advice, Auntie Says, Faye Arcand, Faye E. Arcand, Journalling, Lifestyle, lifestyle blogger, live life, Mental health

How To Be Grateful in a Pandemic

Not Your Typical Thanksgiving.

It involves pirates and explorers! There are theories, lore, and religion that weave through the history of Thanksgiving in Canada–celebrated on the second Monday in October–where it has evolved to closely resemble the family holiday of the United States who celebrate in November.

For many, it means lots of food–turkey, casseroles, and pumpkin pie (my favorite), along with large family gatherings and sense of gratitude.

In Canada, it has nothing to do with Black Friday or the signaling of the Holiday season–it’s a bit more Northern…a bit more understated…a bit more Canadian. Not better–just different.

This year, our bubble of social groupings needed to be taken into consideration and played a huge part in keeping the celebrations smaller. There were no neighbors and no community involvement but we’ve tried to keep our gratitude large–after all, that’s what it’s all about, right?

How Can We Be Thankful During a Pandemic?

It’s true. This year has really sucked big time. There’s been lock-downs, death, political strife, and so much stress. Stress upon stress upon stress–and it doesn’t seem to stop.

We’ve all watched covid numbers rise while growing restrictions take place. There’s been struggle, strife, and surrender. There’s also been social disparity, pure idiocy, irresponsible and reckless behavior, not to mention the ongoing and inane political agendas.

How can we live in such a world and still be thankful?

For me, the fact that I’m able to write makes me grateful. The fact that you’re reading this right now, brings me a sense of community and well-being.

The fact we’re still upright and moving forward in such uncertain times should be enough to help us put one foot in front of the other.

This pandemic slammed into the world and slowed us all down.

Maybe that’s a good thing.

For some it’s brought family closer as they’ve received a gift of time together. For others, that same time together has driven them apart or brought out realities not otherwise seen.

It’s a unique and different experience for each and every one of us.

Maybe it’s the Small Things

I used to keep a Gratitude Journal. Everyday I’d write down five things I was thankful for that day.

It changed my perspective on looking at things, but this pandemic has taken the Gratitude even that much further.

Today it’s not about the big stuff that we are consistently grateful for…like job, family, friends, health…but about the things in life that aren’t always on our radar. Here are five things the pandemic has reminded me to be thankful for…

A.) I’m grateful for that ability to read and write. Without these outlets I’d have gone stir crazy on more than one occasion. It also makes me think of the many children around the world who don’t get the opportunity to go to school for what ever reason.

I’m go grateful

B.) I’m grateful for the air that I breathe. Air is life and we have it. When you’re evacuated from a wild fire–which I was this summer, you’re quickly reminded.

This year large swathes of smoke and particulates from the Washington, Oregon, and California fires entered our northern valley. The air was worse than when the fires were in our own community.

I know we all take the air we breathe for granted.

I’m so grateful.

C.) Technology–wow–I wouldn’t make it through this pandemic without it. Perhaps this is a first world gratitude but alas, it’s one of mine.

Whether it was zoom meetings for work, conferencing with others, or connecting online for a birthday cheer, the computer/tablet/phone really was a life-saver.

I’m so grateful.

D.) Remember the beginning of the pandemic and the store shelves were empty? There was no toilet paper, hand-sanitizer, masks… I’m grateful all of that was short-lived and supply chains continued to stay open.

The men and women who farm, pick, and pack the vegetables/fruit/food/goods, the drivers that deliver it across countries and borders, and continue every single day–you have my gratitude.

All the front line staff whether drivers, medical, restaurant, retail….

I’m so grateful.

E.) As I contemplate this Thanksgiving Day I’m reminded that tomorrow will come.

The sun will rise and another day will unfold before me with all the promise of the unknown. Who knows what it will bring but I know I’ll get another chance to be the best version of me and that makes me happy because it’s my choice.

I’m so grateful.

It’s Okay to Be Down. It’s Okay to Doubt. Try and Find the Good–It is There.

Nothing has been “normal” since the country closed down in March 2020. Sometimes it feels like everything is spinning out of control and I suppose to certain degree it was and still is.

It’s normal to feel thrown off kilter in these times. Allow yourself that time. It’s okay.

Who knows if, and/or when, anything will return to what we once embraced as common-place. For now you may have to dig deep within yourself to find small things for which to be thankful–but it’s there.

Whether it’s the fact you’re able to get out of bed, you have food to eat, or you’re able to put on your socks…find the gratitude. It will make a difference.

Always remember…

Be gentle with yourself. AND. Be aware that others are feeling it too.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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