1. Volunteer. A free way to show you care; donating your time can make a big difference, whether it’s for an organized charity or just your elderly neighbor.
2. Random acts of kindness. Be an anonymous do-gooder. Leave little thank-you notes for people who might go overlooked, like your doorman, the receptionist at your chiropractor’s office, or your amazing boss.
3. Yoga. The yogic practice of “thanking your body” is one of my favorite ways to practice gratitude, any time of the year.
4. Journal. Spend a few minutes every day writing down and then reflecting on what makes you feel fortunate.
5. Meditate. Spend a few minutes going inside yourself, and you’ll find that when you come back you’ll be more calm, more patient, and more empathetic. (And what better way to give thanks than by not snapping at the girl who messed up your coffee?)
6. Pay attention. If you spend most of your day with your face buried in your phone, the people around you will tend to feel unappreciated. When possible, put the technology away and look around. (You might not have noticed that stressed out mom running for the elevator when you were texting!)
7. Smile. Make eye contact and genuinely smile at someone — or everyone —who looks like nobody has smiled at them in a while. It’s amazing what a real smile can do.
8. Call your mother. (Or father, or sibling, or best friend!) For no reason other than to tell her you love her.
9. Give genuine compliments. Meaningful ones, like letting someone know you’ve noticed how hard they word or how creative they are, will go a long way.
10. Listen. REALLY listen. Sometimes one of the nicest ways we can thank the people we care about is by letting them talk.