I know that the day before Thanksgiving couldn’t be more hectic. Filled with shopping lists, last minute details, and making sure the house is clean; the day before Thanksgiving tests even the most patient people I know.
But in your rush to get everything done, remember that being grateful is the real reason for the season.
There is no better time than on Thanksgiving Day to employ the practice of being grateful, to appreciate all we have in our lives. Taking time to be grateful doesn’t just make us appreciate things in the moment, it can help us sleep sounder, improve our health, and be happier in life–heck, even live longer!
Study after study has shown that regularly acknowledging the good things in our lives has lasting impacts. A 2015 study found that heart patients who practiced gratitude daily improved their moods, slept better, had less inflammation, and reduced their risk of cardiac attacks. A 2014 study found that college students who expressed gratitude regularly were more likely to make new friends. A 2011 study found that those who struggled to sleep because of worrisome stress were more likely to fall asleep after writing down simple things in their lives they were thankful for.
Yep, being grateful truly has lasting, positive impacts in our lives, and I can’t think of a better time than this Thanksgiving to acknowledge those things I am most grateful for. Here in Ukiah, my list starts with the volunteers and non-profit organizations committed to making our community a better place to live.
Throughout the year, service clubs, non-profit community organizations, and church groups find ways to help people who are less fortunate. The individuals who serve the less fortunate not only collect and distribute food and clothing, they take the time to be present and available when people are in a time of need. I can think of no better place to start my gratitude than with those who work so hard to give so much.
In Ukiah we are also extremely fortunate to have people committed to keeping our kids safe and engaged with after school activities. Through endless fundraising and countless volunteer hours, our community finds a way to ensure our kids have opportunities to succeed, whether it’s in sports, martial arts, performing arts, the Boys & Girls Club, the Arbor on Main, organized high school activities, 4-H, Future Farmers of America, the Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, or volunteering at local non-profits. Our community is stronger because of all those dedicated to helping our kids.
Often, when we begin recognizing the things we are so grateful for, we want to give back—either through our volunteer efforts or monetarily. If you’ve never volunteered, now might be the perfect time to start. If you prefer to help financially, I encourage you to consider donating locally where your dollars will have a tremendous impact.
This weekend the Ukiah Daily Journal kicks off its annual Food Bank Fund Drive to ensure our local food bank has the resources it needs to deliver food to those in need. If you’d like to contribute, drop off checks payable to the Ukiah Food Bank to the Ukiah Daily Journal office at 617 S. State Street, or to the Food Bank at 888 N. State Street.
And our Ukiah Valley Christmas Effort is hard at work to ensure that local families in need will have toys and a nutritious holiday meal this Christmas. To support the Christmas Effort, send checks payable to the Ukiah Valley Christmas Effort to P.O. Box 801, Ukiah, CA 95482. If you have questions, please contact President Sheryl Graves at (707) 272-9627 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We sure are lucky; I couldn’t be more grateful for all our community has.
Thank you, Ukiahans, for helping to make Ukiah such a wonderful place.
As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have suggestions on how we can improve please feel free to call me. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cell phone and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com.