When the quarantine has us feeling isolated, trapped, anxious, depressed, frustrated, and confused, we must shift our thinking to the silver linings.
What week are we even in of this quarantine? I believe we are in week three of our stay at home order here in Oregon…or has it been a month? I have no idea. It is definitely a Groundhog Day meets the NeverEnding Story situation.
This week, I’d like to do something simple. Partially because my brain feels like it’s scrambled eggs today, but also because I’ve found something that I feel can save our asses during all this strangeness. Today, I’d like to discuss the most important thing we can do to avoid a negative mind set during the stay at home order.
It all goes back to gratitude.
I’m a fan of gratitude lists in general. I say one every morning when I say my morning prayer. It helps me start of the day with feelings of love and openness. I realized this week, that there have been many new things to be grateful for right now.
I have been focused on silver linings for about seven years now. It was a practice I started shortly after I quit drinking alcohol and I was becoming extremely depressed. Losing alcohol from my life was like losing my life. It was my coping mechanism since 13-years-old and most of my life revolved around drinking.
When I quit, everything was different and because I lost many of my friends who were still drinking. I was alone a lot. Painting was the greatest silver lining that came out of that loss.
I’m practiced at looking for the positive, while my mind constantly attempts to latch onto the negative.
I’m grateful to have had that insight seven years ago. It means I’m practiced at looking for the positive, while my mind constantly attempts to latch onto the negative. I have done much writing on the topic and it shows up in my paintings, such as in A Lovely Mess, that’s seen above.
I don’t want to go into this with any insensitivity. This morning, I read what is happening in the slums of Kenya right now, and I KNOW that I am extremely privileged to live where I do and be in the financial situation that I’m in. I am not at high risk. I understand that to even be able to self-isolate is a privilege and my heart goes out to all those who cannot.
I am blessed. I have my house, clean water to wash my hands an obnoxious amount of times per day, two freezers to store meals in, grocery stores in my area that are open and providing us with fresh food. I also love my family so being stuck with them is no hardship for me. I know that isn’t the case for everyone…
I mean, the above paragraph is enough to keep me positive throughout the day, but I can find so many more things to be grateful for right now.
That being said, here is my list of quarantine silver linings that I am grateful for:
- The teenagers are home every night for dinner.
- The weather has been stunning for days.
- I have found a new form of art that I love to do. Coloring pages!
- My backyard landscaping is almost complete.
- Weeds ain’t got nothing on me this year. Be gone invasive weeds!
- I learned how to make sauerkraut.
- So many cookies.
- Randy Jackson, lead singer of Zebra (and my high school heart throb) is playing live acoustic shows every day at 1:30. You have no idea how happy this makes me.
- I made homemade cinnamon rolls with my daughter. Rice pudding is next!
- No stress surrounding travel plans...or any plans for that matter.
- I created an outside dining area that we’re now using all the time.
- We're building a vegetable garden!
- Since there are no other outings, I’ve been walking every single day.
- Seeing all the helpers out there is inspiring!
- I realize now how much we as people need other people.
- My house is really really really clean.
- I’ve gotten to know my neighbors better.
- I have a van to escape to when the family gets sick of each other.
- Our garage is clean-er.
- Hubbie and I have been riding bikes together for the first time in years.
I could go on but 20 feels like a good number to end on. I feel strongly that we must focus on the things that are good right now. I know how it feels to be buried under depression. That darkness can make the silver linings difficult to pick out, but they are there, I promise. They don’t disappear. Being able to see them, even at our darkest times, takes practice, but it’s totally doable.
So, in the comments below, tell me at least one silver lining that you have found while at home.
My original painting seen above is A Lovely Mess. It sold a while back, however, I still have a number of limited edition prints available for sale for $60. If you need one, A Lovely Mess is a reminder to look for the light, especially in times of darkness. CLICK HERE for more info and to purchase.
I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I use creativity to break through anxiety paralysis, I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram where I post stuff sometimes. To hear from me more regularly, join me on this Crazy, Beautiful Artventure.