I’m writing this on November 5, just after Election Day, and we don’t know who will be trying to steer our country over the next four years. More than 230,000 of our fellow Americans have succumbed to COVID-19. Many Americans don’t know if they’ll have food and shelter in the near future, while others are experiencing more closeness and good times within their families. And, within the next few weeks, we’ll each have to figure out how to deal with conflicting pressures around the holiday most associated with family and home and gatherings.
Cathy, a friend and colleague, has an annual tradition for this time of year. It’s the Gratitude Project. It is a private Facebook group. Each and every day of the month, Cathy posts something for which she is grateful. Others joined in, and now there’s over 550 members.
The idea of turning to gratitude in uncertain or troubling times is not new, and you don’t have to search long before you find online resources (such as this article). I personally find a focus on gratitude helpful. Some nights, when I can’t fall asleep, I challenge myself to find three people (or groups or events) for which I am grateful. I’m usually asleep by the time I’m going over the wonderful attributes of the second. For me there really is something calming and reassuring in recalling that for which I have to be grateful. I’ve written other posts on self-care; recalling to whom you are grateful is both soothing (emotional management in the moment) and true self-care (laying the groundwork for a future healthier and more resilient self). When would be a good time for you to routinely think about gratitude?
Life may be a bit rocky for a while longer. Keep up that self-care, and look out for others who may need some extra support.