What are you thankful for? Champaign, IL. Photo by Teresa Anderson

What are you thankful for? Champaign, IL. Photo by Teresa Anderson

A good cry

Through the tears streaming down your face and the red, puffy eyes, it may seem like there is nothing to be grateful for here. However, this not-so-pretty face is a blessing in disguise. After going through a hard time and fighting the tears, it feels so good to finally let it all out. It can even be the final step in the process of feeling better. Male or female, crying is healthy and releases things in you that nothing else can. So instead of cringing at the thought of your worst breakdown this year, recognize its importance and be thankful because it probably did you some good.
Mail

Letters, cards and packages — who doesn’t love mail? Whether it’s that new item of clothing you’ve been expecting, a postcard from a friend on vacation or an unknown gift from someone, there is an excitement that comes from real, hard mail that you can hold in your hands. It’s personal and takes effort from the person on the other end. So take a moment to be grateful for anyone who took extra time to make your day special by sending you a piece of mail this year.

A much-needed conversation

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. While there is the obvious drawback of not talking to someone for a while, there are advantages as well. If it is a true relationship — whether it’s with a friend, family member or significant other — it will strengthen your bond. It makes you miss the person and have a lot to talk about. So be thankful for the few but amazing times you got to talk to that person you don’t see as much as you would like to.

Technology

Many people like to point fingers at the advances made in technology. And sure, it is responsible for some negative things, like decreasing the personal sentiment of messages. However, technology and media also have the vast ability to connect people. When your friends and family are all around different parts of the country, technology is a great thing that can make your connections stronger! So instead of looking at the downsides, choose to look at the positive ways technology has enhanced your connections this year.

A good night’s sleep

Everyone looks forward to the weekend, when he or she can finally catch up on some sleep. A full eight hours of rest is definitely something that’s taken for granted these days. You never really realize how good and refreshed you feel when you sleep until you finally get it! Sleep is so important for heath and well-being. So on the days when you’re lucky enough to feel well rested, be grateful for treating your body with what it deserves.

by Leah Parekh

Seasons

We know what some people are thinking: freezing my butt off while walking outside is not something to be thankful for. Yet, if you think about it, it wasn’t too long ago when we were all sick of shorts and wanted to break out the sweaters and scarves. Living in a place with multiple seasons gives people the chance to experience so many more wonderful things in life, from lying on the warm sand in July to making snow angels in December.

Changing into pajamas at the end of the day

After spending the day running errands and working hard to finish a project, all while wearing fashionable but uncomfortable clothing, nothing feels better than that moment when you first put on your pajamas. The satisfaction of getting into PJs at the end of the day makes wearing skinny jeans or a suit worthwhile. Try to take a moment every night to appreciate the feeling of relief and comfort that you get to experience each time you put on those warm, comfy sweatpants.

A really good cup of coffee

People drink a lot coffee, yet the quality of coffee can really make all the difference. When a good cup of coffee, as in a really good cup of coffee, reaches your mouth, it is a beautiful thing. A good cup of coffee can change your mood for the whole day. Take it in. Recognize the bliss. Cherish how something so simple can make you feel so happy and at ease.

Your individuality

OK, fine, this one may be a little cliche. But who really sits down and thinks about how much they love all their individual quirks? That random freckle, the sound of your laugh or even that weird dance move you always tend to do. It is all you. Life would be nothing with out variety. Think about how boring it would be if every person were exactly the same. So embrace your individuality because it’s not going anywhere!

That awful breakup you had (that actually taught you a lesson)

Heartaches are never fun while they’re happening, but looking back, they always seem to leave you with a lasting message. It is commonly said that people learn from mistakes, and the same rule applies here. As humans, we are constantly growing and developing. A broken heart does not stay broken forever. It heals to become even stronger and better than it was before. Seriously, be thankful that you now know to stay away from bad boys or that girls really are dangerously sensitive.

by Lauren Eiden

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