So, things right now are…. odd. ‘Unprecedented‘ is the word everyone is throwing about. Almost every email or text that pings through starts with a sentence about how weird life is at the moment. Everywhere you look you’re reminded that we’re in the middle of a global crisis. It’s really tough to strike the right balance when keeping up with the latest news – on the one hand I want to know what’s going on, but when I spend too much time tuning in to every news bulletin or scrolling news websites on my phone it becomes overwhelming. All of the top headlines (unsuprisingly) highlight our worst case scenarios, whether that’s the steadily rising death count, the state of the economy, or that terrifying cartoon of what happens when someone coughs in a supermarket. It puts me in a state of constant fear – for both my loved ones and myself… whilst its relatively rare for someone my age to develop severe disease, I feel like a lot of the individual cases reported ARE people my age, which distorts the feeling of personal risk. It all leaves my brain feeling a little… ‘erghh’ [I couldn’t think of a good enough adjective… so I translated it into a sound… that I typed].
Although times are really hard (there’s no denying that), there are some bright sides, which I think we all need to focus on to stop ourselves going crazy. So I thought I’d write a list of 5 good things – a little online gratitude journal entry. It’s an exercise I find super helpful, it sort of lifts your mind out of a negative space into a positive one. Let me know if this sort of thing also helps you and, if so, what are your 5 good things?
- I get more fresh air than I usually do. I’m so grateful that we have our house and that we live in the countryside. We’re so lucky that when we go for our daily walk or run, we often don’t see another soul! We never normally have time to do long walks on weekdays, and it feels so lovely to get more fresh air. We’ve also been making the most of our garden – I’ve started sitting outside with a cuppa in the afternoons when I read or write my journal, and it’s the best feeling.
- I’ve had time to do those things I say I wish I could do “if only I had more time“. I did a 1000 piece puzzle this week. I haven’t had time to do a puzzle for probably about two decades, and this week has left me determined to do a puzzle every Christmas time going forward (realistically the one time a year that I’m at home for an extended time!). I’ve also baked lemon & sultana drizzle cupcakes, chocolate chip banana bread, apple crumble, and triple chocolate cookies… bad for my waistline but fantastic for my mind. We’ve also used the lockdown as a chance to get boring house stuff done that we would normally put off, like cleaning the windows and painting the garden fences.
- I get to spend more time with my cat. I think this is probably a disadvantage to her, but I’m loving it. Whenever I feel sad or stressed I just look at her little squishy round head and I instantly feel better.
- We get to drink our nice coffee on a weekday which feels like such a treat. Normally we save our cafetiere and our coffee machine pods for the weekend, but since we’re home we can treat ourselves to nice cuppa’s on the daily. I also bought some hazelnut syrup at the supermarket this week which is an absolute game changer.
- Ironically, I’m probably more social than ever. I’m so grateful that I live in this era where it’s so easy to keep in touch over the internet. I’m probably more in touch with my friends than ever, with lots of group zoom chats, game sessions and 1:1 facetimes scheduled in throughout the week. I do really miss seeing people IRL though, especially family. It’s hard to keep in touch with my 2 and 3-year old nephews over zoom. They’ve actually been surprisingly into it… but I miss smooching their little chubba cheeks!