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“Appreciate what you have, because someone else is wishing for it”. – Karon Waddell
Life in 2020 has been a tumultuous year for many people, to say otherwise is an understatement. The onset of Covid-19 in late January became known quickly as the pandemic worldwide and many countries were forced to go into lockdown mode to try to contain and prevent the spread of this terrifying, mysterious virus which was infecting millions of people every day at an alarming rate. Deaths soon became a daily and common occurrence.
With countries going into lockdown mode, factories and companies had to close temporarily and most people had to work from home. Even shopping and dining in were completely restricted. Wearing masks and using hand sanitizer became the new norm. This in turn caused a global economic downturn and resulted in an avalanche of unemployment. Companies had to lay off staff to stay afloat or close down permanently. Businesses were affected especially the airlines, oil and gas industries etc. Many individuals lost jobs, homes or even family members during this period. Depression and divorce cases increased dramatically.
Everything seems so dark and gloomy right now, how do we find a silver lining in the midst of this scary thunderstorm that does not seem to end? Look at the mirror and around you, you would have found the answers you are seeking. What do I mean by these? Let me explain why.
How to appreciate life and people
When you look at the mirror every morning, do you see that you have yet another wrinkle or do you see that you wake up healthy and breathing to another day in your life? When you look around, do you see that your spouse is annoying you with his or her bad habits again or do you see that he or she is healthy and by your side this very moment? When you work, do you see that you have a never-ending workload and am working longer hours than before or do you see that you still have a job that helps you pay the bills and put food on the table?
Life is always full of challenges and all we need to do is to flip the other side of the coin, looking at things from a renewed perspective. When we do this, you will find that your complaints become lesser and your joy becomes much fuller because of gratitude. If we may be completely honest with ourselves, it is so easy to live life and think it is a God-given right, doing the same old same old blindly without stopping to appreciate that the mundane is actually little pockets of blessings. Eg. Having meals with our families, having a roof over our heads, having physically fit bodies etc. Many others do not even know when the next meal will come, when they can sleep on a proper bed instead of sleeping on the streets, whether they will be able to see their families again due to affliction with Covid-19 virus or other terminal diseases and social distancing needs to be observed.
Take a step back from all the negatives and use a few moments to appreciate what you have, what you achieved and how far you have come. It is definitely not easy and sometimes we are so busy that we get lost in our hectic schedules, forgetting what are the things we should truly focus on. Gratitude is a choice and we should adopt it as a daily habit. A good habit that helps us to move forward no matter what life throws at us.
Here are eight ways to appreciate what you have and your loved ones right now:
- Keep a blessings journal and spend 3 minutes every morning to write down what you are grateful for before starting your day.
- Stop comparing yourself to others because every individual is unique.
- Be a volunteer at non-profit organisations because interaction with the underprivileged will make you realise your glass is overflowing instead of half empty.
- Enjoy simple pleasures in life because less is more.
- Ask yourself reflective questions. Instead of asking “When will I ever be rich?”, choose to ask “What can I do to help someone today?”
- Love yourself and practise self-care daily by setting time aside to wind down after a day’s work.
- Spend time with your loved ones because, in the current technology age, human touch is becoming minimal but research has shown that it actually calms cardiovascular stress and is a good booster of mental health.
- Write appreciation cards or messages to your loved ones or colleagues who have been helpful. They will be pleasantly surprised and wildly appreciative that you remember them.
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