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Gratitude Friday: Thanksgiving 2015 Edition

GratitudeFriday Long time, no Gratitude Friday. Am I right? Since Thanksgiving is coming up next week, I figured it’s high time for me to post about some of the things I’ve been thankful for lately. Posting next Friday will probably not be an easy task because Andy and I will be driving all over Illinois and Indiana to see both of our families for the holiday weekend. Due to this, my official Thanksgiving 2015 Gratitude Friday post is TODAY 🙂 To start, I’m grateful that I get to see BOTH my family and Andy’s family next week! Luckily, my family lives in Indiana and Andy’s family lives in the south Chicago burbs. These places are relatively close to each other. We plan to stop by Indiana first for an early Thanksgiving dinner. Then, we will head to Andy’s parents’ place for dessert and sleep over. This way, we can hang out with his fam on Friday. Wahoo! I’m grateful for the long weekend Andy and I took last week. It’s been since August that I had a nice break from work and I now have some vacation days saved up, so Andy and I headed to the Wisconsin Dells for the weekend 🙂 We also went to celebrate his birthday… well, that was actually the main reason, haha. It was soooo much fun! wis-dells-riverwalk

We strolled on the beautiful riverwalk

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Did WIZARD QUEST! It was so DIFFICULT. We only found 1 out of the 4 wizards, haha!

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We ate at Moosejaw, which was SUCH a tourist trap, but DELICIOUS. I had their homemade orange soda! And wore a ridiculous hat. Please don’t blackmail me with this photo 😉

I’m grateful that this blog gives me a place to write when I’m in the mood. Honestly, being a counselor requires A TON of paperwork. If you think all I do is talk to people all day, you’re actually wrong. I am constantly typing out case notes, authorizing insurance, and writing assessments/treatment plans. My hands HURT after a long day of note writing, which is part of the reason why my blog posts are not as frequent lately. However, sometimes I want to write about myself instead of my lovely clients. That’s where this blog comes in!

I’m grateful for my job. Getting my job this year has been such a great thing. I didn’t even have to job search after I graduated! And I have such amazing clients and coworkers. Seriously, I hit the jackpot with my job and cannot complain. I feel truly lucky.

I’m grateful that I’m no longer in school. Andy went back to school this year (I don’t think I’ve blogged about this!) and seeing him do homework while I watch Netflix reminds me of how hard it was to be in school. Kudos to all of you who are in your mid to late twenties and going back to school. It was so hard watching friends working/getting paid/not paying for school/having their days off be real DAYS OFF while I was chipping away at my master’s degree. Having a job that I really want to succeed at for the first time in a long time has been stressful, but I am able to take care of myself when I’m “off the clock.” That was not the case last year. So, yay for graduating!

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OBSESSED with this TV show (AKA what I do with my time now that I’ve graduated)

I’m grateful to have found new ways of thinking and new practices that help me work through anxiety. If you’ve been reading here for even 5 minutes, you’ll probably know that I struggle a ton with anxiety. My anxiety has been exceptionally bad since starting my counseling internship last year, and only got stronger after I left the comfort zone of my old job in April. I remember having anxiety even as a 3-year-old. Lately, I’ve been working on processing things that happened in my life that started/contribute to my anxiety. Journaling, talking to a therapist, and talking with my loved ones about anxiety/where it stems from have all helped me immensely. I began truly dealing with this baggage I carry about a month ago and already feel so much better. It’s amazing how deeply certain things have affected me (and how I have seen life events affect my own clients). Public service announcement: don’t be ashamed to find a therapist and talk about sensitive topics. IT IS WORTH THE EFFORT.

Other things that have helped me: mindfulness (I recommend the Calm.com app), remembering that everything is temporary and to not take life too seriously, and GRATITUDE. I urge all of you to try writing a gratitude list. It’s amazing. Side note: I plan to live-tweet my gratitude for this entire week leading up to Thanksgiving. Follow me on Twitter HERE.

Another way I’ve been dealing with anxiety? COLORING. I’m very grateful for coloring!

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I hate being “trendy,” but HOLY CRAP, coloring really helps. Lately, I’ve found myself mindlessly scrolling through Instagram and Facebook after work, especially with my newfound free time since graduation/the end of marathon training. Using these websites leads to serious social comparison for me. Obviously, social comparison doesn’t help my self-esteem, nor does it help my anxiety. Coloring, on the other hand, does! I now like to turn on Netflix and sit on the couch with some tea and my new coloring book instead of go on social media. I bought Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book (<-referral link) by Johanna Basford. The book is so beautiful and makes me want to color all the time.

I’m grateful that it’s the holiday season. This is THE most wonderful time of the year. Since I live in an acceptable living space now (my old apartment was gross, ha… grad school lyfe), I am hosting a holiday party for some close friends! Wahoo! Plus, there’s delicious food, gift giving, ice skating, Starbucks holiday beverages, and decorations! The most exciting thing about the holidays is, of course, seeing my family <3

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I’m going to try and be more consistent with Gratitude Friday posts because I think they really help me feel good about LIFE 🙂 It’s true that being thankful is not only for Thanksgiving.

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What are you doing for Thanksgiving this year? – I’m going to my uncle’s house in Indiana and then Andy’s parents’ house 🙂

How do you avoid excessive use of social media?