By Bethan Lloyd
Let’s face it, we’re all feeling a bit rubbish at the moment. Living through another lockdown, homeschooling, isolation, grief, loss, winter weather and short, dark days – these things are all taking their toll and it can be difficult sometimes to keep our spirits up and our outlook optimistic.
Sometimes, when the challenges around us feel like mountains, we all need to be reminded there are things to be thankful for.
It might sound cliche and tired to say ‘remember to be thankful!’, but there’s lots of research into the importance and benefits of taking the time to notice the good things around you. It’s a key player in learning healthy patterns; it releases all sorts of happy hormones; it’s a massive stress buster; improves your sleep, your self esteem, your relationships – the list goes on!
So, whether your ‘thankful tank’ is overflowing, or you need some help getting started, here are five things to be thankful for today:
Today is a new day
This is a great place to start. No matter what happened yesterday – if it was a good day, be thankful for it; if it was a hard day, be thankful today is a brand new day, full of possibilities. Be kind to yourself, set yourself a goal to achieve and make the most of it!
The days are getting longer
We’re into February and the days are finally getting longer again: did you know in a week there will be 26 minutes more light per day and the sun will set after 5pm? That’s definitely something to celebrate in my book!
During a time when we’re told to stay at home, there’s a great sense of freedom that comes with getting out into the fresh air. Follow the guidelines and stay safe, but why not make an effort to get out today and see what around you sparks thankfulness?
I don’t know about you, but one thing that has made this a little more bearable is the ability to stay connected through technology. It’s enabled thousands of businesses to keep running and millions of people to stay in work, something that might not have been possible even ten years ago!
But it’s also helped spread the love: birthday parties have been celebrated, new babies have been announced and introduced, new relationships have begun, tears have been shared and amidst it all, there’s nothing quite like being able to see someone’s face. In fact, studies show as a nation we feel we’ve been able to spend more time – even if only virtually – with the people we love over the past year and that’s something to be thankful for in itself!
Why not give someone you love a call today? You don’t have to tell them why, just enjoy feeling thankful for them as you chat.
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel
The news reported last week that ten million people have had their first dose of the vaccine in the UK.
Though it may seem painfully slow at times, there is a light at the end of this tunnel; this is not a ‘new normal’ here to stay. We will come through this: we will be reunited with our loved ones; we are moving forward!
When things feel uncertain, Jesus can be your rock
No matter what translation of the Bible you read, Hebrews 13:8 has a strong message:
‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever’.
When everything around us feels scary and uncertain, we can hold tight to the one who never changes, who is always faithful, always good, always stronger than any challenge we may face.
He’s not been silent or inactive this past year: there are stories every day of breakthrough and lives changed!
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