2020 changed everything. In a year that felt at times like a bizarre, dystopian nightmare, many of our usual privileges were ripped away from us.
And yet people danced from their balconies, hung rainbows in their windows, and clapped for key workers. As we were ordered to "stay at home," we baked banana bread, waved to our neighbors, and played board games.
Despite all the doom and gloom, we developed gratitude, and learned to appreciate the little things.
Why Is Gratitude Important?
Being grateful doesn't simply mean putting on a brave face or pretending all is right with the world. Instead, gratitude helps you to connect with your surroundings and appreciate even the smallest positives.
Gratitude enables you to approach problems with a fresh and positive mindset. In fact, studies have shown that gratitude can help you to manage stress, sleep better, and even fight illness and disease.
When it feels as if the world is tumbling into chaos, gratitude is key to remaining centered and finding joy in the ordinary.
What Are You Grateful For?
For many, lockdown has been a chance to slow down and take stock of what really matters. So, we took to social media to find what you, our friends and followers, are grateful for. Here's a selection of your responses:
A Roof Over Your Head
A common theme was having a place to call "home." As lockdown hit, our houses and apartments became schools, offices, gyms, and cinemas. Dining tables transformed into desks, and gardens became more valuable than ever.
Twitter follower Shruti Deshpande described being "grateful for the basics… a safe home, warm food on the table."
For many, lockdown has been a lonely experience. Facebook friend Davina Woods found comfort in her home. "As an orphaned, widowed empty-nester, becoming more content with my house and seeing it as a home for my pets, plants and myself is what I am grateful for in 2020."
If you're anything like me, you'll have sworn at your patchy Wi-Fi or slammed your laptop shut in frustration on more than one occasion.
But for all the grief that technology causes us, it has undoubtedly become a lifeline in this past year. Not only has it kept many in work, but it has also provided much-needed social connections.
LinkedIn follower Kath P. has found it "... vital to have that alternate way to maintain human connectedness and overcome the negative impact of isolation."
Grateful For Family
Unsurprisingly, time spent with loved ones has been in high demand lately. Lockdown has helped many of us to appreciate the privilege of family and the value of good friends.
Twitter follower Susmitha Manav described the "simple joys of being together." And on LinkedIn, Joshua Hardy was grateful for the opportunity to connect with his family. "We have spent more time together and have built stronger bonds with each other."
Small Acts of Kindness
But gratitude isn't a one-way street. You can help to cultivate gratitude in others with "random acts of kindness." Sending a bunch of flowers, helping a busy co-worker, or taking time to listen to a friend in need, are small but powerful ways to show your appreciation and help others to see the positives in their own lives.
After a turbulent year, what are you thankful for? And have your priorities shifted as a result of the pandemic? Share your thoughts in the comment section, below!