The importance of being thankful during COVID-19

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Madi Michajliczenko

During this worry-filled time it is important that people take time for themselves and think about what they are thankful for.

What is something that you’re thankful for?  This is the question that many people are asked during the month of November because of its association with Thanksgiving. But really, name one thing that you are thankful for this year.

Having issues, right? I think we can all agree that 2020 hasn’t given us much to be grateful for. We’ve had to spend the summer away from friends, lose loved ones and deal with a vicious virus. However, even though it’s difficult we need to be thankful for the things that we used to take for granted and what we still have now.

When our two week “corona-cation” began I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited about being off. I threw on my comfiest clothes and dove on the couch to catch up on some Netflix binging that school so rudely had been interrupting. Getting back to school was put off further and further; two weeks turned into a month which turned into two before I even realized it. The repetition of the days dragged me into living my entire life online and getting constant notifications about COVID-19 numbers, riots and natural disasters. 

The negativity in the world took its toll on everyone. People were so distracted by what was happening with the world they forgot to look back in on themselves and take time to appreciate everything that they have or the people in their lives; instead, people focused on their feelings of distress from the loss of schedule and control. While I am not usually an optimist, especially in situations like this, I find that worrying about things we can’t control is worthless and instead we should make the best of what we have.

You might be wondering how you could be worried about being thankful for anything while COVID-19 continues its spread, with all of the hurricanes and other natural disasters and the extremely stressful 2020 election. Of course, we need to focus on these things going on in the world, but people also need time for themselves to help maintain their mental health. I too have been caught in the constant cycle of information, reading and listening to as many news articles and podcasts I could cram into my brain. However, doing this caused so much stress that I didn’t even realize existed until I had to put my phone down for a weekend.

 

This is me (Madi Michajliczenko) attempting to ride my brother’s skateboard without falling off.

After I spent the weekend away from my phone and instead took time to absolutely destroy my siblings in MarioKart, I realized how much better I felt without the constant notifications. I’m not trying to preach staying unplugged because being informed and connected to what is happening in the world is extremely important, but I am saying that people need to take a quick breather every once in a while to help realize what in their lives is truly important to them.

I’m thankful for surprise lightsaber battles, making fun of actors on late movie nights, singing along with the radio on long car rides and stealing my brother’s skateboard and attempting to ride it. Take time to be grateful for the things that you have and the time you were able to spend with your family over the quarantine. 

Currently, the world seems crazy and as if we have no control of what is going on, but by appreciating those around you and what you have by taking a break from the outside world, you can have a more positive outlook for the rest of the year.