In my last Friday Favorites post, I mentioned that I’d written a little post for my friend Eliz’s blog about mindfulness (you can read it here). She’s doing a whole “Mindful November,” and sending out weekly e-mails with little posts and reminders throughout the whole month.
Honestly, I can’t think of a better time for a focus on mindfulness, and I’m so glad that Eliz brought this to the top of all of our minds. The numbers of COVID cases coming out of Allegheny County this week have been astounding and terrifying – they’re the highest they’ve been yet, with no sign of them letting up. It is so, so easy to get overwhelmed and caught up in the cycle of bad news, and then things can just spiral in my mind so quickly.
But really – I know that I’m doing just about all I can in terms of being safe about COVID. So the rest of it is out of my control, and I need to get through these next few days, weeks, and months without being overwhelmed each day. So for me, that’s where mindfulness and gratitude come in. To focus on being present in each day, I’ve been focusing on the small things each day that make me happy.
A Nespresso cappuccino or a Starbucks drive-through order brings me joy. Lily snuggling with me in bed brings me joy, as does watching her get excited about getting a treat. Getting sucked into a really good book, or an episode (or two or three!) of a great TV show. A beautiful moment when the sun breaks through the clouds after a rainstorm. Even just putting on an extra cozy sweater or blanket! It doesn’t really matter what it is that makes you happy… it’s just about enjoying the small moments, and being present in them. It’s about not letting them go unacknowledged because you’re too busy thinking ahead, about other things.
I know this mindset doesn’t do anything to change what’s happening out in the world. But it really can change what’s happening internally. And in a time when so much feels out of control, changing how you feel and how you react can go quite a long way.