By Donna Shea & Nadine Briggs
We (Donna and Nadine) were emailing back and forth this week, just checking in on each other during these strange and, honestly, unpleasant times. As we watch the news, miss being with and hugging the people we love, or are simply yearning for our previous lives to be back to normal, it can feel that on many days, there is little to feel good about. And there are times when we should and will feel sadness. Expressing sadness is healthy. Staying stuck there is not.
But there is still reason to celebrate life. Really. It’s in the little good nuggets that each day still brings. Whether it’s playing Old Maid with your 4-year-old grandson, getting to visit with a relative or friend (albeit from a safe distance), having a Zoom Tiki Party with good friends on a Saturday night, or baking up your favorite cookies, there is still joy to be experienced. Human beings are adaptive and creative. We can create joy.
We have mentioned before that a positive psychology exercise for feeling more optimistic is to look for three good things that happen in your day (kids can do this too), write them down, and write down why they made you feel good. It’s the “why” that creates the energy that turns into feeling more optimistic.
As Thanksgiving approaches, you and your family could create a Thankful Jar. Beginning on November 1st, everyone puts a slip of paper in the jar with something they are grateful for, and during Thanksgiving dessert, read them aloud together.
Pan for gold and bombard your brain with the good stuff. Every positive in the day is a nugget to shine up and put in your pocket. Pretty soon, there will be a whole bagful of shiny golden nuggets.