I’m still going on my series of Coronavirus blog posts – because what else is there to do right now? So far I’ve talked about positive journalling, looking after your mental health, things to do at home, virtual travel experiences, how to have a holiday at home, and how to cheer someone up during lockdown. With the exception of virtual travel experiences, practising gratitude during Coronavirus lockdown ties in with all of those posts – it’s helps you to remain positive, it’s great for mental health and it gives you something to do!
What is gratitude? It’s simply thinking about the things that you’re grateful for. You could write them in a journal, talk about them with your friends/family/partner/housemates or just think about them whilst doing the washing up. You might have seen me mention Sophie Cliff in one of my blog posts before – it was her podcasts and blog posts that got me into the practice of gratitude, so thank you Sophie!
One of the positives to come out of our current situation, which I’ve found myself and heard others talking about, is that we’re finding ourselves noticing, and feeling gratitude towards, the smaller things. Many of us have slowed down the pace of our lives, giving us time to notice these little things, and without the huge range of things to keep us occupied, we’re more likely to notice what’s going on around us.
Then there’s the big things: I know I’m lucky to have a lovely home and a loving family but oh-my-gosh I really bloody know it now!
So, to lift my spirits and hopefully yours, here are some things that I’m grateful for during the current Coronavirus lockdown, big and small. To anyone who doesn’t have the things that I talk about below, I hope this doesn’t come across as self-involved, and I hope you’re finding joy in many other things! I’d love to hear what you’re grateful for at the moment, so let me know in the comments or on social media!
What I’m Grateful For During Coronavirus – The Big Things
I’m grateful for my boyfriend
I’m so glad that I have Billy during this time! I’d be so lonely if I was still living on my own, and I love that we keep checking in on each other to make sure that we’re coping ok with everything. Thanks to Billy, lockdown so far has been pretty enjoyable! On a practical level, I’m so grateful for his financial support right now, as Coronavirus has meant that, like many others, I’m out of work.
I’m grateful for my family
I have a small family: my mum, my dad, my sister and my nan. We’re in constant communication via WhatsApp (although 90% of conversation is Coronavirus-related memes) we’ve been speaking on FaceTime and we’re trying to remotely teach my nan how to use video calling so that we can include her. We’re all speaking more regularly to check in on each other, which is lovely.
I’m grateful for my friends
I’ve never had big groups of friends, and I’ve always gone for quality over quantity. I’m so grateful for this right now! During what could be lonely times at the moment, I’m constantly communicating in three WhatsApp groups, that coincidentally have three of us on each – must be the magic number. To the members of ‘Gal Pals’, ‘Breakfast Babes’ and ‘Ladyboy Lovers’ (named as such when organising a night out to see the Ladyboys of Bangkok)… thank you for making me smile!
I’m grateful for my home
I don’t have a huge home, but I love my flat beyond belief. I love my sofa in particular, and home is my favourite place to spend time in – somewhere that I always feel safe. When you love being at home, lockdown doesn’t seem too bad (try asking me again in a weeks time though!). I know that many don’t have a home that they feel safe in, or a home at all in some cases, so I feel really grateful for what I’ve got.
I’m grateful for my health and the health of those around me
I’m healthy, my friends are healthy, my family are healthy and my boyfriend is healthy. Even my nan is INCREDIBLE for 90 years old (91 very soon) and I’m so, so grateful for that. Many people aren’t in this situation, especially right now when so many are feeling the effects of Coronavirus. I’m more grateful for my health and the health of those around me than ever.
I’m grateful for all this time!
I know I’ll probably be singing to a totally different tune in a week or so, but right now I’m hugely grateful for all of this extra time. I may not have any money, and I don’t feel like I’m contributing to the economy whilst I’m out of work due to Coronavirus, but I’m getting so much done!
I have time to work on my blog as much as I want, getting all my life admin done (including the dreaded tax return!), clean my flat and spend virtual time with family.
I’ve even made a new friend – a lovely man named Doug who is self-isolating due to being over 70 and calls me for a chat. I can read, relax, admire the view from my balcony, cook nice meals, learn new skills… it’s great! Oh, and I won’t deny that I’m watching daytime TV whilst I do this, and binging on Netflix series every evening.
I’m grateful for my past experiences
I’ve heard about a lot of people really struggling with anxiety at the moment as a result of Coronavirus – whether that’s due to the illness itself, feeling lonely, worrying about looking after children or being out of work. It might sound strange, but I’m grateful that I’ve had experience of mental illness before, as I know what signs to look for and how to manage it.
I’m definitely not immune to anxiety, but I can take steps so prevent it based on past learnings, and help out friends who might be experiencing anxiety for the first time.
I’m grateful for the NHS, carers and all the key workers
It goes without saying that we are blessed to have the NHS, not just during this pandemic but all the time. I’ve felt hugely grateful for the NHS ever since I was hospitalised a few years ago and had emergency surgery, and I’m glad to be reminded of how great the NHS is now.
The doctors, nurses, carers and everyone else involved in caring for those in need at the moment are doing an incredible job and putting themselves at risk to help others every day.
On a personal level, I’m so grateful for the carers that check in on my nan every day. She lives on her own, so that interaction with her carers means the world to her and gives her something to look forward to each day.
I’m grateful to all the teachers, those involved in food production, police, security guards, prison staff, armed forces, fire service, bus drivers, delivery drivers, waste collectors, social workers and everyone else putting themselves at risk to keep the country running.
What I’m Grateful For During Coronavirus – The Smaller Things
Every day I try to pay attention to little things that make me smile and lift my mood. It’s nice to practice gratitude towards these moments, but it also helps me work out what is likely to cheer me up when I need it. I’ll go for a bullet point list for this bit!
- Sunshine – I’m so grateful for this nice weather!
- Being allowed one trip outside for exercise each day
- Living by the canal, perfect for that once-a-day exercise
- The blossom on the trees along my walking route
- My balcony
- How fresh the air feels at the moment
- My Kindle
- Cooking skills – makes not being able to go out for food more bearable!
- This Morning (on ITV) – Holly & Phil never fail to make me smile
- My collection of PJs and loungewear!
- Music – such a mood booster (especially Little Mix)
- Technology – it’s incredible that we can video call friends and family, and kids can learn online!
- My blog
- Listening to my nan talk about how she’s baked cakes for the first time in many, many years
- Our wine collection!
- The positivity that’s emerging on social media
- Seeing people making an extra effort to look after each other, help their community, support local businesses and show general compassion
- On that note, the growing sense of community