As I was contemplating what to write about this month for our Wellness Blog, I was thinking about all the strife going on in the World. How do we carry on our daily lives while images and stories circulate depicting events more horrible than anything we can imagine? Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer, but I have a story that made me think deeper into this.
Earlier this week, I woke up to the sound of drilling in our courtyard around 5am. I live in an apartment complex in downtown Raleigh. It woke me up out of a dead sleep and I wasn’t sure what the noise was. I was scared at first, wondering if it was something that could cause an explosion to our building. The sound would go on for about a minute, then stop for a bit, and then start up again. This prevented me from being able to fall back asleep and I saw the messages start to pop up on our community app asking what was going on.
I still am unsure what the recurring sound was, but I want to take you through my thoughts early that morning. When I first woke up I was scared. What if whatever this noise outside was something malfunctioning and caused an explosion that harms my life and my friends in the building? Then I prayed for God to keep me safe and thanked him for keeping everyone safe in my life up until this point. Next, I thought of people in the World who aren’t safe. I thought about those who sleep outside, or on a hard floor and don’t have a bed. I thought about people who have to worry about their homes being invaded or attacked in the middle of the night. The thought I prevented myself from thinking was- “this is so annoying that this is interfering with my sleep.” Why? Because I realized I was grateful to be inside…in a bed…safe. So during the hours of this loud noise going off from about 5am-7am, I just prayed and gave gratitude. I prayed for people that need it the most, and gave thanks for my family and myself for being safe and having a roof over our heads.
How do you rationalize all the injustices in the World or handle grief? While those are answers I would seek out from a pastor or therapist, as a mental health professional, I do know one of the best things we can do for our health is to practice gratitude. When we are in a state of gratitude, we are focusing on what’s good and going well, versus what’s bothering us in that moment or focusing on what we dont have. I don’t know how those at war or who have lost homes or children are able to do that. I do know that while most of us in our country have dealt with some type of trauma or grief in our lifetime, we have the means to eat, have shelter and have people that love and support us. We have plenty to be grateful for, but what we choose to focus on, is up to us.
For me, I am ok with a sleepless night and the unknown of what was happening outside. I was inside, and I was safe, which allowed me to feel so much gratitude and focus on what I had in that moment, instead of the inconvenience of it. This is the lesson I wanted to share with you all this month.
So today and every day, especially as we lead into Thanksgiving in the upcoming weeks, put things into perspective. Every day call out 3 things you’re grateful for when you wake up, whether that be living another day, food on our plates, a sibling or spouse to fight with, etc. Gratitude may not cure grief, but it helps us focus on what we have, and I think it’s safe to say that anyone who has access to this blog has a lot to be grateful for.
Written by: Georgia Homsany, Owner of Daily Dose Wellness- firstname.lastname@example.org