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4 Ways to find GRATITUDE in 2020

Finding Gratitude in this Time of Stillness.

It has been a while since I have written. A lot of change has been happening in my life, as it has for many people.

We are in a unique and special time when activity on our planet was literally brought to almost a standstill due to the lockdowns from the pandemic. Though many have experienced fear, unease, and economic hardship during this time, this period also has a unique silver lining. It is a time of reset, a time of quiet, a time of deep self-reflection, and a time that provides us an opportunity to change the direction of our life.

This quiet time will not last forever; I believe activity will come roaring back next year, but we still have some time left. I urge you not to see this time negatively, but rather as a great gift of reset. Here are 4 ways that you may consider making the most of the quiet time:

1. Use it to Focus on Living in the Now

Focusing on what you are doing in the moment, practicing the art of mindfulness. Practicing the art of mindfulness helps us to let go of our fears. We usually fear something that is in the future. Most of the time what is actually happening to us in the moment is not itself fearful. How to practice being mindful? I find that just noticing what one is doing in the moment, using all our senses to place ourselves in the moment and noticing the sensation of what we are doing.

For example if we are doing the dishes, feeling what it is like to have the water running on our hands and the feel of the dish, the sound of the water, the smell of the soap or the view out of our kitchen window while we wash the dishes. Remember your breath as it is an anchor and a gate to the present moment. Just follow the pattern of your breathing in and out. Let your breath calm you and bring you peace. It is our simplest way to heal right in the moment.

2. Get out in Nature

If you have known me for a while, you will know that connecting to nature is my go-to remedy for knowing who I am and connecting to myself. I do practice hiking, swimming, and walking in nature every week, often several times a week. During the lockdown, since there were fewer activities to do, I was spending even more time connecting to nature. So use this time of quiet to connect to our Mother and to yourself. While you are out, practice mindfulness by picking up a leaf, or a rock or touching running water and noticing what it is like with all of your senses.

3. Journaling

One of the simplest tools for getting connected to what is truly important is journaling. Journaling is a way to talk to your inner soul. There is something about putting pen to paper and pouring our heart out that is so healing, so if you have not tried it yet, why not take some time now that you have more time? I have found journaling to be a great way to deal with difficult emotions, get to know myself better, problem solve, and figure out what is important to me.

4. Reflect

Reflect on what is important to you in life. What are your priorities? What have you missed during the lockdown? What are you perfectly happy to be doing without? What do you like that you do differently now? What part of the more quiet environment do you enjoy? Take your journal on your nature hike and take time to sit in nature and answer these questions. Then think about, based on your answers, how are you going to create a different life for yourself?

The great re-set is an amazing once in a lifetime opportunity that the world stopped for us to figure out what brings us joy, what really matters, what we want, what we don’t want. Use this time wisely; it will be gone before you know it.

Dr. Eva MalanowskiWith love & blessings,

Dr. Eva

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2023-07-11T15:45:56+00:00December 7th, 2020|Anxiety Disorders, Blog, Psychologist, Stress, Therapist|0 Comments

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