Gratitude journal

black ball point pen on white notebook

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Gratitude can be a very difficult thing to find when you are having one of those horribly bad days.  You know the ones, lying in bed, feeling as if you are going to die – any moment.  This makes it tough, even for the most grateful people to start listing blessings.

So, here is another action step you can take.  Find a notebook or anything you can scribble in and spend the next 30 days writing down at least one thing for which you are grateful.  I have been doing this for over 30 days now and it has been helpful and comforting for me.  I have to admit, on some days it has been much harder to think of something to write down.  But, there have been days that I was able to list multiple things I was thankful for and it is uplifting to go back and re-read these long entries.  In those very down and difficult moments, it can bring you hope to see that not every day will be this bad.

You CAN do this!  It doesn’t take too much energy or brain power, both of which I know are in short supply.  Just try to do it every day for at least 30 days.  Keep the notebook by your bed so it is easy to access in the morning or evening (or during the day) and list what you can.  You may surprise yourself on how many things you still, in all of this chaos, have to be grateful!

Let’s start with something positive.

green and yellow crayon

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I know, you have probably found this blog out of desperation.  Up late one night, too ill to sleep, and searched for others dealing with a dreaded chronic illness. Well, you have found such a person! (O.K., maybe that previous sentence should not have ended in an exclamation point………..more like a sad face ):  Nevertheless, you have found such a person and I have decided to start this blog out with a short assignment (yep, homework already!)  that focuses on your positives.

I know you are tired and you don’t feel like doing anything, but I really want you to do this task.  I want you to get out a piece of paper and a pen, crayon, pencil, marker, lipstick……..whatever you have on hand and write down things you ARE able to do.

If you are reading this blog that means you can probably see and read!  YEA!  Write these down.  Maybe you have a person or computer reading this blog for you, great!  Write that down!  Now, it may get a little more difficult for those of you who are really ill, but I know there are still way more things you can do………….Can you taste food and drink?  Are you able to walk?  If you can’t walk, are you able to propel your wheelchair?  Can you hear, talk, hug, drive, ride a bike, travel, ride in a vehicle, laugh, cry, tell a joke, write a letter, pray, meditate, watch a movie, read a book, listen to a book, enjoy music, play a board game, work, text, send an e-mail, paint, draw, walk up or down a step(s), hold a child, carry on a conversation, grocery shop, on-line shop, pet a dog/cat, walk a dog, go out to eat, brush your hair, brush your teeth, take a shower, take a bath, prepare a meal, speak another language?

The above list is just the tip of a giant iceberg of things that you may be able to do.  So, write your personal achievements down, no matter how small they seem to you, and post this paper where you can see it.  And when you are having one of those horrible, dreaded, I feel like I am dying days, you can look over and see your list, and realize that you are a capable, worthwhile, awesome person who can do so much more that you give yourself credit!