While on my walk today I found a chalk art message “Have a Great Day”. It brought a smile to my face thinking about the family that created it, a joy to my heart that goodness is all around us, and a reminder that I can make it a great day!
As someone who gets their energy from being around others, this social distancing requirement is a struggle for me. I found that if I focus on being grateful, my spirits are lifted immediately. Here are some things I am finding work well to help with being grateful.
Take a walk, Get Exercise
Living in the south, we have had a very rainy winter. In the last week or so, spring has shown up. Flowers blooming, trees starting to show leaves, and temperatures are wonderful. I am finding if I take a walk or workout each day, my mental attitude is much more positive, and I am more engaged.
In an article by the American Psychological Association, it states the link between exercise and mood is pretty strong, after about five minutes of exercise you will get a mood-enhancing effect. There are many ways to exercise during social distancing: walking, running, virtual classes - Yoga or HIIT. Take action to improve your mood.
Look “Up” and be Grateful
In my case, it is look “up” to the Redbud tree. This tree is in full bloom and as I walked by, I acknowledged its beauty and thought how grateful I was for this beautiful day and the nature around us.
This is a great time to slow down, appreciate the things that are around us every day, those things that we take for granted most days.
As I walked a little further, I saw many petals from this tree that had started to fall on the ground. It made me think about life and attitudes.
During these stressful times, often we are looking “down” and seeing what is lost and sad, and not looking “up” for the good and the beauty. If on my walk I had remained looking down, I would have missed the beauty right over my head on the tree. Remember to look "up".
Reach Out to Someone
I have friends who I only speak with every few months or so. We usually connect when we have some ‘down’ time. I just started to make it a point to reach out to several different people each week. What a blessing and joy these calls have been!
This interaction allows us to laugh at things we have done in the past (of which I will not go into here) and to also enjoy each other’s company today. The best part of the phone calls is the smile on my face when we hang up. Nothing in life is much better than laughing with friends. Go ahead, pick up the phone and make that call. You will be glad you did!
To be grateful in hard times, remember to exercise, look for ways to be positive and reconnect with friends. Life can easily slip past us before we know it.
I will leave you with one of my favorite literary verses is from Philippians - “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things”.