Finding Gratitude In The Time Of COVID-19

How does one find happiness, gratitude, and joy in the time of Coronavirus? Well, I have no idea. I’m no expert in happiness or finding joy. I struggle with it daily. Heck, I cried on the floor next to my bed this week. And now it feels like we are expected to be able to hold onto it in this totally unprecedented time of sadness and chaos.

The loss of life from Coronavirus in the US has already surpassed that of the Vietnam War in just a few months, jobs are lost, people are depressed and lonely enough to take their lives, people are starving and food insecure… oh and there’s an election this year. You didn’t subscribe to this blog or click on it for the news. You can read these facts on the news or listen to them on the radio or TV and don’t need me to tell you them. You are reading this blog post presumably to hear about my books and sometimes read my ramblings. I suppose this is a rambling.

Right now feels bleak and sad. There’s no way around it. What I tell kids when I read my books about habitat loss and endangered species is: we have to learn the truth to face the truth to change the truth. You all know the best thing to do is stay home, stay distant, wash your hands, and wear your masks in public. It doesn’t matter if your state lifts its laws, we have to continue to social distance. But what do we do when we struggle to find the joy through truth? We know the truth… now how do we pick up and continue on? The truth is scary and in this case (unlike my books), there’s little we can do to make change other than staying in and staying away.

The thing is… we all have to take care of ourselves though in other ways. This means compassion… compassion for yourself and the you crying next to your bed because you need it. Compassion for the you that’sfrustrated and compassion for your world that’s changed so drastically that you barely had time to keep up with the changes. Something I’m trying to do right now is to “feel and move forward” with that compassion. Instead of dwelling in my fears and stress about the future, I feel it… I feel it real good. I feel it as fully as possible! I might even cry at the grocery store (has happened) feel whatever emotion comes over me then and there. Feel it in the moment and embody the emotion and own it, whatever emotion it is. But! Don’t let that emotion keep you stuck all day or all week.

Feel it… then move on.

This has been my mantra. Everyday is a new day and every hour is a new hour… so sometimes, I’m not so great at this. Sometimes, I feel it and it dwells and my day feels like a drain. But I try to feel it and I give myself compassion and grace to have it not go so well. I do all of this along with making sure I find joy in all the little things each day. This means looking at things with a small lens (hard for a big picture person like myself). I look at the bees swirling around the newly sprouted plants and feel excitement for the sunflowers and aster that will soon bloom to feed them. I watch for native bees and the different kinds of butterflies. I listen for the birds. I close my eyes and hear my breath fill my chest. I do my daily yoga – thank you, Yoga With Adriene on Youtube for helping so many of us every day (I’m doing the 30 day Yoga Journey called “Home” right now if you’d like to join). I do my Youtube ballet – thank you Kathryn Morgan. I focus on my body and how it feels (which isn’t so good lately) and I breathe. I call my parents and Yiayia all the time because I miss them so much. I pet my rabbits and feel lucky that they are with me each day. I look at my partner and feel joy he’s here next to me and love that I get to be with him. These things keep me going and even when the feelings are feeling too hard to manage… I feel them fully. Then I move forward.

This is for sure a rambling at this point… but maybe it has something worthwhile in it? I hope you enjoy my drawing of the things bringing me joy. Maybe they will bring you joy too. Or maybe you’ll keep an eye out for some bees today!

What brings you joy in the little moments? For those little moments add up to be big moments over time.

Feel… and move on.

Thinking of you all and wishing you well and hope you are reading this while healthy,

Originally sent out as a mailer to my mailing list. Sign up to my mailing list to get these posts to your inbox before they are blog posts.

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