As I mentioned in my previous post, being “temporarily” laid off has actually been a positive – or at least I’m choosing to look at it that way. I’ve always been the type of person who was busy doing something. I worked full time in retail, while I was studying full time completing my undergraduate degree, I was singing on the side, trying to have a semblance of a social life, stay connected with friends and family, think about building my future, etc etc etc. There’s not a moment where I thought all of it would stop. And yet, now it has. I’m still obviously thinking about my future, but I’m living each day now kind of excited to do things. I’m excited to have my morning coffee and write in my journal. I’m excited that I’m trying out intermittent fasting. I’m excited that I get to walk the dogs when it feels like a good time to walk them. I’m excited about creating content like this. Of course there’s still grief, worry and anxiety during this uncertain time… but it seems like priorities have immediately shifted, and I’m choosing to see the positive in this.
When I think back, I was happiest when life was simpler (wasn’t everyone?). Creating vlogs before vlogs were a thing, re-designing my room every September because I loved the feeling of a fresh start, researching because I was curious about the world and not because it was assigned to me. Simple. This pandemic and what’s happening in the world is terrible, frightening and worrying. But when reflecting on what brings me joy (courtesy of Rachel Hollis’ #Next90Challenge), I realized that when things are a bit slower paced and I am able to really connect with myself, my family and nature, that I am much more fulfilled. I think a big part of this realization though was facilitated by finding and writing down gratitude in the little things. I know that there are plenty of resources on gratitude practices (heck, I’m following one right now), but I figured it could be helpful to share some questions to ask yourself to find gratitude in your day, even if it’s small. So if you’re writing down things you’re grateful for (and if you aren’t, you should) and you need a bit more guidance than just “things you’re grateful for” prompt, then take a look at some questions I find helpful below.
1. What inspired you today?
Ask yourself this question: What inspired your today? Did something bring you joy? Maybe instead of asking what you’re grateful for, you can ask what inspired you. Did you see something on social media? A hilarious meme? An encouraging message?
2. Who did you connect with today?
Just because we’re social distancing right now, doesn’t mean that we can’t connect. Did you reach out to virtually network? Did you have an amazing team meeting? Who did you chat with that brought you joy?
3. What had a positive impact on you today?
Think about an action, task, comment — literally anything that had a positive impact today. Did you try a new at home work out? Did you make a delicious and healthy breakfast? Did someone pay you a compliment? Did you journal or practice some self-care?
4. What is something small that happened that brought you joy?
It can be as small as having a clean kitchen, to watching the sun rise. Ask yourself: what is something small that happened that brought a smile to your face? I must say, having a clean kitchen and tidy space had brought me a lot of joy during this period.
5. What action did you take today?
Maybe you made coffee this morning with your favourite creamer. Perhaps you went for a long walk. What is something that you personally did – for yourself or others – that made you feel gratitude.
These are some of the prompts I ask myself when writing 5 things that I’m grateful for each morning. It’s easy to say “having a roof over my head” and sometimes, yes, given these uncertain periods, it’s absolutely something to be grateful for. But I think you can dig deeper and find the little hidden gems in your daily life. Sometimes rephrasing the question and looking at it through a different lens is what you need to truly see the good that’s in your day.