By Thamar Jones
A hot cup of hibiscus tea cupped in my hand and a plate with tiny slices of banana bread sat in my lap as I sat, feet up, in my plush chocolate brown sofa in my apartment this morning.
Breakfast was simply lavish and delicious and I savored every bite and sip. It was impossible not to be grateful in that moment: grateful for my food, the comfort of my home, the time and leisure to sit and enjoy breakfast, and grateful for my health. It is true, that gratitude is the best state of being at any and all times.
As we sit in our apartments or even in hospital beds during this pandemic, there are things we can do to improve our outcomes and maintain health. One of the most powerful tools for staying healthy, is gratitude.
There are always things to be grateful for–even now. And gratitude reminds us how special, beautiful and fortunate our lives are, even under stressful or hazardous conditions.
As we navigate this quarantine and epidemic, I call for you to think of at least three things you are grateful for upon waking and going to sleep every day. At first, it will probably be difficult to call to mind things that you can appreciate as everything may seem dire, so here are some suggestions to help you get started:
We are lucky that there are researchers who have devoted their lives to preventing and addressing pandemics like this one, and furthermore that the scientific community collaborates and drops their current work to come together and solve issues like this when they arise.
We can be grateful for the heroes of healthcare who put their own safety at risk to care for total strangers simply because it is what they do, for loved ones and a time of forced perspective, to consider what really matters to us.
You owe three reasons of your own to be grateful today before bed. As you practice this, the things you are grateful for will become more specific to your own life. Gratitude practice is not only important for making you feel better psychologically during this crisis, it can also help your physical health.
Keep Calm and Carry On During World War II there was a different existential threat to our wellbeing. People were told to “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Today this is may sound like just a trendy meme but the wisdom behind this statement is as true as it ever was. Limiting worry about COVID-19 may actually improve your outcome should you contract it.
Keep calm and carry on. We will get through this. Life will return to normal. It may be a new kind of normal, but this will all be a memory one day.
Finally, it is important to focus on the silver lining of this situation. Crisis brings out the best in people. Crisis reminds us why it is important to celebrate every day and share our love with family, neighbors, and friends. Crisis reminds us of how lucky we are and how important it is to take care of ourselves, our communities, and our planet.
As we weather this crisis, let us be fortunate enough to remember the lessons that it has to teach us so that we can continue to strive towards a better tomorrow.
By Thamar Jones