It’s easy to be grateful when things are going your way.
But when times are uncertain and life has thrown a spanner in the works gratitude often becomes a little more challenging.
Suddenly the most prominent things are the bad stuff and you’re not thankful for your life being turned upside down.
In these times it’s even more important to practice gratitude.
The real benefits of the practice come when you’re able to make it a part of your lifestyle, independent of your circumstances.
And so maybe it used to be I’m grateful for getting to be apart of this exciting project or some other major thing that you feel like shouting from the rooftops. But now it’s more like I’m grateful for these cosy socks, the flowers in my garden and running water.
Through challenging times it’s always helpful to find ways of boosting morale.
A common way of doing this is through bringing people together.
Very little compares to the feeling of people being united for a common cause. When that cause is gratitude, it really can help people feel connected to each other.
Right now a lot of people are becoming aware of the contributions that particular people make in society.
Despite everything that is going on there is this sense of ‘things aren’t particularly great right now but there are people showing up everyday that are helping to make things a little bit better or easier and I’m grateful for it‘.
I think just knowing that there are people showing up even though it’s difficult is enough to make us all feel a little bit better.
I start each day with a gratitude practice of listing 10 things I am grateful for.
Things are changing quickly and becoming quite difficult in some ways. It can be difficult to keep up with gratitude through challenging times.
You might find yourself wondering what exactly there is to be grateful for in a time of such great uncertainty. But I find that if you focus on the good bits (no matter how small) there is always something to be grateful for. I have no doubt that before you know it you’ll have reached 10 things pretty easily.
It could be sunny weather, the people you live with, the food in your cupboards, your health, the smoothie you made, being able to communicate with loved ones far away, the fact that you’re able to work from home, the friend that sent you a song as a pick me up, the extra time you have now you’re no longer commuting to work or even your favourite (almost) daily blog.
It might be difficult to think of things when you’re fearful or overwhelmed but know that this the perfect time to put your daily gratitude practice into practice
Sometimes I find myself caught up in trying to be a blogger instead of simply just being myself. And in the process I find myself being drawn to creating content that I don’t love as much as I could.
When I first started blogging 8 years ago I was just sharing stuff that I was interested in which mostly included fashion and personal style. But over time instead of following my own flow of creativity I started trying to be a blogger. I ended up falling out of love with creating stuff to share online because I’d sacrificed my sense of self in order to try and fit it and do things ‘the right way’.
I didn’t realise it at the time but I lost my creativity. Not to the extent that I was unable to create because I haven’t really stopped blogging since I started. However, what my content lacked was passion, consistency and quality.
For the past few years I’ve ticked along in the lifestyle blogging space not improving, sharing, connecting, experimenting or expanding as much as I could have.
But starting this blog almost a year ago (can you believe it!) helped me in more ways than I could have imagined. Despite not having designed a fancy header or logo and the fact that this site contains no pictures, I feel more creative here than I’ve felt on wordsbygemm for the majority of the year.
On The Daily Gemm, I don’t get to hide behind content that has been done 101 timed before. As a result I’ve made up characters like Betty and Debbies brother, I’ve explored my feelings, wrote about my work life, shared my experiences with having anxiety, shared things that I’ve learnt and even written about current events like fires, abortion laws and politics.
The year is not over yet but I’m proud of all that I’ve managed to share so far and thankful to you for reading.
Sometimes people have no idea of the role they’ve played in our lives but maybe that’s how it was meant to be.
I hold the belief that you meet people for specific reasons. Often people come into our lives to serve as reminders of things that we’ve forgotten.
And when you eventually remember you are so thankful to these people even if you aren’t aware of the purpose they came into your life to serve.
You’re thankful because they cared, extended kindness, listened to you, supported you, helped you grow into yourself etc.
Yet, thank you isn’t quite enough and you might end up trying to find some way that you can repay this person that has helped transform you (and therefore your whole life) but it probably won’t be possible.
And that right there is the gem, sometimes a persons kindness and generosity isn’t given to be returned, it’s given because that person has chosen to give it. You’re not indebted to them or obligated to return anything.
Yes, show gratitude but also to do something with what you’ve been given. Maybe that kindness/generosity was to encourage you to try new things, get you out of your shell, remind you that it’s okay to be yourself and so on.
The feeling can get quite overwhelming (in a good way) but it’s worth remembering that in these particular special occasions it’s not about the giver, it’s about what you do with what you’ve been given.
Also known as complaining about all the things other people have.
‘She’s the same age as me but I’m pretty sure she’s a millionaire (or at least not far from it), she successful, beautiful, has great personal style, has more freedom, more friends and probably more of something else beginning with F, like Fendi perhaps. I definitely can’t afford Fendi.
Her life is so much better than mine.’
What’s the use in making comparisons if it doesn’t feel good or it makes you forget all the good things your life is full of.
How about instead of looking at what other people have, focus on yourself.
You have a challenging and interesting job, you have a few close special friends, you make people laugh, you’re generous, you spend your free time creating and you’re an avid learner.
Sure you don’t have tonnes of money but that’s not what has you feeling discontent because there will always be someone who has things you don’t have.
You feel discontent because you’re playing a losing game whilst trying to convince yourself that you can win.
You feel discontent because you’re not happy with where you’re at and you’re using other people as a distraction from how you feel about yourself.
But maybe you could face those feelings and figure out what you can do to change the way you feel for the better.
I’m grateful for so many things in my life.
One thing in particular is my right hand because I use it to write and writing is something that I attribute to so much of who I am as a person, like that’s how deep it goes.
I usually do a morning gratitude when I’m still in bed, when I’m brushing my teeth or when I’m walking to the bus stop.
I even do it when I’m in a bad mood. It never fails to lift my spirit because it reminds me that I have so much goodness that I can focus on and so much that I easily forget or look past because it’s always around.
I never thought something as simple as being grateful could actually have that much of an impact.
When it comes to things that are life changing we often fall into thinking it has to be big and dramatic “just like they do on the tv” but more often than not that’s not the case.
I’m grateful for my hope, curiosity, resilience, laughter, my job, my friends, my right hand, the park by my house, my grandparents…
The list goes on because my life is overflowing with things to be grateful for.
When I truly learned how to take that in, it changed my life.