The Practice of Gratitude During a Time of Stress
So, millions of us have a new normal. We are at home under a shelter in place order. I know you are all busy, some of you are hanging by a thread… Trying to juggle working from home, keeping up with family members, keeping yourself centered, and managing a million other details in your life.
Even with all that, while you’re at home, you may find that you have a little extra time.
I am writing a series of blogs that look at how we can find a silver lining during a difficult time. To take advantage of new ways to be more productive, maybe even to improve things in your life that you haven’t had a chance to focus on.
Let's start with gratitude. Practicing gratitude. Incorporating gratitude as part of your daily routine.
There are many benefits to the practice of gratitude, including feeling more positive emotions, sleeping more restfully, and feeling better about yourself.
Too often we are engulfed by current events. How can we not be? We feel the weight of the world on our shoulders. We forget about the good that surrounds us. The people who love us.
I am encouraging you to take some time to hone in on these things. Maybe even right now. I’m a list person, so my first thought is to make of list of five things to be grateful for and keep this list handy during difficult times. Talk about it. Update it. And most importantly, act on it.
What are your five?
Here are some ideas on how to practice gratitude:
- Call an old friend. Don’t worry about the time that’s already passed since your last conversation. You can make up for that in an instant by reaching out. You don’t need a reason other than to say, “I just wanted to know how you’re doing.” Rekindling a relationship is one of the most powerful, heartwarming things you can do for yourself and the other person – because chances are, they’ve probably been thinking about you too.
- Call your parents. Let them know how grateful you are for their love and support. If they are not around, call someone else’s parents. Someone is out there whose face will brighten!
- Tell each of your family members, or whoever you are cooped up with, something special about them. Don’t worry about being eloquent. The sillier the better. Capturing small (and quirky) details about a loved one is one of the best ways to show you care. And have a laugh together.
- Call that distant relative. They may be shocked! You may be shocked! Catch up. It’s been a while. Following them on Facebook doesn’t count.
- Check in on a neighbor. Stay six feet away - but a wave or a smile will go a long way. In addition, if you have neighbors that have trouble getting around, offer to buy groceries or anything else they need.
- Track down one of your teachers. Say hello and give them an update on your life. Let them know how much you appreciated what they did for you. Mention how you enjoyed their class.
- Reach out to someone special. Someone who impacted your life. I’ll leave the details up to you.
I know we are social distancing, but connecting and showing gratitude has never been easier. A call, a text, a Zoom meeting, a smile! A small gesture will go a long way. For those you love, and for you as well.
Thanks for listening. It means the world to me.
The next few blogs will focus on the things we can control: decluttering, organizing important financial papers and some other financial items you can complete (that don’t rely on the stock market).
Stay tuned and stay safe…