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Finding the Good During These Stressful Times

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May 1, 2020

This time is hard for many people isn’t it? We’re told to stay home, we’re suddenly homeschooling, and many of us are dealing with the loss of income. It’s enough to induce massive anxiety and extremely stressful days. Fear, panic, and overwhelm can creep in, as well as doubt, anger, acceptance, and understanding. I know. It’s a lot. And, it’s happening for most of us. We often experience all of these feelings within a single hour. They come, and hopefully, they go. Talk about mood swings!

But that’s not all there is, is it? We’re also connecting more with family. We’re slowing down. We’re taking time to sit, play games, and enjoy some movies. We’re savoring more and not just moving through days in the general rush we used to. Some of us are finding more time to write, more time to exercise, to cook or to pick up an old hobby. A lot of us are outside walking more. Singing, making funny videos, giving yoga more time. We’re laughing at memes because if we don’t, we might cry. We’re reaching out to family members across the country, spending time on the phone or Facetime calls with family and friends, sewing masks to give out to those who need one.

Yet still, we read articles and watch the news and the stress creeps right back in. We question and wonder and hurt.

Finding the good in each day is important, but not easy. It requires having an awareness that, despite the challenges, there are so many moments woven into the day that are truly good. Sweet moments, where we feel calm and safe. Moments where we appreciate all we have.

Looking for those moments can be a challenge on some days for sure. But look indeed. They are there. They are there in the way your child smiles at you or helps a sibling with homework. They are there when you feed the cat or dog. They’re there in an email from a teacher, the call from your friend, or the text from a relative.

If you’re alone, the good moments are there too. Maybe it’s looking through an old photo album, watching old videos, making those Facetime and Zoom calls with family and friends. For all of us, perhaps it’s those minutes in the shower, or gardening, or reading. It’s the moments where we forget about the problems in the world and we are lost in the moment. It’s the hugs with a loved one, the cuddles with a pet, and the taste of a good meal. It’s there.

What better way to “find the good” then to document it? One day this will be looked back upon. One day we’ll have stories to tell and memories to share. Let’s try to make some nice memories.

Keeping a journal is the best way to remember all those moments you found the good in each day. Keep one open on a counter and write in it as little things occur that make you smile. Or write in one at night. You can aim for 3 things a day, or just write every few days as it feels right to you.

Reading my journal from this last 4 weeks already makes me realize that it’s ok and that while I felt confined and anxious each day, I also take time to notice moments that brought me a smile and a feeling of happiness. Taking pictures, of course, is another way to document this journey we are all on. We’re all living through it in our own ways. I hope you take time to find the good in each day and write it down. You’ll be thankful you did.

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