The Thanksgiving season reminds us to count our blessings, and research shows that grateful people tend to be happier and more satisfied with their lives. Make gratitude a habit all year; not only will you feel more positive, you’ll set a great example for your kids.

T – Take time to be with family, not just during the holidays. Connect with long-distance family and friends all year.

H – Help others in need, whether it’s donating items to charity, volunteering in your community, or just helping a neighbor out. You’ll be surprised at how good it feels to pay it forward.

A – Encourage your kids to express themselves through art. Ask them to think of things they’re thankful for, and to write, paint, draw, collage or sing about it.

N – Take time to appreciate nature. Take a walk in the neighborhood, plan a family hike in a park, or just play in the back yard with your kids. Being outdoors will lower stress and improve your outlook.

K – Practice random acts of kindness. Help your kids bake cookies or draw a card for a neighbor, give an unexpected compliment, or write a note to your mail carrier.

F – Spend time with friends. In spite of our busy schedules, it’s important to stay in touch. Plan a girls’ night out, have coffee with a friend, or chat while your kids play on the playground.

U – Take a break from constant distractions and unplug. Meditate, read a book, call a friend or ignore social media for a few hours. Give your brain a break and reflect on the positives in your life.

L – Make a list of 10 things you love about your kids, and share the list with them. Be affectionate and demonstrate your love – you’ll feel more connected and improve their self-confidence.

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