Caregivers: Finding gratitude during this COVID-19 pandemic
We could all use an infusion of positivity right now. Turning our attention to what we are grateful for is a perfect route to a (more) positive state of mind. The benefits of gratitude have been well documented. It’s also something that requires little effort, yet the gains to our wellbeing are considerable.
We suggest you take the time from your news break to think about, instead, what you are grateful for. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, what can you find to be grateful for? I have been creating an ongoing gratitude list to keep myself uplifted and to uplift the spirits of caregivers and all of our Elizz readers.
I am grateful for…
Caremongering has been defined as: “a movement rapidly spreading across Canada to spread kindness and help others in their communities (particularly those most vulnerable to #COVID19.)” Caremongering started in Toronto, as a way to help vulnerable people by doing things like delivering supplies or food, running errands, cooking and doing chores for others. This is such fantastic news for adult daughters and sons who may not be able to physically to their mom and/or dad so easily right now. The rest of the world took note of Canada’s kindness and antidote to “scaremongering”. There are caremongering Facebook groups with people across the world and forms have been created that can be printed and given out to seniors so they can let others know the help they need.
- Creative caregivers, figuring out ways to stay connected.
There is Carmen Gray and her sister, who had lunch delivered to their mom at her nursing home. They chatted on the phone and ate together as they sat outside their mother’s window. And there is the Connecticut man who made a sign to share and celebrate he and his wife’s 67th wedding anniversary outside her nursing home window.
- The Internet.
Without the internet, how would I even know about doctors and nurses in Iran participating in a coronavirus dance challenge. How about free online workout classes? (ok I like the idea of this, I haven’t actually taken a class…yet).
- Video conferencing software, like Zoom, Facetime, Google Meet, Skype.
Video chats and conferencing are a great way to stay connected with family, friends, and co-workers.
- Handshake alternatives.
It is so inspiring to read and hear about how Italians, who have been hard hit with COVID-19, have responded to being quarantined. It becomes like a good contagion, spurring on others to be positive and upbeat.
- News coverage of uplifting stories.
People have responded positively to these ‘feel good’ stories, and videos have gone viral. This ignites the reporting of even more ‘feel good’ news.
- Frontline healthcare workers, who are putting themselves at risk daily.
In Spain, it was televised that Spanish people made a concerted effort to thank and applaud medical workers. Again, this kind of action has had a contagion effect, and many people in other countries have followed suit.
- Virtual care.
Private virtual care companies that offer doctors online are working together with some provincial governments to provide online consultations with a doctor and COVID-19 screening. I love this because it is both convenient, accessible and helps keep people safe and healthy.
- Individual acts of economic kindness.
I am thinking about the anonymous restaurant customer who left a $9,400 tip to be distributed to the restaurant staff who were going to be temporarily laid off.
- Corporate acts of economic kindness.
Toronto distillery Spirit of York is making hand sanitizer instead of drinks and providing it for free to seniors and those who are low-income. Some telecom companies have waived their long distance charges and have removed their internet data limits for home internet customers.
- People who are staying at home as much as possible, frequently washing their hands, for 20 seconds, and taking ‘social distancing’ seriously.
- The gift of time. The silver lining is that I suddenly have more time on my hands. I just have to remind myself to use this time productively and not squander it with Netflix/Prime/Crave/Apple TV binging!
When I first started a gratitude practice, I was told that if I can think of 5 things to be grateful for, I can think of 5 more. This was great advice. I noticed that being grateful fosters more gratitude. Check it out for yourself!
Now it is your turn. What are you grateful for right now?