Find something to be grateful for every day


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I started using an app to track the best parts of my day.

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I started using an app to track the best parts of my day.

It’s not terribly time, labour, or thought intensive. Rather, it’s just a simple three item checklist to outline the things I am grateful for, or something that made me feel happy.

I am only a few weeks in, so I shouldn’t pat myself on the back for starting this habit. We will re-evaluate my commitment in a few weeks. I am, after all, one of those people who is a hoarder of pretty journal books, most that are empty because they’re too pretty to use, and several that have been started but not finished.

Nonetheless, I hope the simplicity of checking off a few nice parts of my day will stick. I think it’ll be good for me.

Perhaps I just have a bit of the January blahs, but I noticed my mood slipping. I’ve been cynical, especially lately, and let’s face it the last few years have been hard for all of us.

I suppose my cynicism is warranted and maybe it’s not so much a bad thing in one way, because I think sometimes my outlook can be a little too sunny or unrealistic. Now, I want to clarify that I am speaking of my feelings and my mental health only. I am in no way suggesting that others who may be struggling with the January blahs, or feelings that are worse, just write down three things that bring them joy. Heck no. If you are struggling with your feelings and mental health, please reach out to someone.

For me, right now, I just have the blahs and figured it couldn’t hurt to keep track of, and be consciously grateful for some of the brighter spots of each day.

In my limited time doing this, completing the list has mostly been a piece of cake because there are times when life is nothing but good and the day offers up so many things to be grateful for.

However, other days I am scraping the bottom of the barrel of mundane, or even bad moments, as I try to find something that brings me joy. The good news is that so far I have managed to find something, even if it’s a bit of joy.

— Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023: Got my teeth cleaned. The hygienist told me I was doing good at flossing. It’s a small win, but I’ll take it.’

— Friday, Jan. 6, 2023: Refilled the bird feeders outside. The birds are feasting and I’m enjoying seeing them through the window. I’m glad we have bird feeders.

Most of the other entries are more exciting than these, I promise.

But these entries gave me pause, because when I was looking though everything I’ve proclaimed to be grateful for, and happy about so far, I realized both of these things are something that I probably wouldn’t have noticed or appreciated before. Tiny fragments that make my day better.

Like I said (or hopefully conveyed) above, this isn’t the big fix that is going to make life perfect.

I know crappy days are inevitable and I can’t give every bad feeling or experience the bright side treatment.

It’s really important for people to feel and process our feelings, including (and perhaps especially) the bad ones.

This habit is just a way to remind myself that even when things aren’t so great, or when I can’t see past my bad day, there are still things to be grateful for.

Twitter @ShelleyACook

Shelley Cook

Shelley Cook
Columnist, Manager of Reader Bridge project

Shelley is a born and raised Winnipegger. She is a proud member of the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation.

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