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I can’t believe it’s already Thanksgiving! This year has been so long and so full, and I have a lot to be thankful for. Gratitude is an important thing to practice every day, not just on Thanksgiving day. It’s important to remember and hold on to things you are grateful for and things you love. These are the people and experiences that can help you turn around some mildly depressive thoughts and remind you what it is you live for each day. I for one definitely struggle with reminding myself to be grateful for even the little things. So to start Thanksgiving off on the right foot, here is a list of what I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday season:

  • I know this one sounds silly, but I’m thankful that I woke up this morning. It’s so important to look at each day as a blessing and a gift, one where you can choose how it plays out and ends. I’m thankful that I’m given another 24 hours to do what feels right for me in any given moment.
  • I’m thankful for my job, where I am surrounded by supportive people who care about me and my ambitions. I’ve never felt anything less than their equal and that is definitely a blessing in the workplace.
  • I’m thankful for my boyfriend. Even though it’s been a rough year for us, we’ve learned a lot and only through that can we make the decisions that will move us forward. Regardless of the bad, you’ve been there by my side through thick and through thin, and you’re my best friend through and through. I can’t appreciate that enough.
  • I’m thankful for my wonderful amazing family. My mom, dad, stepdad, sister, brother, and two half brothers mean the world to me. I may not be present enough and take enough time out of my days for family, but I love you all more than you can imagine and don’t know what I’d do or who I’d be if it weren’t for your constant love and support.
  • I’m thankful for my health. I get to wake up, get myself ready, drink coffee, drive, and run a Turkey Trot this morning with my wonderful sister. I have two legs that can push me forward and a body that functions well, even if it is out of shape. There’s so much I can do without worrying about limitations, and that’s definitely something I take for granted by sitting on the couch for hours at a time. This holiday season I’m striving to complete the Runner’s World holiday run streak, where you run at least one mile per day every day through the holiday season. 1 mile for me is 10-11 minutes. Just getting up and doing one mile will be a wonderful way to remind myself that I can be active and take care of my body simply by taking the baby steps to get there. And once I get to the gym chances are I won’t just stop at a mile. I’ll run more, or lift, or maybe do some stretching.

I highly encourage you to write out your own list of things you’re thankful for. And try and stay away from being thankful for material possessions. While they are wonderful and fun, it’s important to remember the people and experiences of life more than anything. So yes, while I’m sure many of us are thankful for a wonderful cars or pretty apartments and great technology, remember to give thanks also for the family and friends that support you through the tough times and the good.

Also, I highly encourage everyone interested in starting up running to take a chance at the holiday run streak with me! I think this will be a great way for me to remember my health while I’m consuming all the cookies and drinks my heart desires over the next few weeks. It’ll also be a great way for me to get some good use at out of my new running shoes!

And lastly, perhaps the most important thing to think about this holiday: we are lucky. If you get to go visit family today, sit around a big table and eat delicious food to your hearts content and drink wine and laugh alongside the ones you love – be thankful. But I also encourage you to remember those who aren’t so lucky on this day. It’s really important to remember the battles that are happening RIGHT NOW in America affecting our neighbors and friends. I encourage you to reach out and help today, help someone in need. Whether this be through a donation, an act of kindness, or signing a petition – please help those who aren’t able to enjoy this day like you and me. One particular fight going on really strikes deep with me: the fight over the North Dakota access pipeline. The North Dakota Sioux people really need our help in stopping this destruction of their land. Follow this linkĀ to see what you can do to help.

I’ve done my part, now let’s hear yours! What are you thankful for? What can you do to give back today and help someone else in need? Let me hear your part in the comments below!

Happy Thanksgiving!

xo, Karli