If you’re anything like me, you’re probably bored of hearing about the pandemic for a start. But you also have probably had a niggling low level of anxiety since March that you just can’t shift. Living through a global pandemic is not something we were prepared for, and it’s certainly not something you are expected to know how to handle.
And really the best way to deal with the stress and anxiety is to slow down. Day after day stuck in the house is made better when you’re looking for and appreciating the small joys. Even now as things begin to go back to “normal” it’s the perfect time to really look at how you’re doing, how you’re living and how you’re feeling, and recalibrate if needed.
A gratitude mindset is the perfect antidote to the anxieties, frustrations and restrictions of living through these uncertain times. Maybe you miss your friends and family, maybe you miss going out for dinner and feeling safe, maybe you miss travelling, or maybe you just feel anxious all the time. These feelings can be all consuming, and it can feel like there’s not much good going on.
Stopping to notice the good, to be grateful for the small moments, it all contributes to a shift in your thought process, by recognising the little joys, you are more attuned to the good. The more you practice a mindset of gratitude, the more at ease you’ll feel.
By making your morning coffee an affair to remember, using your favourite mug and your fancy coffee. By spending a little more time plating your lunch so it looks more pleasing. By stopping to admire the fading light, the way a candle smokes after you blow it out, or a new bud on your plant, you’re inviting more of these little joys into your life. And the more you focus on the good, well it helps you deal with the not so good.
How to Nurture a Gratitude Mindset
The best thing about practising gratitude, is it doesn’t require much effort. Maybe you just need to slow down a little and watch the every day, maybe carrying a notebook with a list of happy joys works for you, maybe snapping photos throughout the day is easiest, or maybe even using the One Second a Day app to look for a moment worth filming every day is more your speed. Whatever way you choose to practise gratitude, I urge you to try answering these questions, in your head, out loud, or on paper. Chat them through with your friends or your partner, or scrawl notes on paper, just take a moment to ponder them.
- What aspects of normal life have you missed most during lockdown? What do you want to include more of in your life?
- What aspects of normal life have you not missed? Did that surprise you? How can you change your lifestyle to avoid those things in the future?
- What has being at home taught you?
- Has there been anything you’ve enjoyed doing, that you would never have done if it weren’t for lockdown?
- What aspects of your daily routine could you bring more joy to? How can you make those changes?
- What do you presently feel grateful for? How can you have more of that?