Thank you COVID-19

While I appreciate routine, to a degree, it’s easy to fall asleep when life becomes too predictable. We can end up living out of habit and not conscious choice. 

This pandemic has offered me the opportunity to shake up my life, causing me to take a deeper look.

As a student of life, I’m curious about what I can learn about myself, and about life, from the pandemic and the global changes we’ve experienced. This virus has so much to teach me and I’m willing to learn.

I’ve never lived through a time when grocery shelves were empty. I’ve never had to be concerned about being able to run to the store to purchase my basic needs.

We live a pretty privileged life compared to other parts of the world.

I’ve come to realize how darned entitled I’ve become, and how much I’ve come to expect.

Previously, I never would have considered myself an entitled person. Thanks, COVID for the wake-up call reminding me of my privilege and how much I’ve come to take for granted.

Living a life of entitlement and expectation, I’ve missed out on seeing how amazing my life is.

I’ve long had a habit of keeping a gratitude journal.

COVID has opened my awareness and caused a shift of perception. I now realize how many of the things I used to feel I had to do, are privileges I get to do; much of my activity of live is a privilege, and not a chore. I’m instantly flooded with feelings of gratitude, and life feels richer.

My gratitude journal has taken on new depth and meaning, as I’ve had my attention drawn to what happens when what’s expected no longer exists.

Having a gratitude practice boosts the production of neuro-chemicals and hormones that support well-being.

Our brains and our bodies benefit from practising gratitude

Even if we can’t find anything to be grateful for, the mere practice of stopping to look for something to be grateful for creates an internal shift. And, what we appreciate grows. It appreciates and grows in size.

You can up the power of gratitude.

While merely listing what we are grateful for is helpful, thinking of why we’re grateful for the items on our list enhances the benefits we receive.

Try this for yourself, paying attention to how you feel.

Think of something or someone you’re grateful for, pause for a moment and notice how you feel. Then, list the reasons why you’re grateful.

How do you feel now?

It’s important to remember what we focus on increases, and our bodies don’t know the difference between what’s real and imagined. Learning mental hygiene, choosing to spend time each day generating feelings of gratitude is helpful.

We’re not papering-over what’s difficult, but simply choosing to consciously remember, at least once a day, all the good that’s right in front of us, and may have missed seeing when life was ‘normal’.

I plan to take the gifts COVID is teaching me, in creating my life as I move forward. I’m grateful for the wake-up call.

What or who are you grateful for right now? 

If it’s a person, maybe give them a call, or send them a card, letting them know. While this simple act will touch them in a positive way, it will be you who benefits the most.


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About the Author

Corinne is first a wife, mother, and grandmother, whose eclectic background has created a rich alchemy that serves to inform her perspectives on life.

Corinne, a registered nurse with a master’s degree in Health Science, is a staff minister with the Centre for Spiritual Living Kelowna, and a hospice volunteer. She is an adjunct professor with the school of nursing  at UBC Okanagan, and is currently teaching smartUBC, a unique Mindfulness program offered at UBC, to the public. She is an invited speaker and presenter.

From diverse experience and knowledge, personally and professionally, Corinne has developed an extraordinary passion for helping people to gain a new perspective, awaken, and to recognize that we do not have to be a slave to our thoughts or to life; we are always at a point of change.

Through this column, Corinne blends her insights and research to provide food for the mind and the heart, to encourage an awakening of the power and potential within everyone.

Corinne lives in Kelowna with her husband of 41 years, and can be reached at [email protected].

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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