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A Sources of Strength wheel is seen being pinned to a corkboard Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. 

As we move closer to Thanksgiving next week, it is always good to take a pause and reflect on the things in our lives that are positive, no matter how small.

For most of us, this is a very busy time of year, between work end-of-the-year deadlines, family obligations — including the fun stuff of children's school events — and the holidays. It is easy to become overwhelmed, stressed out and jaded. Thus, it is important now more than ever before to pause for five to 10 minutes each day and recognize the gifts in our lives.

Think about every area of your life and name one thing in each area that is going well, or at least manageable.

Throughout the years of writing this column,  I have talked a lot about generosity. Generosity is one of the eight components of the Sources of Strength wheel. Why? Because we know through research that recognizing generosity, part of which includes thankfulness, can literally change the way our brain thinks. Sources is all about help, hope and strength. Part of that strength is being generous and being thankful.

For some of us, it seems there is little to be thankful about in the last two years. For many of us, there is an exhaustion that has set in due to the pandemic, politics and other issues in our lives. So it is more important than ever before to recognize thankfulness.

One of the things we can be thankful for is the places we received support in our lives. Today, Saturday, Nov. 20, is the International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. It is a day for all of those who have been touched by suicide to come together. To recognize the impact suicide has had on their lives, to support each other and to know that they are not alone in this journey of grief.

Today's event in Sheridan is at the Inner Circle room of the Fulmer Library from 10 a.m. to noon. This event is made possible by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. AFSP is a national organization with local chapters. We have a chapter right here in Sheridan County.

AFSP is also the organization that puts on the annual Out of the Darkness walk held in Sheridan every September. The chapter members share their generosity, supporting all of us.

In closing, I wish all of you a joyful, peaceful and restful Thanksgiving holiday. Remember to take time and give thanks.

Ann M. Perkins is Sheridan County community prevention manager. 

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