As the official start to the Holiday Season, Thanksgiving presents us with an opportunity to focus on feelings of gratitude. Actively cultivating gratitude is good for others around us and our community. However, did you know that being grateful provides health benefits both emotionally and physically, to the grateful person. It is now well established that practicing gratitude opens the door to more relationships, improves physical health, helps us sleep better, improves psychological health, enhances empathy and reduces aggression.
Often, gratitude occurs organically, but I would encourage you seek out opportunities for gratitude this Holiday Season. For example, keep a gratitude journal to reflect daily or weekly on the things for which you are grateful or send a thank you note to a different person every day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
This year, I am particularly grateful for the many supportive women in my life, especially the friends and colleagues whom I have met through TEMPO Madison. Earlier this year, Goalcast published an article called 6 Meaningful Ways to Express Gratitude for the Women in Your Life by Lindsey Tigar.I wanted to share the suggestions from female entrepreneurs and executives about the “personal, meaningful ways they express gratitude to their tribe of badass women”:
1. Listen and invest. “I show that I care about female colleagues by taking a genuine interest in their professional work and their lives outside of work. While that may be a no-brainer rather than a big idea, I am surprised by how often women feel the need to compartmentalize the rest of their life in order to be taken seriously in the workplace. I believe that a supportive environment among fellow female co-workers encourages us to embrace all of our ‘and’s’ and cultivates an environment where we can ask for and receive the support we deserve.” —Christine Wise, Chief Strategy Officer at DNA Digital Marketing.
2. Make birthdays special. “Some of the closest women in my life happen to be the amazing group of employees I have working for me. I remember all of their birthdays and go out of my way to make them all feel special on their big day. I always decorate their work space, write out a heartfelt handwritten birthday card, take everyone out for a birthday lunch celebration and surprise them with something they really have been wanting whether it be a pair of VIP tickets to a concert or even taking them on a quick weekend getaway trip.” —Heather Marianna, CEO of the Beauty Kitchen.
3. Prioritize face-to-face connection. “I make it a point to have my girls over to my house for a game or wine night at least once a month. I participate in a few book clubs with different groups which always result in meaningful and thought-provoking conversations. I also connect with my friends by going for a workout or for a morning hike and grabbing coffee on weekends. Connecting in person does wonders for the soul.” —Brittany Driscoll, Co-Founder and CEO of Squeeze.
4. Send some wine. (Duh.). “I like to surprise my girls on occasion with wine delivered. Wine.com is my go-to. I have a subscription, but I don’t always want a case of wine at my house so I’ll change the address to go to my girlfriends in Miami that I can’t see in person. It’s always been a nice and well received surprise and let’s face it- who doesn’t want a bottle (or 4) or the season’s newest wines delivered?!” —Nicole Pomije, Owner, The Cookie Cups
5. Get to know their love language. “I like to find out the love language of all of my friends, employees and contractors. This makes it easier to find great gifts that are meaningful to them. For people who love words of affirmation, I hand write lengthy notes. For people who love gifts, I put their birthdays and anniversary on my calendar so I can remember to send a simple gift.” —Pharmacist, wellness expert and author of The Clean Slate Cleanse, Dr. Lindsey Elmore.
6. Pay attention — and get specific. “When I hear from a colleague that she loves my shoes, I send her a pair or a gift card to get her own. If I hear from a girlfriend or colleague that she’s been ‘dying to try sensory deprivation tank,’ I send her a gift card for a 60 minute float at Chicago’s FloatSixty. When one of my best friend’s husbands was hospitalized for over a month, I ordered several rounds of groceries on Instacart and a round of frozen smoothies from Project Juice. In short, listen to what they wish they had or need, and without being asked, without needing an excuse, just send it. Immediately. The surprise and delight is the real gift, I hope.” —Alyssa Rapp, CEO, Surgical Solutions.
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and I hope the rest of your holiday season is filled with opportunities to express and receive gratitude.
Shana Lewis, PresidentTEMPO Madison