As we approach 2022, we reflect back on two years of incredibly difficult times globally, as well as nationally. This Christmas may again be one which is unlike previous ‘normal’ holiday seasons, (which in some ways seem a distant memory), without large social gatherings celebrating together, connecting and sharing in the festive spirit. Yet again this festive period may not be what we hoped! Yet despite all of the negatives of the past two years, the stresses, strains, struggles, worries and anxieties, this festive period gives us a chance to reach out to others – family, friends and let’s also not forget those sectors, like education, health and social care, who have continued to give their all during this time.
For some staff working in education (and other sectors) the Christmas holiday will be a time to rest and recharge. For others it will be an opportunity to spend time (hopefully) with loved ones, despite the concerns and worries of recent months. For some, however, it will be a time of loneliness or feeling over whelmed with a sense of obligation. Some may find the change in routine from the busy school or work environment difficult to manage and there will be some who will just be at a point of burnout.
There’s one simple gift that you can do that can lift spirits and bring a sense of joy and hope this holiday season – rather than dwell on the negatives – give thanks and gratitude! Giving gratitude allows us to share our appreciation of others, build connections and acknowledge what is good in our lives, however large or small, tangible or intangible. Gratitude can genuinely warm our hearts this winter – with a UK research study (Health Psychology, 2011), showing a positive mindset and outlook can lower risks of heart disease and heart attacks and sharing regular gratitude can have long term health benefits
When we give out gratitude it supports our wellbeing, reduces stress, increases our sense of happiness and positive emotions (Wood et al, 2010). Gratitude can improve our perceptions of life satisfaction, happiness, hope and optimism (McCullough et al, 2002). Spreading gratitude can also be a catalyst for others to be more motivated to give out gratitude and spread positivity creating a ripple effect around us.
It is these small gifts of gratitude, that TAP Thank and Praise (www.thankandpraise.com) is seeking to promote within our education, health care and social care sectors. TAP Thank and Praise is a unique social thanking platform, to thank our unsung heroes and pass on messages of thanks and gratitude. Organisations can have a ‘Thanking Wall’ where messages can be posted too.
The TAP App also makes it even easier to give thanks and gratitude. Just download from your APP store searching for ‘TAP Thank and Praise’ and you’re ready to go! You can also sign up to the TAP newsletter and receive a little email of positivity in to your inbox.
Not only that, but thanks to TAP’s partner, BookLife Publishing, schools can also raise funds to purchase library books. So the gifts just keep on coming!
This Christmas, why not think of ‘gifts’ a little differently and give the gift gratitude and TAP a message of thanks to support wellbeing in our public sector.
Kerry is the Education Advisor to TAP, Thank and Praise. TAP (Thank And Praise) is a free-to-use social thanking platform which enables the public to show their appreciation to the unsung heroes working in education, healthcare and social care, while raising funds for good causes. Kerry is a TES 2019 Head teacher of the year finalist, School Improvement Partner with TT Education and a fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching. She a passionate advocate of mental wellbeing in education. Kerry is also a national School Improvement Advisor with TT Education and National SMSC Award verifier and has worked with BBC Teach on mental health. Kerry is an alumni of the Masters in Leadership of School Mental Health and Wellbeing.
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Boehm, J. K., Peterson, C., Kivimaki, M., & Kubzansky, L. (2011). A prospective study of positive psychological well-being and coronary heart disease. Health Psychology, 30(3), 259–267.
Education Support Partnership, 2021).
McCullough, M. E., Emmons, R. A., & Tsang, J.-A. (2002). The grateful disposition: A conceptual and empirical topography. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82(1), 112–127.
Wood, W., Quinn, J. M., & Kashy, D. A. (2002). Habits in everyday life: Thought, emotion, and action. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83(6), 1281–1297.