A Time to be Grateful


The title of this blog might seem strange in light of the times we are in due to Covid-19: restrictions, job losses, pressure on our healthcare people and systems. However, now that things have slowed down for most of us, I believe being grateful for what we have is more important than ever.

Since last November, I have started journaling the things I am grateful for on a daily basis.  I generally do this first thing in the morning and if I don’t have time to do it then, I do it sometime during my day.  It takes about 3 to sometimes 5 mins to record everything that happened the previous day that I’m grateful for. I like to call this practise Gratitude Journaling.

The benefits of Gratitude Journaling are enormous.  Here are just a few:

  • Helps you gain a perspective on what’s important to you
  • Shows you how materialistic things don’t matter to you as much as kindness, nature, relationships ….
  • Increases your level of happiness and well being
  • Evokes calmness

The list is endless.

As I’m now in the practise of Gratitude Journaling for six months, I find if I forget to journal, I actually miss it.

I’ve since added to my Gratitude Journaling as a result of studying the Science of Well Being with Yale University but more on that in a later blog.

So, to help you along the way and maybe if they are of interest to you, here are a few things that I’m grateful for:

  • Being able to run in a beautiful park – Part of St Anne’s Park is within my 2k radius for exercise so I’m very grateful that I can run down to this park, run a few laps and run back home again.  There are plenty of grass pitches, wooded areas and tarmacked pathways to run safely on.  There are also many beautiful species of trees, flowers and of course the lovely Rose Garden to run by and through so you can’t not be grateful in such fabulous surroundings
  • Re-connecting with my 3 adult children – I played Monopoly with my 3 adult children on Saturday evening, something we haven’t done together since they were children. What a joy to have fun together and reminisce about old times when they were younger
  • Re-connecting with friends – I’m actually having real live, phone conversations with my friends and in some cases I’m re-establishing and re-cultivating old friendships.  Being so busy over the years, my focus has been on running my business and keeping up with the house so actually having time to have a meaningful and enriching conversation with a friend is wonderful
  • Finding a hard-back copy in my stationery cupboard – This was especially thrilling for me that I had this copy book at hand when my last Gratitude Journal was filled.  I didn’t have to pay for a new copy book or queue for an hour at Tesco to pick one up.  I’m enjoying the feeling of opening the copy book every morning to record the things I’m grateful for in life
  • My weekly Zoom call with my pals – I have a catch up with 4 of my pals on Zoom.  These are friends I have made through running my own business over the past 16 years.  What started out with 1 or 2 encouraging women supporting me singing at a weekly slot at a Country Club Hotel, is now a group of 5 business women who go on holidays together, have weekends away, watch rugby matches, attend concerts, enjoy dinner or drinks out and attend business functions together. Now we have weekly Zoom calls to re-connect, enjoy each others’ company, sing some songs, participate in quizzes and discuss topics of interest
  • Admiring the shape of the tree line in my local park – There is a row of beautiful Black Poplar trees (see the featured photo at the start of this blog) on the far side of my local park. The tree line of these trees, runs in a downwards slant starting at the 1st tree and onwards ‘til the tree line breaks for the pavement below.  Not only is the tree line beautiful to look at but the sound of the breeze moving through the leaves sounds like a rushing stream flowing by
  • Daily cuddles with our dogs – I’m really enjoying being able to take a break from working or studying and walking out to my garden, sitting on my patio step and giving our two dogs, Sheba and Baxter, cuddles or ‘lovings’ as I call it. They love their time being cuddled and I love my time being able to cuddle them.

In the case of being grateful, the list is endless and when you take a few minutes to record the things in your life that you are grateful for, you too will reap not only the benefits listed above but a lot more too.

Stay safe and until next time.