Joyce Youhanna gratitude

Can you find gratitude and acceptance in a pandemic?

As countries all over the world begin to navigate moving forward from isolation and lockdown, it’s hard to feel grateful when every single one of us has been affected by the pandemic in some way. 

For some, the impact has been mild, for others it has been devastating. But almost everyone is finding it hard to adjust to the changes. People have faced a series of losses, from the loss of a fellow man being to loss of income, job, or just the security of a daily routine. A change has been imposed upon us and we have no choice but to deal with it. Here are a few ways to make that easier.

Accept change

They say change is scary at first, messy in the middle but beautiful at the end. Anything that forces us out of our comfort zone causes a disturbance. Sometimes change feels like an added burden rather than an alternative or a replacement, an extra intrusion that makes us uncomfortable. But as you focus your energy on a new path forward, be aware that you are in the process of creating new neural pathways and eventually you will adapt. 

Ground yourself

Let us learn to ground ourselves simply by acknowledging our physical body and our senses in this present moment. Try to keep your focus on the here and now. Don’t drift into negative thoughts from the past or anxiety about the future.

Grieve if you need to

It is very important to acknowledge our feelings and process them in order to move on in life. Seek help if you find yourself stuck in any of the first four stages of grief:  denial, anger, bargaining or depression. Find someone to help you through the cycle till you reach the fifth and final stage, which is acceptance.

Be grateful

One of the most important practices, in my opinion, is gratitude. Understanding gratitude means understanding that our lives are governed by the law of duality. That means every aspect of life is created from a balanced interaction of opposite forces that complete each other. Therefore bad cannot exist without good, dark cannot exist without light, despair cannot exist without hope, and so on. We can learn to focus our attention and energy on the brighter side of a situation by listing the pros and cons. For example, I do not like the idea that I need to homeschool my children, however I’m grateful that I am healthy, knowledgeable and available for them in this time of need.

Help others

Helping others gives us a sense of purpose and satisfaction. If you have children, now would be a good time to demonstrate the act of giving. As well as making us feel good mentally, studies have shown that helping others actually benefits physical health, such as lowering blood pressure and easing chronic pain. 

While you are taking care of yourself and practicing the above, please remember: This too, shall pass. is for every body and mind in the UAE. This magazine is all about moderation, making small changes, little additions and the odd subtraction.



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