With Thanksgiving just around the corner gratitude is on our minds. Research has shown, that simply thinking about gratitude reduces stress levels and depression and releases the “feel good” hormone DHEA. In addition, practicing positive thinking and gratefulness trains your brain’s neurological pathways to think happy by default as opposed to ruminating on the things which didn’t go your way or are out of your control.
Yeah, but what about politics, the endangered Orcas, the bills, the kids’ grades, the cold, which never seems to go away, your Dad’s cancer diagnosis, your friend’s tragic loss and the laundry? You have to be informed, involved, prepared, deal, right? Right and you can be informed, involved, prepared, deal while being thankful and be a happier, stronger, kinder person for it.
We here at the Bird Rock Hotel actively practice our gratitude every day and not only have some awesome tips on practicing gratefulness on your San Juan Island getaway, but also the irresistible lodging specials to go with it.
- Put that phone on airplane mode
There is so much noise all around us all the time and most of it is neither time sensitive nor really important. A glimpse at a nasty text from your ex or a challenging work email can change your entire day in a split second. Don’t let it. When on San Juan Island challenge yourelf to a weekend without your phone. Read a magazine or a book. Go see a show at the San Juan Community Theatre. Listen to live music at San Juan Brewing. Or come chat with us at the front desk about your vacation plans. We love that.
Fun Fact: We here at the Bird Rock don’t offer phones in our guest rooms, perfect to completely unplug.
- Thank Your Food
You will eat like Lords here on San Juan Island. Most restaurants incorporate island grown meats and produce and fresh local seafood into their menus. There is a reason we are known as the “Gourmet Archipelago”. Before you dig in, take a pause, smell your food, think of the farmers and fishermen who grew and caught it, the animals who are about to become your sustenance, the chefs who lovingly prepared it, the sweet exchange student who brought it to you with a smile. Be thankful, that you can afford to eat while watching the sailboats bob in the harbor and the sun set over the Salish Sea.
Fun Fact: Even at the fanciest, most expensive restaurants in Friday Harbor you can show up in socks and sandy sandals.
- Be Truly Present
When you go beach combing, tide pooling or birding at one of San Juan Island’s stunning beaches, be really there. Keep re-directing your thoughts from you-know-what to deeply breathing the crisp, salty air, hearing the birds and the waves, relishing the colors of the prairie and the sky and the crystal clear water and be thankful for all your senses.
Fun Fact: The closest beach to Bird Rock Hotel is Jackson Beach, only one mile away from us. Take our complimentary beach cruisers for a spin. You will smile the entire ride.
- Make a Gratitude List
Before bed or when your fingers are itching to check your phone, work on an alphabetized gratitude list. Write something to be grateful for using each letter in the alphabet. B – Bird Rock Hotel!
Fun Fact: Historic Bird Rock Hotel, built in 1891, is one of the oldest hotels on the island and was the first to offer indoor plumbing. We are thankful for that.
- Commit Random Acts of Kindness
Making people happy and putting a smile on someone’s face feels so good. Consider buying dinner for the sweet, young couple at the next table. Write an inspiring message on a pretty stone and leave it in a stranger’s front yard. Pick up broken glass from the beach, to keep puppies and children safe. Write a post card from San Juan Island to your favorite former teacher. If you had a great stay, write a nice review on TripAdvisor about us.
Fun Fact: We here at the Bird Rock can place flowers, cake, chocolates, champagne or a spa sampler box in your room before arrival, to put a smile on your Sweetheart’s face.