As we all power through the current pandemic, it is an opportunity to mold our new normal. As we all face these unique challenges (our own ways), we all can undoubtedly take time to reflect. 

There is a lot of negativity in the news, and sometimes it’s hard to avoid. I find that it is hard to look beyond the wickedness of the situation, hard not to feel vulnerable, hard not to know exactly what the future holds. However, I must say that there are a lot of positive things happening, you just have to look a little closer. 

I personally have been humbled by the amount of care/kind words I’m receiving from people all around me. 

Yes it may feel that myself and my colleagues are in the line of fire, but the way I look at it is that I’m simply doing my job. 

The amount of gratitude I have received lately has been deeply satisfying. I am touched by all the emails, messages, and phone calls I have received from all friends, family, coworkers, patients, community, and neighbors. There are even people I don’t know on Twitter asking me to take care of myself, and telling me they have me in their thoughts and prayers.

With social distancing, struggling local businesses, immuno-compromised people in my community, Gratitude has taken on a whole new level of respect from me. I am also working on being kinder and more forgiving to myself right now.

One of my favorite things to do is to watch/listen to TED and TEDx talks, and it has been a stable in my quarantine media consumption. I remember that just as we got orders to stay at home, I came across a TEDxTalk by David Meltzer where shared that gratitude gave him a positive perspective no matter what he had.

In his talk, he challenged the audience to say/think “thank you” before going to bed and when first waking up, for 30 straight days and nights.

He claimed that it can be life changing, so I decided to take the challenge. 

You see, as a doctor, I may not be able to personally thank each and every person who kindly reaches out to me at this challenging time, but I now make it my practice to thank them every night. In the morning, before I start my day, I find a quiet place, and say thank you to those who are kind to me. And every night before going to bed, I take a moment and thank those who I interacted with. I am not at my full 30 straight days and nights, but I am getting there one day at a time. I do feel energized, and if you are looking for a challenge to increase your gratitude, I’d say watch David’s talk, and try his call to action! Do what I am doing and take it one day at a time.

I also have realized that I need to take more time to show gratitude to myself. I, for whatever reasons have not been the kindest to myself, and as I have been thanking others two times a day, I am realizing that I have lacked empathy for myself. 

My new daily routine of giving thanks, has made me come up with a new list of skills to work towards for myself. 

– Embracing my past 

– Learning from my failures

– Giving up up self sabotaging thoughts

– Be a little less openly defiant to what I feel is not right/unfair. I need to understand that I can not eradicate unfairness

– Feel more comfortable to say no and stop my insatiable desire to please others 

In Conclusion

I have a history of self-doubt and I see the current pandemic as an opportunity to get better at building my confidence. By showing gratitude to others and to myself, I am feeling much better each day. Granted, if I had the choice, I still would like to be a Beyonce or a JLO in my next life. But I am finding that working on the daily task of being kinder to myself, are helping to brighten my days, and finding myself more comfortable in my own shoes, being the best person I can be!