If you are like me, it’s highly likely that 2020 has not gone exactly to plan. My plans involved me living in Bali for three months this year, working hard, enjoying the sunshine, meeting new people and generally living my ideal life…. Instead, I am living on the west coast of Ireland with my parents.
As you can imagine, being in your forties and being back home living with your parents is a bit of an adjustment for us all. Saying that I am very lucky to have such an amazing relationship with my family, which has made the adjustment much easier.
While the year definitely does not look like I envisioned, I am focused on reminding myself of what I am grateful for during this unexpected time. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t days when I find it hard to reconcile my planned year with my actual year.
I am constantly finding ways to help bring me back to a place of gratitude:
Pause and recognize
For some, this might have been forced by the Covid-19 pandemic, however, others may have to make a concerted, conscious effort to put this into practice.
Just pause, look around and soak up everything, What are you grateful for today? It will only take a couple of minutes – you can do this in the shower, from your bed, you can take time out etc.
Don’t forget about yourself
If I haven’t already reminded you of this at some point or no one else has told you before, don’t forget ‘You are fecking amazing’. This phrase started in our house a number of years ago, and the use of this language has made a massive impact on the energy around our house.
Yes, you can be having a bad day, and maybe you did something you weren’t proud of, but it doesn’t stop the fact that ‘You are fecking amazing’.
Create a habit of being appreciative of yourself, which is a simple way to improve self-esteem and self-confidence. The focus here is not always on achievements but rather on qualities, traits and acts of kindness.
No matter what type of day you are having I am sure you were a great mother / daughter / friend / aunt etc.
We are often focused on gratitude for the big things rather than the small things.
I was going to be so grateful for the opportunity to live in Bali for 3 months. However, we know that the habit of being grateful starts with appreciating all of the good things in life and reminding yourself that nothing is too small to appreciate.
Think of a night with uninterrupted sleep, a day with beautiful, sunny blue skies, an adorable puppy you saw out on a walk or a great call with a good friend.
How you view and react to what you perceive as negative situations is so important; do you face a challenge by thinking ‘why do these things always happen to me’? Or do you just get on with it.
Furthermore, the language you use to describe a situation can have a massive impact on how you perceive and process the situation and, ultimately, influencing how you react.
For example, I could have perceived and processed my Bali situation as a ‘poor me’ situation, or, I could see the flip side of the coin which is ‘aren’t I so luck that I was in Ireland with family when this situation happened’. The focus should be on what you do have, rather than what you perceive as missing from your life.
It is so easy to take much of our life for granted. Volunteering for the purpose of helping others increases our own well-being, and, in turn, makes us more grateful for what we do have in life.
Express your gratitude
It’s very important to express your gratitude for and to others in your life. When was the last time you told someone how grateful you are to have them in your life? A small gesture of gratitude can have a big impact on someone’s day, week or even life.
Make it a habit
Whether you chose to take a pause to recognise what you are grateful for or use a journal to write down set a time each day, either first thing in the morning / or last thing at night – make this a habit.
If you are looking for more tips & hints on maintaining a Positive Pandemic Mindset read a more detailed blog on this topic here.