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  • Writer's pictureJames Johnson

Finding Gratitude in Challenging Times

This year has been challenging for so many of us. Global conflict, economic uncertainty, inflation, stagnant growth, political turmoil - it's enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed and anxious. But even in the darkest of times, there are still things to be grateful for.

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States, it's important to take some time for self-reflection. How can we find the light, even when surrounded by darkness?

Here are a few ideas for cultivating gratitude, even when times are tough:

- Focus on basic needs. We often take for granted the simple luxuries - a roof over our heads, food in the fridge, our health. In a year where so many have experienced job loss, illness, and instability, we can find gratitude in basic needs being met.

- Find comfort in routine. When the world feels chaotic, maintaining a routine can provide comfort. Simple habits like a morning walk, reading before bed, or Friday night family dinners. Normalcy helps.

- Connect with loved ones. Physical distancing doesn't mean social isolation. Phone calls, video chats, and activities are ways to retain human connection. Gratitude is amplified when shared.

- Appreciate acts of kindness. The helpers. The givers. The people who show up in a crisis. The neighbors supporting local businesses. There is so much good happening, even when it's hard to see.

- Look for the positive. The graduates starting new chapters. The time spent with immediate family. The productivity of a slower pace. The new skills learned. Reflecting each day on even one positive can change your perspective.

This year has challenged us in ways we never could have predicted. But we have also risen to meet these challenges with resilience, compassion, and hope. This Thanksgiving, let's take time to reflect on the good still left and find gratitude in the lessons learned and progress made. We have so much to be thankful for, even in adversity, but we must purposefully shift our mindsets to see it. Here's to a meaningful holiday and a brighter year ahead.

Comment below on what you are thankful for!

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