#SOL19 Day 24 Spark! Gratitude Journals

For the month of March I will be participating in the Slice of Life Screen Shot 2019-03-02 at 5.28.56 PMChallenge sponsored by The Two Writing Teachers Blog. Each day I will be sharing a Quick Write as my way of slicing. The idea is to offer a SPARK that will kindle thinking and then write as quickly as you can for 5-10 minutes. No filters, no revisions. I’ve been curating a collection of Sparks and will share some with you all month. It’s a great way to ignite your writing life.

Gratitude Journal Spark!

What if someone told you that spending 5 minutes a day of this writing could have  profound affect on your physical and mental health, would you think it worth the time and effort? There is a lot of research on the benefits of gratitude journals and letters to raise our mental health and well-being (https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/12/24/678232331/if-you-feel-thankful-write-it-down-its-good-for-your-health) So besides extra skills practice, we can nurture our whole selves with quick writes of gratitude.

Though I’ve talked about this before, my one little word for this year is GRATITUDE and we can never have too much of it.  I am keeping a Gratitude Journal that I got for New Years called 100 Days of Gratitude. I can’t claim they are 100 consecutive days, but I don’t really think that’s what is most important.  I think this is great for our students, but it is equally important for us (teachers) as well. I want to practice what I preach.

Yesterday I participated in an EdCamp in Maine, #EdCamp207 (we have one area code for the whole state!) and I feel such intense gratitude for the teachers who worked for many hours, days, and weeks to host this, as well as to those teachers who gave up a Saturday to collaboratively lift the learning of others. Being thankful for them was worth 5 minutes of my time, even if I didn’t derive health benefits from this simple act.

Photos from our EdCamp207 this weekend. Teachers supporting teachers!

Here’s my quick write:

gratitude journal.jpgWhat sparks your gratitude? Taking a few minutes each day to jot it down can have a powerful impact on your mental and physical well-being.

Just think what it can do for our students!

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24 thoughts on “#SOL19 Day 24 Spark! Gratitude Journals

  1. I love this idea and keep a gratitude journal, too. I am not writing in it every day, but I manage to get to it on the weekend. I love visiting your blog and seeing your examples and photos. EdCamp in Maine sounds like fun and a big success!

  2. So much power and gratefulness in naming our gratitude. Writing them in a special journal has even more meaning. (And true . . . it doesn’t say 100 Consecutive Days! ” 🙂 )

      1. Paula,
        This is so true but again it’s important to think of the multiple deadlines students face across a day, a week, a month, and a semester. So much stress / pressure and maybe too much???

      2. This challenge reminds me of the stress of those deadlines and one of the reasons I do it is to build greater empathy with writers, including those students. I agree…SO much stress and pressure sometimes. We can see its effects on our kids.

  3. I started a gratitude journal earlier this year, but have not written in it in a while. I have noticed a change (for the worse). Thanks for the reminder to get back into it!

  4. Keeping a gratitude journal helped me get through a challenging week at school last week. Just taking those five minutes, as you suggested, helped me to recall all the good that was buried under the bad. Thank you for continuing to inspire so many of us, Paula. So glad EdCamp went well. I always enjoy ours.

    1. I’d love to do it (gratitude journal)every day, but I also know I don’t need any added pressure to put one more thing out there on a “to do” list. But a regular practice is important to me, and I think keeps me grounded in greater joy. Hope your next week isn’t quite so challenging!!

  5. I love gratitude journals. I don’t use mine daily, but I find that aiming for every few days really makes a difference in my outlook on life. I also like that this practice was incorporated into your EdCamp – may have to suggest it for our EdCamp next time. Good idea!

  6. I need to purposefully do this again. Thank you for the reminder! It does make a huge difference when we do so purposefully, reflectively. I like to couple it with “laughter pages” capturing moments of life that make me laugh. I think there needs to be more embracing of genuine life-laughter. Pure and wholesome, it also supports health and happiness.

  7. I gave my students a mini notebook at the beginning of the year and told them it is there “gratitude journal”. We talked about what gratitude is, and I challenged them for a week to write (or draw!) one thing every day. They still have them in their desks and I encourage them to take them out frequently and add to it- I have some who do, and some who don’t; but it’s there and they know how to use it! Now if only I practiced what I preached! One of my resolutions was to write down 3 positive things a day. I was good for a month or so- Thanks for the encouragement to get back at it tonight!

    1. Maybe 3 positive things a week is more doable considering how crazy your schedule is. Or better yet, when you have a moment, jot down however many you want. We often ‘guilt’ ourselves for not keeping up with goals that are probably unrealistic. Then we aren’t grateful, we are guilted! Be kind to yourself, Jenna!

  8. Thank you for reminding me to get back to my own gratitude journal. I started the year writing in it daily, and those 5-10 minutes really did make a huge difference! It’s definitely time to get back to that habit, even if it’s not every day.

  9. Here’s to the power of expressing gratitude! Thank you for reminding us, Paula and for sharing the NPR post.

  10. I’m glad that EdCamp was such a success! I use my Daylio app each night to do my gratitude writing. Thanks to the app, it reminds me every evening at 8 and is easily completed on my phone. Sometimes I write a lot, sometimes a little, but I do love the feeling of ending my day reflecting on that for which I am grateful, even if it’s just a few lines.

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