U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Government Website

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Safely connect using HTTPS

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


  1. Employee Resources
  2. News Room
  3. Gratitude and Reflection During the Holidays

Gratitude and Reflection During the Holidays

Release Date: December 20, 2021

Each holiday season comes with expectations of a festive and enjoyable time of year. However, for many this time of year is marked with stress, anxiety, or depression. Research shows that taking time to be grateful in a deliberate way can improve your overall wellbeing, increase your resilience, promote restful sleep, reduce stress, help strengthen your relationships, and increase your overall happiness.

Taking the opportunity to cultivate gratitude on your year’s accomplishments is one of the simplest ways to improve your health and satisfaction with life. Here are some tips for starting your gratitude practice:

  • Start a gratitude journal. Set time aside each day to write down what you are thankful for. On days when you are less thankful, or when you need some inspiration, go back and read some of your prior journal entries.
  • Reflect on your life experiences. Take a moment to think about positive things that happened during the day, week, month, or year.
  • Say thank you. Thank the people in your life for something they did for you this year, no matter how small the deed. Tell your family how thankful you are for them and how much you appreciate their love and support.
  • Relive the good times. Relive positive moments and good memories by thinking about them or sharing them with others.
  • Write to someone. Send a card or write a letter to someone you feel thankful for. Even if you choose not to send the letter, it is healthy to document these positive feelings.
  • Volunteer your time. Helping those in need can inspire you to reflect on your own circumstances and bring on a sense of compassion for others.
  • Count your blessings. Forget about the material things you do not have or were not able to obtain this year. Instead, appreciate every relationship you have and each positive interaction and act of love you encountered this year.
  • Choose inner peace. Choose to live from a place of gratitude. Don’t let anger, disappointment, failure, and frustration become your default emotion. Be thankful for another opportunity to feel more positive emotions, improve your health, relish good experiences, and build strong relationships.

Your Employee Assistance Program is Here to Help

If you are feeling disconnected or stressed your Component Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help. Your EAP provides no-cost counseling to help you manage your stress and can help you and your eligible family members set goals as you start your gratitude practice. For help or more information, contact your Component EAP or send an email to worklife@hq.dhs.gov.

Last Updated: 12/20/2021
Was this page helpful?
This page was not helpful because the content