Military life is hard enough as it is, let alone add a pandemic to it. Most of us have experienced a multitude of different and new inconveniences from quarantines to extended deployments to shift work to not seeing the inside of a restaurant since February. This year has been a trying time for all. Everyone deserves to have those days where they wallow and eat a pint of ice cream to get through. But living in misery isn’t good for anyone, so I suggest trying to find gratitude.
There have been loads of research studies showing the benefits of gratitude on mental health. Here are a few ways to find gratitude:
Find something that you wished for that you now have.
A fitness instructor said this in class the other day. I immediately thought about it then smiled thinking of all the things that I’ve been so blessed to wish for then receive from my husband to my dog to my children or even the travel experiences I’ve had.
Find gratitude in challenges.
Yes, 2020 stinks. It needs to leave and take all the crazy with it, but there are a few silver linings. People are connecting now more than ever through technology. I know in the beginning of this year I spoke to more family members more frequently than I have in years. I become much better at meal planning as I have lessened my trips to the store.
Remember you can only control your response.
There is so much of this year that we have had absolutely no control over, then add the submarine life to it and you have even less control. But you can control your response to the situation. You can make a choice to find the good and to problem solve after a good cry of course.
Be grateful for the little things.
Your Starbucks splurge, your house, the food in the fridge, your health, the ability to move your body, the internet, cellphones, the list goes on. So many Americans have lost their jobs. The blessing and curse of the military is our spouses are always needed and are therefore essential workers. But because they are needed the likelihood of layoffs is nonexistent. We have guaranteed health insurance.
How have you managed the stress of 2020? How do you find gratitude?