It’s easy to get lost in the chaos of the world around us and let the general upheaval to daily life take us away from appreciating what we have… and that’s without a pandemic. Now is the time to pull back from things beyond our control and list out the things we’re thankful for, to take a moment to appreciate the things we have in our lives. Today, at some point, grab a piece of paper, or open a note app on your phone, and start listing the things you’re thankful for. Do it throughout the day. After dinner, stop and read through the list, allowing yourself to feel thankful for everything you’ve listed.
Getting ourselves out of “everything is bad” thinking is an important part of self-care. It gives our brains a chance to refocus. Also, I learned through therapy that our minds tend to remain focused where we focus them. It’s like water running over a surface. The path of least resistance for a stream is the one that has been used already. Our brains do the same thing. We get wrapped up in things that aren’t good, and teach ourselves to see those things first over time. Exercises like this one will begin the process of rerouting the way the brain responds to our lives. It won’t cure depression or anxiety, but it can absolutely make the spaces between those episodes much better!
So, list it out, what things are you thankful for? I’ll start.
- My job, even on days I wish I had a different one. (Hard to hate the job too much in a world where so many others don’t have one at all.)
- Having a safe home.
- My children and grandchildren.
- Being able to write.
- People who read my books and scream at me about how good they are.
- Playlists. (Oh, you have no idea how thankful I am for playlists!)
- My car, janky as she is. I still get from A to B and home again.
- Air conditioning! (We’ve had triple digit days in Albuquerque this summer and without the AC, I think I might have just turned into a fish and hid in the tub.)
- My balcony – my personal retreat with green things growing and plenty of shade.
- A therapist who helps.
- Netflix and Hulu.
- My pets. (Which reminds me, I need to feed the fish… brb)
- Colored pens and markers.
- Sword Art Online running the new season.
So, what’s on your list?