For many of us, Covid-19 has profoundly limited the scope of our lives. A trip to the grocery store is no longer simple: we need to remember our masks, consider our caretaking responsibilities, and plan our shopping needs ahead of time. We spend much of our time alone in our homes, seeing the same people in the same places, day after day. Even when there’s a lot of good in our homes, the sheer repetition of our day-to-day experience during Covid-19 might cause us to lose sight of how objects and people bring love, joy, and comfort during these unsteady times. As Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the whole Holiday season approaches, these frustrations seem greater than ever.
Don’t worry. It’s not just you!
Psychologists have known for a long time that people quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events. It’s called hedonic adaptation, and the groundhog-day nature of lockdown makes it worse.
Threatening or mundane, the pandemic doesn’t really inspire feelings of thankfulness – but practicing gratitude in spite of the circumstances can make the good things visible once more! Just to be clear, we’re not advocating expressing gratitude instead of feelings of loss, sadness, anxiety, confusion, or any of the other very legitimate feelings you might be having. We’re just putting in a good word for practicing gratitude in addition to these things.
So how can you be grateful during coronavirus? We have a few ideas.
Make a gratitude journal. It doesn’t need to be complicated, deep, or lengthy. Just write down the things that make you happy in this exact moment. Here are a few that are coming to mind right now: I got to sit in the sun today, a hot coffee in a cozy bed, Netflix, my best friend’s dog (okay, my best friend, too), my family’s constant support, frozen pizza crusts, the plants in my apartment.
Express thanks to others. During covid, connection is more important than perfection (good advice any time, really!). Before covid, we could offer a hug or a handshake to communicate our gratitude to the people we encountered. During covid, we need new strategies. Fortunately, many are at our fingertips – literally! An email shout-out to the team to recognize a coworker’s accomplishment, the perfect emoji, or even a retweet can have an enormous impact on our sense of wellbeing at work. Outside of work, care packages left on doorsteps, video calls, and messages of support are just a few socially-distanced ways to communicate gratitude to those we love.
Don’t force it. Having a hard time with gratitude right now? Us too. If you’re not feeling it, give yourself space to feel the full range of emotion you’re experiencing. The gratitude will come when it comes; and when it does, make note of it. There’s no need to minimize your own suffering or to compare it to what others might be experiencing. Self-compassion is more important than ever.
As Thanksgiving approaches (even outside American borders, the holiday looms in our collective consciousness – and so do the sales!), we want to offer you the product of our own mindful thanksgiving: Project Happy. Born out of a moment of spontaneous gratitude, Project Happy is made up of four gifts designed to encourage your own moments of gratitude – and that you can enjoy to the fullest at home.
What's in your gift?
Press PLAY to discover
PROJECT HAPPY is our gift to you: yours free with purchases of $200 or more. While you practice gratitude for those you love this Holiday season, we hope this gift stays in your hands – or in the arms of whoever needs it most.
We know this Holiday season is a little tougher than most, and that’s why we’re also offering
P.S. Speaking of gratitude, we would be so, so grateful if you would consider doing your Holiday shopping with Rocking Vibe and other local businesses this year. It’s no secret that this year has been hard on small businesses, and we literally do a happy dance every time we see a new order roll in. We wrote about how you can be a hero to small businesses before, and we’re asking for your love and support again.
Shop local this year if you can. 🖤