Practicing Gratitude 🙏🏻

I used to think that keeping a gratitude journal was silly and a waste of time. However, I’ve learned that practicing gratitude can positively influence one’s mental health and well-being. Since having a major depressive episode on April 4, 2019, I started being more mindful of my negative thought patterns as well as making mental notes of the good things that are happening in my daily life. Now, I really wish that I had written these good experiences down. As I continue to gain control over my mental health and work on managing my depression, I plan to eventually quit my antidepressant medication for good. I have a doctor’s appointment scheduled this Thursday to discuss options.

Previously, I haven’t been keeping a physical list of the things that I’m grateful for in my life. Rather than thinking of obvious things that most people are grateful for like food, shelter, family etc., I’m trying to dig a little deeper by appreciating some of the mundane things that many people take for granted. Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs that I previously talked about? Let’s assume that my physiological needs (food, water, sleep, sex etc.) as well as safety needs (roof over my head, resources, property etc.) have already been met.


My Gratitude List:

1. I tried meditating outside in the courtyard for the first time. The view is quite pretty, especially in the evening. Will I be meditating in the courtyard tomorrow? Probably not. I prefer to meditate from the comfort of my balcony.


Beautiful view from my balcony this evening. I walked barefoot in the grass today which felt rejuvenating.

2. My husband strongly encourages me to go back to nursing school in January 2020 even though I am afraid of failing again. He suggested that I follow a study schedule by studying for 2 hours a day. So far, this is day 3 and I like to take my sweet time reading this textbook. If I follow this schedule, I calculated that I will have the entire textbook read in three months. A lot of students use this textbook to help them study for the NCLEX-RN exam but I plan on using this textbook to brush up on the fundamentals of nursing and re-learn concepts that I may have missed in school.


This is the textbook I am using. Right now, I am reading a really boring section about ethics. I have to study ethics each semester which is a requirement by the University.

3. My husband and I walked to the mall this afternoon (and back home again). It takes half an hour to walk there and I was initially reluctant to go. I told him that he owed me a Starbucks beverage if I dragged my ass there. On the bright side, I survived the heat wave and also got my 10,000 steps for the day.

4. When we finally arrived at the mall, I tried the Strawberry Pink Drink from Starbucks and it was really yummy. 😋 Since I’m frugal AF and rather not blow all of my money on Starbucks drinks, I’m going to try and replicate this delicious beverage on the weekend. The DIY recipe that I found comes from and their photos are mouthwatering! 😍


DIY strawberry-coconut refresher recipe and photo credit sourced from

5. I scored some good deals today at Bath and Body Works. Even though I really cut down on my spending over the years, I still buy things from time to time as long as these items are on sale. Today I saved $19.51 because both items were discounted at 75% off which makes me happy. Also, I broke even on some lottery scratch tickets and yet, I still got enjoyment from scratching the lottery tickets without taking a loss. For some reason, today I felt like treating myself!

What are some things that you are grateful for today? I am also curious to know whether or not you keep a gratitude journal. Please join the conversation and leave a comment below ↓

Thanks for stopping by!

great-vibes.regular (1)


44 thoughts on “Practicing Gratitude 🙏🏻

  1. Liz says:

    I used to keep a gratitude journal from each day and like you have discovered, it does help in some way. I used to share my gratitudes from my journal in a monthly blog post.
    I have not stopped completely with gratitude, as I make a mental note of appreciating things. But I have a different kind of gratitude journal I had as a Christmas present one year. So my gratitude is practised in that, on some days.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Hilary Tan says:

      That’s such a great idea Liz! 😀 I had an idea to share some of the main points in blog posts except I had forgotten important days I wanted to write about. In the future I will write these things down.

      Is your gratitude journal similar to the 5-minute daily journal? My sister-in-law gave me a 5-minute journal for Christmas to write in each day which focusses on gratitude and the positive things in your day rather than the negative things. I haven’t actually used it yet but it would be a good place to start.😅

      Liked by 1 person

      • Liz says:

        My journal may be similar to yours, as it’s a 5 minutes a day one too. Mine is called, “The Gratitude Journal for Women.” Not used anything like this before and there are some thought provoking questions or quotes that get you thinking.


  2. Mr. Ramdolfi says:

    Your balcony view is beautiful! Also, your husband sounds like a great guy! I agree with him, I think you should follow your dreams! We believe in you! 😄 I know you said it was boring, but I actually think that the ethics section is fascinating! I read the page in the picture and wow! I had never thought about what values, morals and ethics actually are! I always associate those terms with right and wrong, but had never stopped to think that right and wrong are but subjective interpretations instead of objective truths. Now I’m very curious to learn what the “correct” answer to the Critical Thinking what should you do question is. Since you would be an advocate for the patient, would you stop the surgery? 🤔 Congrats on the step count and thanks for the recipe! That drink sounds delicious! It sounds like you have a ton of things to practice gratitude! I have never kept a gratitude journal, but the fiancee and I once wrote one thing that we were thankful for each day on post-its every day during the 25 days before Christmas. Then we read them to each other on Christmas. It was a really great exercise. 😄

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hilary Tan says:

      The ethics page happened to be the page I was reading at the time when I took the picture. Just wait until I get to the drug calculations – fun stuff lol They make us write essays on ethics each semester so this section is pretty much review except for the government and law stuff in this chapter 😅 My husband really wants me to go back to school because he sees the long term benefits of me perusing nursing. This is my second degree and I feel like I’ve been in University way too long. Then again, there are 40-somethings who go back to university which I think is super ambitious.

      In nursing, usually all of the options are correct. They make us choose the “most correct” answer. Surprisingly, it’s not the NCLEX-RN exam I’m worried about. I’m worried about failing clinical practice because I’m not allowed to fail anymore classes. If we were to stop the surgery, we would need valid proof to go forth and stop it. The patient must sign the papers prior to surgery, but if the patient did not understand the procedure, that would give us a reason to contact the surgeon and tell them to postpone the surgery. This was actually a question on one of my midterms. 🤔

      I like that idea of writing out 25 things each day before Christmas and reading them out to each-other 🙂 We once did this exercise by writing out 5 things we want in our lives 5 years from now and compare our lists. My planner is long gone but the lists are still on our fridge to this day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Ramdolfi says:

        Ah, government and law stuff sounds like my jam! Haha Wow, having to choose the “most correct” answer sounds like some serious responsibility! At least I’m helping you study? 😅 Also, I love that idea! It reminds me of the letter to your future self concept. I may just have to try it! 😄

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Thanks Nova! It’s amazing what sunshine we can find when we’re mindful of the good things that happen on a daily basis. The human mind is programmed to dwell on the bad things, so it’s good that we are making a conscious effort to be aware of the good things too. 🙏🏻🌸


  3. wifeblah says:

    I enjoyed reading this post. 🙂 🙂 I hope you are feeling better today Hilary. If I’m not mistaken you are reading Saunder’s right? You know what I read that book twice before I took NCLEX, it is very helpful. 🙂 I still have that book wherever I go. Your home is very lovely, yo are very lucky living in a very green and clean place. I love your area. I am also thinking of going to starbucks today. 🙂 Also the semi-annual sale is the bomb from bath and body works, I am thinking to go but I am still hoarding a lot of stuff from them. lol My favorite are the handwash. 🙂 I agree with your husband, please continue your nursing school. You are destined to be one.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Thank you so much, Wifeblah. I really appreciate your comments 😇 It’s so nice getting advise from a nurse! Right now, I’m halfway done my nursing degree and have 3 semesters left of school. I have to repeat Term 6 because I didn’t make it through clinical last semester, hence having to repeat the semester next year. A part of me wants to quit and give up, but a part of me has learned a lot already and it would seem like a waste to give it all up now.

      Yep, I am reading Saunders and I find it very helpful as well. 😌 I highlight in the book as I go along. Once I’m done this book, I plan on making an Excel spreadsheet with a summary of all of the drugs that we learned in Terms 5 and 6. There’s about 300+ drugs I want to review before I go back to school in January.

      We live in Calgary, Alberta (no family out here, it’s just us) and it’s a really beautiful place. Personally, if I were to stay in Canada I would choose to live here. My husband wants to move to the states by the time I’m done school in December 2020/June 2021 if everything goes according to plan.

      Liked by 1 person

      • wifeblah says:

        First of all, please continue studying to loss hope. Sometimes we have troubles passing our classes or subjects, but it does not mean we are not good enough or it is not for us. As long as you know you did your best, God will do the rest. With all the effort you are doing, you will do good. Yes after finishing school come here to America, there’s a huge demand here for nurses. I’m soo excited for you and your family. Let me know if you have any questions about nursing 🙂 🙂


      • wifeblah says:

        First of all, please continue studying to DO NOT loss hope. Sometimes we have troubles passing our classes or subjects, but it does not mean we are not good enough or it is not for us. As long as you know you did your best, God will do the rest. With all the effort you are doing, you will do good. Yes after finishing school come here to America, there’s a huge demand here for nurses. I’m soo excited for you and your family. Let me know if you have any questions about nursing 🙂 🙂


  4. 𝕬𝖓𝖌𝖊𝖑𝖎𝖈𝖆 𝕽𝖔𝖘𝖊 says:

    Good morning, It is always the little things in our daily lives that makes us happy & I can see that within your blog post. I never thought of having a gratitude journal, I usually save the dates, pictures & videos of special moments in my life. Good luck with your studies. It would be lovely if you take minutes of your valuable time to read my blog post “A Day Of Gratitude Pearl 😊💝:”. Lastly, I would like to thank you for liking my latest blog post “Rich Dimensions Pearl 🧠🔫”. It meant so much to me. Have a lovely day. 🌸

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Julie de Rohan says:

    Such a wonderful post about gratitude and a great reminder, thank you, Hilary. I always feel better when I’m practising gratitude but I don’t always remember! I used to keep a journal for many years, now I seem to be getting better at being grateful in the moment rather than writing it down. I wanted to let you know your posts haven’t been showing up in my Reader and I can see that I’ve missed a few (this happens with other bloggers too) so I’m going to unfollow and re-follow immediately because sometimes that seems to fix it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment! 😊💕 I have a gratitude journal too….except I haven’t used mine at all 🤦‍♀️ That’s awesome that you’re using your journal daily! 😇

      It really does make a big difference when we focus on the positive things rather than the negative things 🙌 It’s so easy to be pessimistic and the gratitude journal is a great reminder that our grass is actually green.


  6. Kamran says:

    I don’t have a gratitude journal but every once in a while, I will write on my whiteboard about what I’m grateful for and what I have in life and what I’ve achieved.

    Such an amazing post 🙏😊


    • Hilary Tan says:

      That’s great advice! 🙂 Sometimes I record things on my phone but I often forget to do it.

      I’m scared to go back to nursing school, not gonna lie. I go for cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) starting next month so I’m hoping it helps with these fears and doubts I’ve been having.


  7. Nikaos Coaching says:

    This is really good. And being that I read some of your blogs out of order I couldn’t help but think of the many ways we can apply LoA. I’m not a huge fan of the concept being that I don’t like to think of God as a gumball machine, but I completely believe and agree that we are meant to thrive and enjoy and receiving the unending blessings available to us. I noticed your comment on “fearing to fail the class again” and instantly had the question “what if you were very specific about what it looks like to get your diploma/degree; believe you already have it and now just need to “do the work necessary to align yourself with that reality”. If it is your calling, then God has already manifested it for you, it’s now just up to you to BELIEVE it’s yours for the taking.

    To bring this into this blog topic of gratitude, you can be grateful for HAVING your degree and all you are doing is now working toward the day when your destiny aligns with the present.

    For me, I define LoA as Belief

    “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” ― Henry Ford

    Congratulations on your nursing degree!! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hilary Tan says:

      THANK YOU Nikaos for your lovely, thoughtful comment 😊🌼 To clarify, I’m working towards getting my nursing degree and don’t have it quite yet. I have a degree in biology and went back to school to find a career/profession more aligned with my values. I appreciate your point of view and encouragement you have given me. You are SO right about gratitude. I’ve put a lot of time, effort and energy into school and that’s something to be proud of. Despite the setback, I have more time to clean the apartment now as well as sort through both physical and mental clutter. Silver linings right? 🙏🏻

      That’s such a good way to think of LoA – having l the right belief helps us strive for success. It might not be a linear upward line, but in the end, the world will align the way it’s supposed to. The fact I even got into this program is a miracle. For every seat in this program, 19 people didn’t get accepted… I am part of the small % who did get accepted so they must have seen potential in me. And to be given another chance after what happened last semester, even though I have to repeat it, is another miracle. Thank you for making me see things in a different way. 😇

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nikaos Coaching says:

        That’s why I said congratulations, you may not have the diploma in your hand yet but it is already out there waiting for you to come get it. Clearly doors have opened and you are already seeing favor so you can rest assured it’s just a matter of time, it is not a matter of if! I look forward to following your blog and seeing your progress 😃

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hilary Tan says:

        That makes sense, thank you for clarifying that. Because of my fears and doubts, I signed up for CBT therapy starting July 12. There is a 3 month waiting list. Fear of failing can be so debilitating and definitely a mental roadblock I hope to overcome before going back to school in January 2020. I noticed that LoA works a lot better when one has a clear mind 🙏🏻💕

        Thank you for stumbling upon my blog today. I’m happy that you are enjoying my blog posts. Writing is a therapeutic outlet for me and it’s so nice being able to connect with like-minded bloggers. 😊🌺

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nikaos Coaching says:

        A brief and fun exercise for you if you choose to tackle it… Look back over your life and remember the times where you overcame obstacles.

        One everyone can relate to is learning how to drive. When you first sat behind the wheel did you have confidence, did you have fear, did you have doubts… try and remember what it “felt“ like before. Then list several steps you took during the process of accomplishing that task or goal. That becomes your “roadmap to success“ You have already proven that process works for you and can be applied to anything.

        Then remember the feeling of accomplishment afterwards and how different it feels from the fear before hand.

        There are many things we accomplish in life that we don’t give ourselves credit for, the more examples of “overcoming“ that you come up with in your own life the more you will begin to see you are already more than a conqueror, heck you are married I’m terrified of that LOL, you are already a warrior princess.

        Spend time daily reminding yourself on your victories and not your failures and you will begin to see who you TRULY ALREADY ARE and not succumb to what somebody else probably labeled you as. ❤️🙏


  8. ilona madam says:

    Great journal, i use to have one, but it was more like diary, now at the end of the day i m just trying to remember what i m grateful for and it gives me a good sleep😊😊you should definetly go back and nail it girl😎


  9. aramblingcollective says:

    I can talk myself round when I feel I’m slipping. I usually start with finding something to be grateful for. My feelings are valid and real, and I’m not doing the “it could be worse” but I want to find the crack of light in everything broken.


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