In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, I headed out early one morning to walk. About 20 minutes into my journey, I looked up and WOW! The stars were bright and the sky was clear, something I had not seen in days due to lots of rain. It made me smile.

Let’s be honest. It’s hard not to be overwhelmed by all the hard, hard stuff going on. COVID-19 is for sure wreaking its havoc on our nation and the world. It’s like we are at war. News about our economy, job loss, financial devastation, exhausted healthcare workers, not enough supplies, friends and family members testing positive for the virus – sometimes it feels like more than any of us can bear and we wonder, when will it go away? 

When I looked up though, I was reminded that even in the midst of what truly is a terrible moment in time where we all have experienced loss, it might be super helpful for me to actually consider all the things I can be grateful for. 

It probably sounds crazy, but just seeing the stars and knowing a sunny day was in store lifted my spirits. Here are a few more things I can think of: 

  • Being able to see a beautiful sunrise
  • Working with a team of people who are willing to charge forward even in the midst of challenges
  • My health
  • Family that checks in
  • Laughter
  • Being able to get my thoughts out of my head and on paper
  • Friendships
  • Utilizing my skills to help people navigate through this storm
  • A roof over my head and food to eat
  • The opportunity to help those who are on the frontlines of this battle
  • Feeling all the feelings as I watch businesses donate much-needed personal protective equipment, restaurants providing food to those in need, cafeteria workers working long hours to prepare food that school bus drivers will deliver to families on their route, people stepping up to care for the children of healthcare workers so they can go to work, families willing to live apart in order for one of their members to be on the frontlines, amazing artists sharing their talents either through teaching or providing an hour of entertainment.
  • No scheduled activities to keep families from eating meals together
  • The signs of new life outside which give me hope for the future
  • People all over the nation sitting down at sewing machines to make masks
  • It’s not winter so we can at least get outside or at the very least open windows and breathe fresh air
  • The symphony of birds singing
  • Neighborhoods figuring out creative things to do to help parents and children hold it together – bear hunts, crazy family pictures, scavenger hunts, and I Spy to name a few 
  • My dog, who has been my companion on all my walks

After making this list and shedding a few tears, it was very clear to me that even in the midst of these heartbreaking moments, I have a lot I can be thankful for. 

Getting in and staying in a mindset of gratitude is not always easy during the difficult moments in our lives, but shifting our focus to the things we can be grateful for is good for our mental health and good for the soul.

What do you have to be thankful for today?

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