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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

‘Tis the season to be grateful! As Thanksgiving recently passed, we are often reminded to give thanks to the people around us – including ourselves. While expressing gratitude can take a variety of forms, here are five easy ways to get started. 


One of the easiest ways to practice gratitude is to journal. My favorite thing to do is make a list of all the things I’m thankful for. This can serve as an opportunity to reflect and remind yourself of everything you have, while opening your eyes to be thankful for what you typically take for granted. Practicing gratitude regularly is important to help you appreciate the big and little things in life.

write cards to friends and family

Writing meaningful cards is sometimes the strongest way to show your gratitude for a loved one, even if it is short and sweet. I love writing cards to my friends and family to show how thankful I am for them, and the act of giving is always such a good feeling. Even if a card is not necessarily called for on a specific occasion, just taking the time to show how much you value a friend or family member can be really special.

I love receiving heartfelt notes from friends, and it always reminds me of our bond and what makes us great friends to one another. As a Thanksgiving reflection, try writing at least three cards to friends and family. I promise you will feel better after!

give gifts

If words aren’t your strong suit, handmade gifts can never go wrong. Whether you’re making a classic friendship bracelet or an imaginative pop box, a personalized gift is sure to strengthen your bond with family and friends, new and old alike. While perhaps a cheesy sentiment, a meaningful gift from the heart outweighs even the most extravagant merchandise.

give back to the community

Gratitude is not in isolation, as we are all part of a larger community. One way to recognize your gratitude is to intentionally take part in something larger. Local food banks, shelters or nonprofits really appreciate any form of help, especially as it’s getting colder outside. Donating time or money to those in need are alternative ways to help those around you. 

Take some time to research how the world around you works or vote in a local election. Even over the Internet there are ways to volunteer with organizations you support. Being involved is about meeting people where they are and gaining a better understanding of them and yourself.

recognize the little moments

Sometimes just pausing to think about the little things that make you happy can go a long way. If you see a cute squirrel on campus, a pile of leaves you can walk through or even get a chance to buy your favorite drink or food, it’s okay to be excited about it and recognize that. Did you have a good time at student organizations or got a good grade on a quiz or homework? Let yourself be happy about it!

Hi! I'm Lizzie and I am a second-year English Education student at the Ohio State University.
Michelle Wang is an Ohio State Criminology and History double-major on the pre-law track. Beyond academics, her interests include creative writing, Wushu, languages (with a particular fondness for Mandarin Chinese) and all things history. She hopes to publish her work to share her love for writing in all its mediums!
Hi! My name is Katriel Orlean and I am a junior at Ohio State majoring in Communication Analysis & Engagement! In my free time I love to travel, workout, shop and hang with family and friends. I love to write, especially for HC!
hey all! new here history major, looking forward to sharing my thoughts