How Practicing Gratitude Is Helping Me Get Through This Pandemic
GRATITUDE. A 9 letter word that can change perspective instantly. I find it difficult to be upset when being grateful. Oftentimes it is easy to fall into a negative mindset. But it is hard to feel bitter when feeling grateful.
Sickness, loss of employment, isolation, and financial stress is just the tip of the iceberg caused by COVID-19. This global pandemic has definitely caused a flurry of concern and frustration for humanity. Amidst all of the chaos that has transpired over the last few weeks, gratitude has been a common theme that I continue to express to my family, friends, colleagues, and clients. I find that during difficult times, gratitude has been a helpful tool to help me through.
For perspective, this global issue with COVID-19 has put all of us in a collective experience. A collective experience is one in which we (all people) are all going through a shared experience together. This means you are not alone. We can relate to, or have empathy to some extent, of the hardship that may be happening to you or your loved ones.
When experiencing difficulties, it can be hard to focus on all the good in your life- whether that be health, family or friend support, a roof over your head, and/or food to eat. Sometimes when life is rough, acts of kindness or service can help promote the feeling and mindset of gratitude. When doing something kind for someone else, my thoughts tend to automatically shift, and I often feel slightly better. It may not make your problems disappear, but it may make them feel further away.
The misconception that life should be easy, creates an unrealistic expectation of what every day should look like. Life can be and will be difficult, and when it is, you know you are doing it right. We are learning to be comfortable with the uncomfortable, which will encourage internal and external growth. I find that a little gratitude can help make the soul feel lighter. I understand that this current, chaotic global pandemic has impacted us all in different ways, but it is important to know that there will be light at the end of this tunnel. I believe that we can and will come back from this stronger than ever. It isn’t a matter of if, but a matter of when. What are you doing now to prepare for the “when”?
Shifting perspective can shift a mood. So, where do you begin?
Start small. Identify something simple such as being grateful to have the ability to be alive, see, hear, or communicate. From there, move on to other aspects, such as having a loved one in your life, a pet, or the home you are in. Take a moment to check-in with where your mood is, and continue with your day. Gratitude is not a cure-all, but it definitely helps. Again, you are not alone. If during this time, you need more than suggestions, there are resources available if you or a loved one is struggling to maintain sobriety, struggling with depression, or experiencing abuse within your home.
Scroll down for resources to help you stay connected!
Connecting with Care,
Dara Kobrin, LMHC
Co-quarantined with an abuser?
Reach out to National Abuse Hotline
If you would like to talk to an advocate, we recommend using their chat feature or contact them by phone at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). Thehotline.org
Feeling depressed or having negative thoughts. Having to isolate during this time may contribute to pre-existing mental health issues.