I’ve concluded the final week of practicing gratitude every day this month for National Gratitude Month.

Here’s what I was thankful for:

Day 22: I’m thankful for podcasts. It took me a while to jump onto the bandwagon but now it’s one of my favorite forms of entertainment. I’m realizing I mostly like podcasts that teach me something, but I’m grateful for the variety that’s out there.

Day 23: I’m thankful for candles. Here lately I’ve been lighting a scented candle in my office while I work. The warmth of the flame and the sweet smell of “autumn wreath” have had a very uplifting effect on my mood. I’m grateful for something so simple.

Day 24: I’m thankful for therapy and Xanax. I have a wonderful therapist who does a great job of validating my feelings while helping me to reframe my negative thoughts. Sometimes I just need someone to whom I can unload all of my stress and anxiety, and she helps me figure out how to make it more manageable. And on the days when it is simply too much to handle and none of the reframing, meditation, or grounding works, I can turn to the medication to calm my racing thoughts and pounding heart. I’ll never be ashamed of getting help when and where I need it, and I hope that in sharing my experiences, others will seek help without fear or shame. For this, I am grateful.

Day 25: I’m thankful that I survived the day. Yesterday was rough–three ocular migraines before 10 AM and health anxiety that shot into overdrive when the doctor mention increased risk of stroke. Today I was tired from it all but they fit me in for an eye exam where I learned I have 20/20 vision and healthy eyes, but the only explanation for the migraines being too little sleep and too much stress and caffeine. Tomorrow is a new day and I can start fresh. For that I’m grateful.

Day 26: I’m grateful for my family. I am fortunate enough to have an amazing family who loves me very much. My parents are my heroes, my grandmother is sweet and funny, my aunts and uncles are always there for me no matter what, etc. I could go on. We’re the type of family that gets together for every holiday, birthday, milestone celebration, and just because. I love my family as much as they love me and for that I am so thankful. Oh, and I’m thankful for pie!

Day 27: I’m grateful for evening snuggles on the couch while watching a happy movie. Cozy pajamas, perhaps a nice fuzzy blanket, and the love of your life by your side. It doesn’t get much better.

Day 28: I’m grateful for how things work out most of the time, even though it often requires extra effort. But that effort is worth it to have peace of mind and a sense of security.

Day 29: I’m grateful for comfort. It’s a simple thing we may often overlook and take for granted but the fact that I spend the majority of my days experiencing little pain, a full belly, and a happy heart is a really big blessing. And for that I am thankful.

Day 30: I’m thankful for happy endings with new beginnings. Today, one door is closing for me as I leave my position in research to seek out more fulfilling career opportunities that will open new doors. I acknowledge that I’m extremely privileged to be able to quit a secure job during a pandemic without a real safety net, but I have a great support system that is going to help me see it through and for that I am truly grateful. I’m looking to try to do some freelance writing while searching for other meaningful opportunities. Here’s to the next awesome thing, whatever that may be!

Well, there you have it, folks. A whole month’s worth of things to be grateful for. I’m going to continue to practice gratitude in my daily life and throw in some regular meditation, as well. I hope you will, too. I’m already feeling better!