As the months are stretching longer and the days are growing shorter, many of us are looking for strategies to help buoy us for the long haul. One of the techniques that I find exceptionally helpful for these challenging times is GRATITUDE. It may seem strange to recommend a practice about focusing on the good around us when so much of our current circumstances feels oppressive, unsafe, or unbearable. Remarkably, gratitude practices can improve the functioning of our immune system and help us grow our resilience in the face of challenges. And practicing gratitude is a vitally important skill to promote well-being during the pandemic.
My colleague and fellow OAAP Attorney Counselor Doug Querin recommended a Gratitude Jar activity in his recent blog post. I hadn't done that yet, so I started it this morning with my children. I highly recommend doing that practice with a child, a family member, or even a friend over Zoom.
If you only have 10 minutes, this gratitude practice is top-notch.
If none of those activities fit for you, now is the perfect time to start a gratitude journal! Writing down three good things daily for just two weeks improved work-life balance and decreased professional burnout in one study.
Even something as small as posting messages of gratitude on social media has promise to improve well-being. Our professional interactions with colleagues, opposing counsel, and those we supervise is another area where we can add in a gratitude practice. These public expressions of gratitude have the side benefit of improving the well-being of others as we attend to our own.