are you ready to get organized and have an idea of what's going on each day? Here's what's going down all week long...

5 Days of Thanks + Giving runs Monday, November 12th through Friday, November 16th; however, you can do it anytime, anywhere! Here is the breakdown...

DAY 1: MAMAHOOD + WOMANHOOD AFFIRMATIONS CARD + GRATITUDE JOURNALING

DAY 2: GROUNDED IN GRATITUDE MEDITATION + GRATITUDE JOURNALING

DAY 3: GIVING CHALLENGE + GRATITUDE JOURNALING

DAY 4: GRATITUDE LOVE NOTE+ GRATITUDE JOURNALING

DAY 5: MOM BOD AFFIRMATIONS CARD + GRATITUDE JOURNALING

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Let's break that down with more deets...

5 DAYS OF THANKS & GIVING, DAY 1

MAMAHOOD + WOMANHOOD AFFIRMATIONS CARD + GRATITUDE JOURNALING

  • Daily Challenge: Fill out the gratitude + affirmations card you can download here. By clicking on that link, you'll be able to download the 3 total print-outs + downloads you can either print, save to your computer, or save to your phone; everything you need for this challenge is right here.
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  • Weekly Challenge: List 5-10 things you're grateful for on your gratitude sheet that you can download after signing up for the challenge here. You can choose to use the journal sheet OR write in your own journal or in the notes section of your phone. When you're journaling, consider going beyond the initial prompt (writing 5-10 things you're grateful for) and ask your family and your little one(s) what they were grateful for today - this can be a really nice part of your bedtime routine this week. What did they say? Write that down. Keep this habit of journaling each day going for the next 4 days, adding it on to each daily challenge. If you're a FIT4MOM instructor or fitness/yoga/pilates/bootcamp instructor outside of FIT4MOM, we challenge you to do this in your classes all week with your clients! Do you have a job where you can incorporate this into your team meetings this week? Or are you a stay-at-home mama who can share this with your other mom friends? Share with us on social by tagging @FIT_4_MOMand using #5DaysofThanksandGiving on Insta! We can't wait to see what you're grateful for!
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5 DAYS OF THANKS & GIVING, DAY 2

GROUNDED IN GRATITUDE MEDITATION + GRATITUDE JOURNALING

  • Daily Challenge: We know the hustle and bustle of the holiday season can lead to chaos. That's why our Founding Mama, Lisa Druxman, recorded this grounding meditation just for you! Get cozy, close your eyes, and let the calm of this meditation replace any holiday blues. Listen here.
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  • Weekly challenge: List 5-10 things you're grateful for on your journal sheet or in your journal or notes section of your phone. Go beyond that and ask your family and your little one(s) what they were grateful for today as part of your bedtime routine. What did they say? Write that down too. Keep this habit going for the next 3 days, adding it on to each daily gratitude challenge.
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5 DAYS OF THANKS & GIVING, DAY 3

GIVING CHALLENGE + GRATITUDE JOURNALING

  • Daily Challenge: Although we are proud participants in philanthropic efforts all year long, November is the perfect time to think about giving or giving back if you've been looking for a reason - 'tis the season to give thanks AND give what you can; whether that's through donating your time, money, products, services, or gently used items that can go to a new home. Today, we want you to GIVE via anyway possible to your circumstances. Have an extra $5 you could donate? Consider buying a coffee/tea to the person behind you in the Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts line today. Know of a local food drive? Bring in a few canned goods. Looking for somewhere to donate clothes you recently got rid of? Find a local women's shelter. Have extra time? Find a volunteer organization near you that could use some extra hands-on-deck this month (volunteer.org is a great resource). How will you give back today or this month? Show us! Add a photo to Insta and use the #5DaysofThanksandGiving hashtag so we can see + share.
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  • Weekly challenge: List 5-10 things you're grateful for on your journal sheet or in your journal or notes section of your phone. Go beyond that and ask your family and your little one(s) what they were grateful for today as part of your bedtime routine. What did they say? Write that down too. Keep this habit going through tomorrow, adding it on to tomorrow's daily gratitude challenge as well.
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5 DAYS OF THANKS & GIVING, DAY 4

"I'M GRATEFUL FOR YOU" LOVE NOTE + GRATITUDE JOURNALING

  • Daily Challenge: Today, we challenge you to send some love to another mama, a friend, your partner/spouse, your parents, a stranger, a co-worker...anyone. When you sign up for this challenge, you'll get everything you need to complete it, like this gratitude love note prompt. (We're also big fans of saving the trees and reducing our environmental footprint, so you can print this card and the 2 affirmations found within this week's challenges on the same sheet of paper. You can also save them to your phone and add text through an app, like Rhonna Designs, for example).
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  • Weekly challenge: List 5-10 things you're grateful for on your journal sheet or in your journal or notes section of your phone. Go beyond that and ask your family and your little one(s) what they were grateful for today as part of your bedtime routine. What did they say? Write that down too. Keep this habit going for the next 2 days, adding it on to each daily gratitude challenge
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5 DAYS OF THANKS & GIVING, DAY 5

MOM BOD AFFIRMATIONS CARD + GRATITUDE JOURNALING

  • Daily Challenge: Repeat after us: I LOVE MY MOM BOD BECAUSE IT IS STRONG. I LOVE MY MOM BOD BECAUSE IT WORKS DAY IN AND DAY OUT TO RAISE TINY HUMANS. I LOVE MY MOM BOD BECAUSE IT CREATED LIFE, MADE ME A BIRTH MOM/SURROGATE, OR MADE ME A PROUD ADOPTIVE PARENT. I LOVE MY MOM BOD BECAUSE SHE IS RESILIENT, SHE IS FULL OF GRACE, AND SHE IS THE DEFINITION OF STRENGTH. Got it?! Don't ever forget it. For the last day of the #5DaysofThanksandGiving Challenge, fill out your last affirmations card you got as a download when you sign up for the challenge (do so here). Show us why you're grateful for your #mombod, because we think you're a total babe, inside and out. Upload a pic of your affirmations card to the 'gram, and as always, don't forget to tag us, @FIT_4_MOM, and use the campaign hashtag, #5DaysofThanksandGiving, so we can see + share!
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  • Weekly challenge: List 5-10 things you're grateful for on your journal sheet or in your journal or notes section of your phone. Go beyond that and ask your family and your little one(s) what they were grateful for today as part of your bedtime routine. What did they say? Write that down too. How did this habit go this week? If you want to keep it going, we really encourage you to; it's a nice way to reflect on the day, and when it seems there is nothing we are grateful for due to a bad day, it forces us to find something, which can help boost morale and mood and encourage a more peaceful sleep. What mama doesn't need that?! You can print out more blank gratitude sheets here and tuck them into a folder or create a little journal for yourself.
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"Aside from increasing well-being, psychology research has identified several other positive outcomes that are a result of practicing gratitude. One of these positive outcomes is that practicing gratitude (in this case, specifically gratitude towards a higher power) can reduce levels of stress (Krause, 2006). Another is that practicing gratitude can decrease levels of depression and anxiety (Kashdan & Breen, 2007). Of course, having lower levels of stress, depression, and anxiety may aid in having higher levels of well-being. If a major objective of positive psychology is to increase levels of well-being, these findings show the value of gratitude in positive psychology investigations," says the Positive Psychology Program, 2018.

We hope you find the 5 Days of Thanks and Giving lifts your spirits, boosts your well-being, and that it's a nice little pause before the chaos of the holidays. We are beyond thankful for you, Mama! Happy Holidays, and happy 5 Days of Thanks and Giving . What are you grateful for today?

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SHELLEY HOPPER

Mama to a cub just trying to bloom with grace. Wanderlusting where the air is salty and life is sweet. FIT4MOM Digital Media Manager and Editor. Food stylist + blogger at @saltysweetseasons. Chips and salsa obsessed, golden retriever lover, and single mama to sweet babe, Tanner Kai, who's my whole wide world.