How To Practise Gratitude When Times Are Tough

Friday, April 24, 2020

As we're currently in our third lockdown, it can seem like the end will never arrive. It can be hard to look for the silver linings when there is one bad thing after another. However, despite times being tough, you should always remember the things we do have. There are so many beautiful things in life. Sometimes, it takes another person to help you to realise. Here's how to practise gratitude, even when it feels like the world is falling apart around you! 

What Is Gratitude?

Practising gratitude can mean different things to different people. In general, it means to be thankful for the things around you. Some people like to take the time to say thank you to those who have helped them. Others will write down what they've appreciated throughout the day or week. You're affirming the goodness in life, and opening your mind for more good things to come. For me, practising gratitude means to realise what you have around you rather than focusing on what you don't have. Everyone will practise gratitude in their own ways. Some like to be vocal while others will cherish their silver linings privately. 

Why You Should Look For The Silver Linings

It's okay to be upset or angry at the current situation. Nobody can tell you how to feel or react because we haven't been in a pandemic before! However, while you can feel negatively, it won't be helping your mental health. You should look for the silver linings and be grateful for things as you appreciate what's around you more. Being grateful means that you cherish what you have and look after it better. For example, if you're thankful for a laptop providing you with education and work, you'll look after it better. If you show gratitude for a person, your relationship will thrive as they feel appreciated and noticed.

You should also show gratitude as it gives you a chance to reflect on life and appreciate what you have before it's gone. Life changes rapidly, so the things you have now may not always be there. The pandemic has taught me that nothing is secure. Whether it be a job, freedom or even something as simple as seeing friends, it can all be changed within days. Practising gratitude shows that you respect the things around you and understand it may not always be there. It's a great habit to get into.  

How You Can Practise Gratitude

Gratitude can be shown in so many different ways. While it's nice to hear that someone is grateful for you, it may not always get shown that way. Understanding that if someone buys you lunch or compliments you, that could also be showing gratitude! Here are some ways you might want to show your appreciation for things

  • Let someone know when they've done a good job
  • Write your thoughts down in a bullet journal or diary
  • Go for a walk and take in the beauty around
  • Leave a positive review on a website or small business you liked
  • Tell your friends and family that you love them
  • Try to avoid complaining about something when it goes wrong
  • Try to look for the positive side of a bad situation
  • Meditate and enjoy the time to reflect 
  • Create a mood board for all the things you love
  • Write a list of all the things you're grateful for and why
  • Make little handmade gifts (like cookies!) for the people you love
  • Take photos of things that you enjoy or want to look back on
  • Write thank you letters to those who have made a difference. It could be a manager who took a chance on you or a waitress who gave you a free dessert on your birthday! 
  • Forgive someone, even if it does take some time to let go!

Things You Should Be Grateful For 

The lockdown has given me a lot of time to reflect on the things I am grateful for in life. There are so many things I've taken for granted. In case you're still struggling to find your own silver linings, here are some things that I have been really grateful for lately. 

  • Technology - Without technology, many of us would be alone and without a job. Technology has kept us entertained, in contact with loved ones and given us the ability to make money. If there was no internet, I'm not sure how I would have survived.
  • Family & Friends - These are the people who will help you through the tough times and believe in you, no matter what. They're your entertainment, safe space and biggest fans. Appreciate that before you lose them!
  • Education - To all those who have missed school because of the pandemic, I hope you're still getting an enriched education. School is important, and I am lucky to have online classes. Even though you may want to play games, be grateful that you have access to education. 
  • My Job - Many people have been laid off, furloughed or had cut hours. I am grateful that I have a job which still pays me and is proactive with communication. If you have a job, even if you hate it, it's more than what some people have right now.
  • Date Nights - Date nights with my boyfriend are something I took for granted. We would go out and spend time together, but now have to do with a video call. I still love talking over the phone, but I wish I had cherished the dates more. 
  • My Health - Whether you've been given the vaccine or not, you're still here today. I am grateful for my health as I am in a better place mentally and physically. The lockdown has given me a chance to work on the things that bothered me and accept things I can't change.
  • The Community - I love how everyone has come together for the greater good. I've seen people help charities more, talk to neighbours for the first time and help those in need. It's been wonderful to see people volunteering and donating things to food banks. I hope after the pandemic that people continue to embrace the community aspect. 

It's important to see the good in things, even when the times are tough. There are so many things to be grateful for. Try to spend the time to appreciate the little things rather than the big gestures. It's the little things you'll miss the most if they were ever to disappear. Showing my appreciation for things has changed my outlook on life, and now I am I lot more considerate towards things. How do you like to show gratitude for your favourite things? I'd love to hear what things you're most grateful for at the moment, or what you're missing the most. 

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  1. Ya, I know that I have been missing a lot of stuff myself. An cant wait to having the ability to get back to the times I miss doing.

  2. Such a great post. This situation really makes you take a step back and realize how grateful you are for everything and how you miss a lot of things you once took for granted!

  3. Great post! I've picked up blogging too while in lockdown. I've always wanted to make a living with it and since I can't work this was to perfect time to start!

  4. I'm the same! I'm missing uni a lot, especially since it's my final year and it's just over you really take things for granted when you just do them every day

  5. I have loved blogging and gardening whilst self-isolating. The community I find among my friends online and over the phone always makes me smile as wide as the fresh air and green budding outside my window.

  6. Firstly, oh my goodness, thank you so much for the shout out, I'm so thrilled that my gardening posts are something you enjoy! I think your list of things to be grateful for are spot on: family and friends (and community) is something I've been focusing on more recently and it's great to have the time to do so. Lovely list! Lisa x

  7. This is a lovely post. Finding what we're grateful for is so important right now and it's great you're able to reflect on what is working for you - such as blogging - and what you'll enjoy the most once things are easier. Lovely post!

  8. This is a great post, I have no idea how I missed it but thank you so so much for the shout out, I'm glad you enjoy my blog! Yours is great too. It's lovely to have time to reflect on what we are grateful for!

  9. Nice post. There are a lot of things that we should be grateful for despite what's going on around us. I'm definitely grateful to be healthy and spend time with my family.

  10. Love seeing this perspective from someone your age! Gratitude has definitely been an area of awareness during the pandemic!