How to thank the 5 most important people in your life

In many ways, our lives are shaped by the people closest to us. They inspire us, guide us, comfort us, and care for us. Sadly, as we get busy with our lives, we tend to forget to show enough appreciation for them.

Here are some simple, yet meaningful ways to express your appreciation to those who truly matter to you:


1. Parents

Learn from the best

Remember your childhood days when you loved getting your parents’ attention? Then as you grew older, got busier with your own life, or even moved out to start your own family, you suddenly realised that you haven’t been spending much time with them. As your parents get older, it becomes increasingly important to them that you are there to attend to their emotional needs even if they may not always say so.

Ways to show your appreciation

Eat together once a week
A simple weekly dinner with some chit-chat is a good way to get up to speed on each other’s lives.
Go on a family outing
Choose an activity that’s out of the norm for them. It can be as simple as a hike in a nature reserve or a visit to an old neighbourhood that they haven’t been to in a while, just to see how things have changed. Breaking the routine helps create new memories and also helps the family bond in unexpected ways.


2. Siblings

Learn from the best

Back in your childhood days, your siblings were probably your best friends (or worst enemies sometimes). The adventures you had together and the times you’ve had to stand up for each other are moments that will always be something you share with them. You don’t have to stop now just because you’re older.

Ways to show your appreciation

Lend a helping hand
If they are planning for a big event, such as a wedding, moving to their new home, or even welcoming a new arrival to the family, see if there’s anything you can do to help.
Offer a listening ear
If you ever sense that your sibling is in a bad mood, sometimes, all they may need is to pour their troubles out rather than being offered a solution. Remember to always keep an open mind and give advice only when asked.


3. Spouse

Be Friendly

You see this person every day but we tend to forget to show them our appreciation for the little things they do daily. It need not be extravagant gifts or anniversary dinners, but just showing that you are thankful for them will go a long way to building a blissful marriage in the long run.

Ways to show your appreciation

Take up a new hobby together
This is a good opportunity to spend time together and interact with each other in new ways. Find something you both like and set aside some time each week to pursue it.
Build up your spouse’s retirement savings
This is especially helpful for non-working spouses who stopped working to care for the family, and hence have less savings set aside. One way to do this is by topping up their CPF Special Account. With the attractive interest rates earned on your CPF savings, your monies can grow faster and your spouse can also get peace of mind with their own source of retirement income through CPF LIFE.


4. Children

Seek out new opportunities

The greatest gift any parent can give their children is their time. Between their school hours and your working hours, there’s not much time left in the week, so try to make those moments count when you can.

Ways to show your appreciation

Go for walks together
Explore the neighbourhood with your child. Point out interesting things you see along the way or role-play fun scenarios (e.g. treasure hunt) to make things a little more exciting.
Treat them to their favourite food
Serve up that one dish you know they love or buy some desserts they’ve been craving to perk them up after an exhausting day at school.


5. Yourself

Own up to mistakes

As you show appreciation to your loved ones, it’s also important to thank yourself too. A little self-love can go a long way in making you a happier person, and help build a stronger foundation for all your relationships.

Ways to show your appreciation

Schedule some me-time with yourself
Take an afternoon or evening off and do something that’s all about you – go watch a movie, read a book, get close to nature, or sweat it out at a workout you’ve been postponing.
Write yourself a thank you letter
Looking back, there must be several life choices that you’re glad you made. Consciously appreciating how far you’ve come with these decisions will help you discover your strengths as you revisit how you overcame tough times. Learn to love yourself better when you say “thanks for giving your best”!