2020 has been hard.

 

Actually, I would say it has been more than hard- it’s been insanely difficult. While the year 2020 sounded so futuristic and fabulous, it has certainly turned into a year and been scary, sad, and unpredictable. My quarantine started after arriving home from a less than ideal 24-hour vacation in which we turned around after landing because the travel ban was put in place.

While I have more than enough to be thankful for, I cannot help but have a hard time being grateful right now. People are sick. Essential employees are putting their lives at risk every day. People are feeling unheard. People are losing their jobs. Kids and adults are lonely. Days are getting shorter. Everyone is struggling in their own way right now, which makes the world a really tough place to navigate.

This is not meant to vent or highlight all that is going wrong (I promise!) My hope is to say- I am with you. I understand. It is okay to feel this way. Life is hard right now and it’s okay to have times where it feels like too much to handle. As someone who has struggled with anxiety most of my life, being kind to myself and being grateful are two things that I have to make a priority for staying healthy and happy. Maybe you can relate?

“Fake it till you make it” is a phrase that anyone who has ever walked into my therapy office knows and loves (or they at least learns to love!). The phrase reminds us that sometimes we need to fake a feeling in order for it to actually happen. By practicing thinking happier- we will, over time, feel happier.

Even when it has been a horrible day, I get myself to name at least 5 things I am grateful for. Right now, this takes a lot of extra energy. That is okay. My grateful moments have included small things like “my cup of tea in the morning,” “it was sunny in the afternoon,” or “I got to pet a cute puppy on my walk.”

These may not feel important, but it’s the small things that get me through the big things. When it is hard to do- it means my brain is working to change and is getting stronger. Just taking a small part of the day to stop and think about these small, positive things can really help us to be more aware and feel more gratitude.

Today I am grateful for:

  1. Wearing my mittens for the first time
  2. Leftover pizza for lunch
  3. Finishing a good book last night
  4. My cozy sweatshirt
  5. A funny text from a friend.

What are you grateful for today?