In the past few years, I’ve gone on a few volunteer trips to places like Haiti and Guatemala. While there, I would go back to my room at night after a long day of work and pinch myself, wanting to force myself to remember that once I’d left all the things to be grateful for that I usually take for granted. It was only when I didn’t have things readily available—like clean running water, electricity, and a toilet that flushed—that I realized I wasn’t as mindful of what I have as I should be.
I read an interesting blog post recently about how important it is to practice gratitude on a daily basis—it’s so often that we don’t fully appreciate what we have until it’s gone (or sometimes, we happen to be too focused on what we don’t have). I’m personally trying to keep myself more in check lately and not sweat the small stuff, but I’ll admit that some days are harder than others. One of the most helpful ways is to remind myself of even one thing I’m grateful for. Successful women write one every morning and at the top of every new year—Oprah swears by it.
So we’ve gone ahead and done the legwork for you—here are 51 things to be grateful for each and every day (not just around Thanksgiving). Keep the list on hand for the next time you need a bit of a reality check.
1. Your health: The next time you get a cold, think about how nice it is to feel well (and how you normally do).
2. A loving family: No matter how far apart you are, they’re always there.
3. Supportive friends: You spend so much time with these people that they become family.
4. Having enough to eat: Need we say more?
5. Freedom of speech: Not everyone has that right.
6. A cozy bed to sleep in: With comfy sheets to boot.
7. Creativity: Can you imagine life any other way?
8. Modern utilities: Electricity, air conditioning, running water…
9. The opportunity to go to school: And become anything we want to be.
10. Lazy Saturdays: And Sundays, too.
11. The barista who knows your order: Especially when you’re too tired to speak.
13. Fun workout classes: Some of us need the extra push to get moving.
14. The snooze button: Because all of us can enjoy a few extra minutes in bed.
15. The arts: Plays, music, museums—and for some of us, performing.
16. A good book: For going to faraway places, no passport needed.
17. Air travel: So we can explore the world.
18. Our furry friends: Pets are proven to make us feel loved.
19. When there’s no line at Trader Joe’s: Or really any store.
20. Help from a stranger: As a reminder, people are inherently good.
21. Restaurant Week: Trying our favorite chef’s menu without spending a whole paycheck.
22. The great outdoors: Nature is the ultimate comfort.
23. Snail mail: Who else loves sending it as much as receiving?
24. Fresh flowers: To instantly brighten any mood.
25. Your partner in crime: Your actual partner, your best friend, or the person who just gets you.
26. That thing you saved up for: And still totally love.
27. The ability to change the world: Volunteering, voting, and petitions.
28. The last seat on public transportation: Because standing is no fun.
29. Snow days: And working from bed.
30. An umbrella in a rainstorm: When they don’t collapse.
31. Good hair days: And blowout bars for when it’s a bad one.
32. Little ones: Whether it’s your child, a family member’s, or a friend’s.
33. A quiet Friday night in: The perfect time to recharge.
34. The ability to love: And do so wholeheartedly.
35. A tasty glass of wine: Or maybe even two.
36. Rooting on your favorite team: Whether they win or not.
37. Dance marathons at weddings: Encore.
38. Laughter: It really is the best medicine.
39. A hot bath after a long day: With bubbles.
40. Scientific discoveries: Which make our days simpler and allow us to live longer.
41. Our history: So we can learn from the past and improve our future.
42. The scent of candles (or an aromatherapy diffuser): For making a house a home.
43. Packages that get delivered to your doorstep: Even when you live on the fourth floor.
44. A sunny day in the midst of winter: Yes, vitamin D.
45. A support system: And being wise enough to lean on it.
46. Lost and found: And that gem of a person who returned your belonging.
47. Photos: That capture amazing moments in time and bring us back.
48. Work BFFs: For the weeks we spend more time at the office than at home.
49. A solo trip to the movies: Plus popcorn with extra butter.
50. A warm hug during a difficult time.
This year, I’ve been particularly thankful for my heated mattress pad, which keeps me cozy in my New York City apartment. What would you add to the list? Share with us in the comments.
Up next are cute long-distance relationship ideas.