National Thank You Week is the perfect time to spread good cheer and encourage thankfulness through good manners, gifts, or just appreciating each other more. Doing just one of these can really make the difference in someone’s day.
Good deeds cause a ripple affect; do something kind and good things will happen to you, as well and someone else, who will then do the same. Compliments and thank you’s are infectious. Hearing something positive, even just an earnest “thanks for doing that” can be an amazing feeling that will make you feel appreciated, and we all need it sometimes.
Why not follow this example and pass something on this Thank You week. This could be done in many ways. One of the most exciting is the ‘Pay it Forward’ method. Buy two gifts, they could be identical, they could be whatever you choose. Gift these to someone you would like to say thank you to, along with a note instructing the other to be passed on to someone they would like to thank. Encourage the person you thanked to keep the good deed going and pass on two gifts, so that this can keep spreading love and appreciation further and further, touching everyone involved, eventually making a difference to the lives of hundreds of people.
The idea behind Paying it Forward is based around continuous positive momentum. Just like a machine that never stops moving, if just one person decides to start, it can kick off a chain reaction that never needs to stop.
Too often we get inspired by great ideas to make the world better but let ourselves get discouraged or disillusioned. If we continually remind ourselves that people are making our lives better, that that fact should be celebrated and rewarded, we can make a positive change on a potentially global scale. Studies have shown that giving to charity or giving gifts to friends activates the area of the brain that releases ‘feel-good’ chemicals, and this has been speculated as an evolutionary beneficial trait that fostered teamwork in early man, which would in turn aid survival.
We Brits love our manners – being notorious for the overuse of the word “sorry” and saying thank you to everyone we meet – but this can make it hard to show the true extent of our gratitude.
Sometimes you need more than those everyday words, and so here are some creative ways that you can say thank you.
Write It Down
In the era of the internet, a thoughtfully written letter or note can be a real treasure and it's often easier to write out emotions rather than saying them to someone's face. A written thank can help also help you avoid that frustrating loop of saying a genuine compliment and them repeating one back out of habit.
A handwritten note can be kept and loved more often than any verbal expression of thanks ever could. A written thank you needn't be long – a heartfelt post-it note can be just as meaningful as a two page letter – and the form gives you the opportunity to express yourself in a way that other methods may not.
Get Them A Gift
The best way to show you value someone is often just to show that you've been paying attention, and a well thought-out gift that does this can make an excellent thank you. It doesn't need to be huge or expensive, just specific to the person you wish to thank.
Maybe you know that they have a particular type of chocolate they like to eat that isn't readily available in the surrounding area. Or perhaps you've heard them talk about the fact that they recently lost their favourite pair of gloves and winter is approaching. A gift targeted towards their likes and needs will show you care enough to listen to them and make your gratitude clear.
Another way to say thank you is to make a gift. This can work well if you know the recipient well enough to personalise a gift to their tastes or simply because you know they'll value the effort you put in more than any costly purchase. The work that goes into making the present will allow you to show your thanks through the time and care that goes into making it, and they'll value it far more than any other type of gift (if they're nice.)
Whatever you create will be a symbol of you; your tastes, your talents, but also of who you're sending it to. If you're a bit of an artist, maybe a painting or thoughtfully made knick-knack would suit. There are numerous patterns available online for the avid knitters, from simple scarves for beginners to more advanced projects, and many more for sewing ideas.
For someone you know well, photo books can be a good option as you'll be able to show your thanks by celebrating shared memories. High street stores like Paperchase or WH Smith have a great number of options for photo and scrapbooks, including self-adhesive ones to provide versatility and ease, but there are also online outlets that can make a book for you once you've supplied your chosen thank you images.
Whatever you make, put as much effort as you can into it, if you're going to say thank you, you should say it properly.
Thank You Treats
Handmade nibbles are a tasty way to show your thanks and, as with crafty gifts, they give a personal touch without necessarily spending too much time scrambling around for ideas. You'll probably already be well aware of your cooking or baking skills and may already have some go-to recipes in mind that would suit your needs.
A quick rummage around the internet reveals a multitude of thank you recipes to try out if you're stuck – though maybe avoid looking when you're hungry. If you're trying to say thanks to someone close to you, you can go a step above this by making a special meal for the person you're showing gratitude to. This can be a great way to spend time with them, make them something nice, and your taste buds will benefit from all the hard work too.
There are numerous ways to say thank you to someone but quite often, as the famous phrase goes, actions speak louder than words. Doing something nice for someone can be just as effective a method of expressing gratitude as a lavish gift – even better if it's taking care of some chore they've been putting off. Washing the car, doing the laundry, weeding the garden. The options are endless and you could be tackling a chore that the person you're thanking has been avoiding.
Sometimes, however, just showing someone that you value them by spending time with them, giving them a hug, or even just watching their choice of film together – can be thanks enough.
Let us know how you're saying thank you with #ThankYouWeek, or tweet us at @ThankYouWeek
Everybody loves to hear those magical words but some people would appreciate it more than most. It takes no time at all to say thank you and it might mean more than you realise. Here are some suggestions of who you could thank, starting with the less obvious:
The older generation are very big on manners and conversations. Have you ever noticed that when you help an elderly person they always say thank you? Use National Thank You Week to appreciate your elderly family members, friends, neighbours or those who you look after if you are in the care industry. Grandparents always spoil us with food and love so let’s spoil them with gratitude and let them know we care!
2. Sales assistants/customer service
They deal with demanding, frustrating, and bizarre customers all day everyday. If they’ve given you a smile or good service even when they're coping with the stresses of the customer service industry, then they deserve a thank you. This could be in the form of a big smile, a nice tip or a positive comment to their manager. We are so busy rushing everywhere that we often forget to consider how other people are feeling, so try to remember to say thank you to anyone who brightens your day this summer.
3. Emergency services and armed forces
These services are essential, and they risk their lives without expectation of praise or thanks to keep us safe. It should be every day that we say thank you to those who help us but thank you week gives us an excuse to shake the hand of soldier in uniform (as long as it’s not the Queen’s Guard). Or perhaps if you run a business you could offer the policeman on duty a free tea/coffee. These people do not think twice about putting our needs ahead of theirs so it’s extremely important that we appreciate and support them.
4. Your boss
Have a think: has your boss has been very understanding of some personal circumstances or welcomed you into the company? If they have made you feel valued and comfortable then it is well worth sending a thank you their way. The chances are that they don’t get thanked very often so doing this will not only be a chance for you to express your gratitude, but it might also be an ice-breaker which helps to build your professional relationship.
They spend their time making sure that you achieve your goals and they are dedicated to your success. Although we might thank them when we reach the end of a course or a school year, why wait until then? If they share your happiness when you are doing well, let them know how grateful you are for their help and guidance. This could be a quick thank you, a written card or maybe a recommendation of their services. A bar of chocolate probably wouldn’t go unnoticed either (rather than the famous teacher’s apple).
6. Other Drivers
With more and more cars on the road driving can be incredibly stressful. We've all been in that situation where you let somebody into your lane, go out of your way to make their journey easier.... and then they don't say thank you! Seriously guys, a quick wave of your hand is all we need to feel good about ourselves for being a courteous driver. Say thank you to those who help you out whilst you're driving and hopefully we'll have less road rage during rush hour.
Sometimes when our friends desert us and our parents are busy lecturing us, we turn to our siblings for comfort and advice. Having a brother or sister (or both) can mean having a best friend for life. Rather than bickering about whose turn it is to take the dog to the vet, how about letting them know that you value their support?
Friends are our backbone! They give us advice, support, love, honest opinions, and most importantly: a social life. Perhaps they have recently been an absolute rock for you during a crisis or maybe they themselves have been through a rough time and need a pick me up. You know your friends better than anyone so naturally you know the best way to say thank you for their friendship. It will definitely go a long way.
This might seem like an obvious one but it's easy to become comfortable in a relationship and forget to use your P's & Q's. Your boyfriend or girlfriend is the person who is there for you in ways that other people can't be because they probably spend the most time with you. They know you better than anyone and are also your best friend. Take some time to appreciate them and what they mean to you. They might have sent you flowers after a rough day, cooked you dinner, let you rant for an hour about something boring, been patient with your family at a stressful BBQ or maybe they are just consistent in making you happy. It's always important to let them know you're grateful to have them by your side.
It goes without saying that our parents do a lot for us that we will probably never be able to return. However it is also true that most parents don’t want us to repay them, as they do things for us out of love and worry. They just want to know that we are safe and stress-free so the occasional thank you dinner or box of chocolates wouldn’t go amiss. Make sure you show them how grateful you are, even if it’s just a hug or taking out the bins for once.
Who would’ve thought that there is solid scientific proof that a thank you can have positive mental health benefits? Well, as proud ambassadors of Thank You Week, we can confirm that science has proved that the power of gratitude can provide a massive boost to our wellbeing.
A study done by psychology professors Michael McCullough and Robert Emmons on the role that gratitude plays in physical and emotional well-being tests this theory.
They took three groups of volunteers and randomly assigned them to concentrate on one of these three aspects: the obstacles they faced, the things they were grateful for, and everyday life events.
What they concluded from the results was that the group who focused their energy on all the events, people and things they were grateful for were the most happiest, whilst the others suffered lives in unfavourable terms. The gratitude group reportedly had less/fewer negative physical symptoms i.e. colds or headaches, and they were more active. Quite simply, the group who amplified their mental and emotional inclinations of gratitude had a higher quality of life, which their close family, peers and colleagues noticed as well. Emmons was surprised by this result.
“This is not just something that makes people happy, like a positive-thinking/optimism kind of thing. A feeling of gratitude really gets people to do something, to become more pro-social, more compassionate.”
After countless laboratory case studies like Emmon's and McCullough's, there is a consensus that the positive benefits that can be easily gained by a simple change of attitude. People who apply a genuine thank you and allow themselves to feel gratitude regularly have these common traits:
Felt better about their lives
Less anti-social and anxiety issues
Exercised more frequently
Increased healthy sleep pattern
Had fewer illnesses
Higher tolerance and resilience, especially during a negative situation
If a thank you and a sense of gratitude can have such an impact on ourselves and a positive ripple effect on those around us, we can be our own masters and create an all-round healthier outlook on life. Even by dissecting the word “thank you” back to its origin, in English, derives from “think”; which was thought to mean “I will remember what you did for me!”
So if you are out there trying to find ways to improve your life, why not start with gratitude and see where that takes you this National Thank You Week.
After months and months of planning it’s sometimes hard to come to the realisation that your wedding day is actually over! You have FINALLY unpacked your suitcase from your honeymoon and are getting into the swing of your newlywed life. Chances are dozens of loved ones helped to make your wedding day the spectacular event that it was.
Post wedding etiquette suggests you write a personal thank you not only to everyone who attended or sent a gift, but also anyone who contributed to your big day monetarily or in any other way. According to the etiquette queen, Emily Post, all wedding thank you notes should be sent out less than three months after the wedding. A daunting task, I know, but it must be done!
Here are some rules to keep you on task and following the proper post wedding thank you etiquette:
Giving thanks to those who helped make your wedding into your dream is so important! Take the time to enjoy this part of your life and reflect on the memories you were able to spend with your loved ones during this precious time. Most of all be thankful!
There is no worse feeling than being unable to express how much someone really means to you. You don’t have to have a lot of money to express gratitude to the people in your life. With National Thank You Week quickly approaching here are some reasonably priced, creative ways to give thanks to your loved ones.
Say thanks with something sweet!
Bake your favourite sweets for one of your favourite people. You can also impress them with your gratitude with this scrumptious cookie recipe from Monty Bojangles truffles. The recipe uses Monty Bojangles Scrumple Nutty Truffles to create a chocolately hazelnutty cookie that would make anyone feel loved.
DIY your gratitude!
If you are the crafty type, then a DIY thank you gift is for you! The amounts of DIY gift ideas on the internet are endless. Mix together shea butter, almond oil, honey and powdered milk to make some soothing bath melts. Or put together a basket of all of their favourite things! DIY shows that you put some extra thought into thanking your loved one for all that they do.
Reciprocate their help!
Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes! Thank someone who helped you out by helping them in their time of need. Whether it is helping a friend through a traumatic time in their life or helping them to move, returning the favour is always a sure way to show your gratitude!
Be Traditional with a Card!
A thank you card is always a classic choice for expressing gratitude. A handwritten note or card is a timeless way to say thanks for a reason. Taking the time to put pen to paper goes a long way. You can also be super specific in your reasons for gratitude. Whether you are thanking someone for a gift, their hospitality or for just simply being present in your life, there is a card for it all! There is something so heartfelt about a handwritten thank you note. Everyone feels loved when given the chance to open up a handwritten card!
Just tell them!
While actual gifts and gestures are an amazing way to give thanks and gratitude, nothing is really comparable to face to face interaction. Look your loved ones in the eyes and thank them for all that they do.