Coping during COVID-19: Cultivating gratitude
In a world where our children can no longer play outside with others and social distancing is a mechanism for survival, practicing gratitude may seem impossible. In this same locked-down world, we are starting to look inward - reassessing our values and priorities with the hope that our shared world may emerge kinder, more compassionate towards one another.
As our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones or suffered social and economic hardships during this time - perhaps you have glimpsed the rare opportunity this time has granted us. We have been given a time of reflection, and the potential to grow our sense of community and compassion. In times of crisis, we may be happily surprised to learn how we can lean on others for support. While we are physically distanced, this does not mean we have to be socially disconnected as well. Staying socially connected during lockdown may require us to be more intentional about nurturing our social connections. One way in which we may do this is through cultivating gratitude.
“Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary. “- Margaret Cousins
Cultivating gratitude can be difficult, especially during trying times. However, I would like to challenge you to do the next three things, for the remainder of the lockdown period. In an effort to position ourselves towards appreciation, gratitude and increased social connectedness, try to:
1. At the start of your day, list three things that you are grateful for.
Today, are you grateful for your family, your internet connection, the gift of a new day?
2. Reach out and compliment someone or let them know what you appreciate about them.
Have you admired your colleagues work ethic, appreciated your partner’s smile or thought that a friend was a good parent? Let them know.
3. Name, or describe one good thing that happened in the day.
Did you unexpectedly have someone reach out to check on you today? See a butterfly or a beautiful sunset? Were you able to have a meal or a place to sleep soundly? Reflect on any positive occurrence, no matter how small you think it may be.
Gratitude reminds us that even in what seems to be the darkest of times, there may still be room for love and light. What are you grateful for today?