I’ve chatted on here previously about how important it is to appreciate the little things in life, especially during lockdown when the days have been long and repetitive. One thing I’ve been doing to keep busy and stay inspired during this difficult time is a May photo challenge on Instagram. It’s really made me think about the lovely little things about each day that I wouldn’t normally notice if I wasn’t spending so much time at home. Whether it’s been a spotlight on the book I’ve been reading or the different things I do to unwind at the end of the day – it’s been nice to share the little positive snippets of my day.
The prompt for Day 11 of the photo challenge was ‘Gratitude Attitude’ and this got me thinking about the things I took for granted before we couldn’t actually do them. Never again will I say no to a last minute pub trip, I will visit more places, see more beautiful things and I simply refuse to miss out on things because I’m “too tired” ever again.
This got me thinking about how important gratitude is in our every day lives and how we should do more to practice it now so we can eventually enjoy the things that once made us hesitate. Here are a three simple ways to feel more grateful today:
Keep a Gratitude Journal
I personally find that writing things down clears my head and untangles my thoughts. When I’ve felt down in the past, I’ve written down positive affirmations or I’ve headed straight to Pinterest to read a bunch of positive quotes! I love the idea of keeping a Gratitude Journal. Recently, I’ve been writing down in my phone notes ‘positive things from today’ and those have included things like my favourite shop asking if they can share my photo on Instagram, cooking a delicious pasta dish and pushing the limits during a home workout. Any little thing that makes you feel good about your day, write it down! Look back at it towards the end of the week and all the little things add up.
To create a Gratitude Journal, you really don’t need anything fancy! Use a basic notebook or some paper from the printer – as long as you’re physically writing things down, that’s all that matters. If you need a bit of direction, there are tonnes of lovely journals available online. Have a look on Etsy and see if any of them would prompt you to start!
Random Acts of Kindness
I love doing thoughtful, inexpensive things for my friends! Just recently, BookBlock created #PositivePost, letting you send a free postcard to your loved ones, any money you choose to donate goes straight towards supporting the NHS. I loved this idea and I think something as small as sending a postcard to your friends has the ability to make their entire day so much brighter! I sent them to lots of special people in my life and as the texts piled in saying how much they appreciated it, well, that just made my heart burst!
At difficult times, it’s so important to do little things for your friends to make sure they’re keeping their spirits high! It’s such a strange and rather stressful time that we’re going through so going out of your way a little to brighten someone’s day will make all the difference!
I’ve received some lovely, thoughtful things while in lockdown and it’s made me feel very grateful for the special people I have in my life.
Appreciate the outdoors
Since only being allowed outside to exercise once a day, I think it’s definitely helped me appreciate nature more. I imagine a lot of people feel the same. When all of a sudden, you’re not allowed to go outside as much as you like and you begin to get accustomed with the four walls around you, going outside actually feels quite liberating and you notice how green the grass is and how bright the flowers are.
I’ve definitely found myself looking at blossom trees for longer than usual, staring at the different trees and taking in how green they are, smelling the wild garlic in the woods and watching the bluebells sway in the wind.
When you next go outside, look up at the clouds and take your surroundings in – feel grateful for the beautiful things around you that you would usually walk straight past, probably in a rush to get somewhere.
I’m grateful for a lot of things. Firstly, for my boyfriend for being wonderful company at this strange time, being able to video call friends and family to feel as close to them as possible, still being allowed to go outside once a day for a dose of fresh air, spending more time on cooking and discovering new recipes and generally, all this new-found time to properly enjoy things that I would never usually have the time to do! I’m flying through books, I haven’t given up on a photo challenge and I’m just learning how beneficial gratitude is and I want to help everyone else feel the same!