50 Things to Be Grateful for in the Midst of Covid-19

I am a big believer in the benefits of cultivating gratitude. I have kept a gratitude journal on and off for over two decades. It is one of simplest tools I use that I can credit for helping me to stay positive, joyful, and seeing beauty in the world.

During this time where we are facing a global pandemic we suddenly find ourselves facing added stresses, fears, and anxiety. In no way do I want to diminish the obstacles folks are facing at this time. I can only imagine what some might be experiencing. Many of us have lost employment and are facing financial uncertainty. Those who are still working face the greater chance they may become exposed to the coronavirus and possibly take it home to their loved ones. As I am writing there have been over 3/4 of a million cases of Covid-19 with almost 40,000 deaths. Perhaps you have been affected in one of these ways.

However, even in the darkest times we usually have at least some things to be grateful for. I am hoping to share some things that I am currently grateful for. Maybe these things will help spark ideas of the things that you have to be grateful for in your life. Many of the things on my list are quite general while others are more personal.

If you find at times in the next days or weeks you are really struggling I encourage you to cultivate your own list. Spend the time, write it all down so on your dark days you can refer back to it and be inspired by your own words.

  1. Sunshine and blue skies
  2. The birds’ morning song at my window
  3. That my family and loved ones are safe and healthy so far
  4. Love
  5. Feeling Healthy
  6. Snuggles from my dog
  7. Solitude
  8. Time to read books
  9. Having lots of books in my home to read
  10. Lots of e-resources through my local library
  11. All the people staying home & practicing social distancing to help flatten the curve
  12. Unconditional love from pets
  13. All the essential workers who are stepping up and making sure we have the necessities, and working to keep us healthy and safe
  14. Canada’s healthcare system
  15. A cosy home to stay during this time
  16. Food in the fridge and cupboards
  17. Technology that is keeping everyone connected
  18. The opportunity to use the work I do to support charity
  19. Supportive friends, family and clients
  20. Time to give my house a thorough spring cleaning
  21. The scent in my home after washing the floors (thanks to a fabulous eco-friendly cleaner)
  22. That I can stay home, stay safe and not inadvertently pick up the virus, and worse unknowingly pass to another
  23. Time to play with learning a new language
  24. Lots of options to listen to all kinds of music
  25. That the weather is warming and I can start to put away some of our winter gear
  26. Cleaning the deck and anticipating sitting out there to read soon
  27. Starting to plant some seeds indoors
  28. Time to work on some writing
  29. Time to work on some learning
  30. Old movies on the TV
  31. Time to play around with my guitar
  32. Planning for a garden
  33. Going for walks with the dog
  34. The scent from essential oils/incense
  35. A good cuppa tea
  36. Being able to take virtual classes from a variety of yoga teachers and fitness instructors
  37. Time to meditate
  38. The free app Insight Timer
  39. Buds appearing on the trees
  40. Musicians doing online performances
  41. The creativity people are showing during this time as they try to stay connected and try to inspire others
  42. Museums offering virtual tours
  43. Time to try some new recipes
  44. The sound of wind chimes in the breeze
  45. Getting my bike out for a ride down a quiet country road
  46. Time to play around with some arts and crafts
  47. The beauty of sunrises and sunsets
  48. Seeing the moon and the stars
  49. Time to work on sleep rituals and working on getting a better night’s sleep
  50. A cosy bed to snuggle into at the end of the day

What is Yin?

Yin is a yoga practice where we are applying healthy stress to connective tissue of the joints- tendons, ligaments, and fascia. We are not trying to stretch or strengthen the joints.

During a yin practice we hold poses longer than we do in other yoga classes. Generally, we will hold poses from 1-5 minutes.Because we are holding poses longer, slow, safe opening of the connective tissue is encouraged within the body.

Throughout a yin practice I will often remind you to round, release and relax. We want to work as far as we can go, but not further. We want to gain benefit, but not injure. As we move into a pose we want to find a place where we can stay.

Most poses in yin are done from a kneeling, seated or lying position. Many of the poses are similar to those we do in other classes. However, our focus is different as we hold these poses longer. Moving into the poses we want to come to an appropriate edge where the body naturally stops. We will then allow the body to find stillness. Throughout a pose we may check in with the body. As the body begins to open we may find we can naturally release a little deeper into a pose. Sometimes though, we might notice that we need to back off a little. Learning to listen to your own body and respect its needs is an important goal in any yoga practice.

While holding a pose we’ll try to be conscious of our attention. I will encourage you to note what is going on in the body. I will invite you to notice what you might be feeling. We will also focus on being aware of the breath. We’ll also try to notice if the mind wanders. If it does, no judgement, just gently bringing the attention back to body or breath.

When ready to come out of a pose I will cue you to gently return to a neutral position. Of course, one is always encouraged to come out of the pose earlier if needed.

Yin is very different from many other yoga practices. Though slower than some other practices it can be more challenging to some people. I had no interest in practicing yin for many years. My thought was that if I was going to be doing yoga that I wanted to be working hard, having challenge and working up a sweat. For me the idea of being so still for minutes at a time sounded horrible. However, when I eventually tried yin I found myself enjoying it. Additionally, I found my body benefitting it.

When in my studio I often offer yin as the last class of the evening. With the lights off and the flicker of candlelight it is a fabulous way to end the day. We use several props in this practice including bolsters, blocks and pillows. Many people bring blankets or eye masks to use throughout our practice and in final Savasana. I am often told that people sleep very well after some evening yin. I invite you to try a yin class soon and see if it might just be something you also enjoy.

Gratitude Journal

With everything going on in the world it is a fabulous time for people of all ages to start or get back to the practice of keeping a gratitude journal. I was first introduced to the idea in the book Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach 2 decades ago. Since then over the I have kept a gratitude journal on and off.

While some people suggest sitting down with this journal at the end of the day, I find first thing in the morning works best for me. With my morning cuppa tea I simply add 5 things I am grateful for. It is a simple, short ritual that gives you a positive start to your day.

In The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown she discusses wholehearted living and one quality wholehearted people cultivate is gratitude. She claims gratitude is not something you either have or not. Instead, she discusses how wholehearted people practice gratitude and then become more grateful.

Often it is the little things that I am most grateful for. Today’s entries are- 1 . I am grateful that it is the first day of spring 2. I am grateful for sunshine and blue skies 3. I am grateful that Canada is taking Covid-19 seriously 4. I am grateful that I know so many people taking Covid-19 seriously and doing everything they can to prevent it spreading 5. I am grateful to have so many books to read while home practicing social distancing

Keeping a gratitude journal over the years is one tool I would credit for helping me keep a positive outlook. As we face uncertainty in the weeks ahead I would encourage everyone to give this daily habit a try.

Namaste