Happy April you guys! First of all, I can’t believe it’s already April! Second of all, who woulda thought this is the situation we would find ourselves in as April is beginning?! So how are you all holding up? I hope you are as happy, healthy and sane as possible! With everything going on in the world right now, I thought it would be a great time to set an intention of finding something each day to be grateful for. April is usually a month full of celebration and positivity for me. Several important people in my life have birthdays, the warm weather is upon us and the days are longer and filled with sunshine. I don’t want to miss out on enjoying those things this year just because of all the craziness and uncertainty going on all around us so my intention for April is to focus on the positive and not the negative. I thought I would do a little something different with this post and list out from A-Z things that are either bringing me positivity, making me happy or things that I am just flat our grateful for. Let’s jump right in!!!
A – Anniversary! My parents just celebrated (March 28th) their 50th Wedding Anniversary! I can hardly believe it! They have been married 50 whole years and are still each others best friends. I mean, do everything together, best friends. They love each other in a way that is truly an inspiration to me so I had to give them a shoutout here as role models that I am truly grateful for! Congrats Mom & Dad!!
B- Birthdays! My Dad, Grandma, Bean (my older chihuahua) and best friend all have birthdays in April. While my grandmother has passed on, she was an extremely important person in my life and her memory and spirit are something I still celebrate every April. She was a very strong woman, an incredible role model and someone who I still look up to even to this day. My Dad, BF and 15-year-old puppy Bean, (yep she will always be a puppy to me) are some of the most important people in my life. I love each and every one of the unconditionally and look forward to celebrating their birthdays any way we can this month!
C- Cooking! I have really been enjoying cooking again since I started on my health and fitness journey a few years back and have ramped it up even more now that we are all pretty much stuck in our houses 24/7 ! I had gotten lazy and stopped for many years in favor of just grabbing prepackaged junk basically but then began meal prepping a bit and slowly have gotten back into really enjoying trying out new recipes and discovering new, healthy ingredients to help fuel my body the best I can!
D – Doggies! I am thankful for both my furbabies, Frankie and Beanie. They are little furry balls of unconditional love that have helped keep me sane while being quarantined for the past couple weeks. They also make me laugh when I need it most and always seem to find a way to remind just to enjoy the little things in life like a good walk around the block or a frolic through the field. I can’t imagine my life without them!
E – Exercise! I am determined to keep moving, keep my body strong and stay as healthy as possible even during this difficult time. I make it a point to not only do my home workouts each and every day but to also get out of my house for 30 minutes and take a run/walk around the block. The fresh air and change of scenery does me a world of good and it is so important to continue to take care of ourselves as much as we can right now.
F – Family! My family is unbelievable, and I am grateful for them every single day! They are an amazing support system for me, offer me unconditional love & guidance and most of all make me feel like I am never alone in the world. It is an incredible feeling to have people that you know will always be there for you like my family is.
G – Gratitude Journal! – Yep I am grateful for my daily reminder to be grateful! I actually use my planner to do this, but every day I take a few minutes to write down three things I am grateful for that day. It is a great way to remind myself that no matter what else is going on, there is always something to be thankful for. This has been something I have been doing for a while now, but right now especially it is keeping me positive and focused on all the wonderful things I do have in my life.
H – Health! Now more than ever I am so very thankful for the health of my loved ones and myself. We are all healthy and continuing to take care of ourselves the best we can. My parents in particular who are both in their 70’s take exceptionally good care of themselves, eat right, workout 5 days a week and set an amazing example for the rest of us in terms of how to live a healthy lifestyle. I am grateful and thankful to them for setting such a good example and thankful they are healthy and thriving!
I – Internet! I am so very thankful to the internet for bringing me together with all of you. I love reading your posts and stories and immensely enjoy all the feedback you all give me on mine. I have found such an amazing and supportive group of people though this blog that encourage me to keep writing and have the kindest words when I do. Just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to each and everyone one you and to the internet for bringing us all together!
J – Job! I am very thankful that I am able to work remotely and am still employed and I am also thankful for the people I work with. I work for a small company where the atmosphere really is like a family. We have each others backs, we worry about each other, we check in on each other and we help each other any way we can. I have grown so much personally and professionally over the last 5 years that I have been with the company and I look forward to continuing that growth in years to come.
K – Kindness! Although right now we are facing an unprecedentedly tough stretch, if you take the time to look around there are acts of kindness, both small and large everywhere to be seen. For instance, my neighborhood has put up notices and sent emails offering aid in running errands, picking up groceries/prescriptions to the elderly/immunocompromised that may live among us. Supermarkets near me are opening an hour early just for the more vulnerable people to shop in order to avoid as many people as possible. It is heartwarming to see and hear about…spread kindness wherever you can you guys! It is what will get us through these difficult times!
L – Laughter! On our daily staff meetings my boss always starts with a joke. Most of the time we roll our eyes because they are pretty cheesy “dad jokes” (that’s his terms, not mine!) but I am finding right now that joking and laughing is key to maintaining sanity and I might be appreciating those lame dad jokes a little bit more these days. Laugh as much as you can about whatever you can…it’s good for your immune systems also! So here’s a little gem for all of you: What kind of jokes is the CDC recommending right now? Inside jokes!! 😊 You’re welcome!
M – Mornings! I have started to really love the morning time mostly because of its peacefulness. Now that I am remote working full-time I am able to get up, do my yoga, drink my coffee and take my dogs out for a nice walk all before the day really starts. My morning routine has become key to setting a calm(er) tone for my day and allowing me to face whatever is going to happen with a clear, level and saner head.
N – Nut Butter! Alright this one sounds a bit weird I know, but I just discovered Sunflower Butter and it is making me so happy! About two years ago I developed an allergy to nuts so peanut butter was instantly out. I was a big peanut butter lover, I would put it in my shakes, dip my apples in it and made a mean peanut butter cookie! I have no idea why it took me so long to discover alternative nut butter but I finally did and I am in heaven! It’s the little things sometimes people….:)
O – Opportunity! I am trying really hard to make the best of our current situation and in doing so I am choosing to see this time at home as an opportunity to catch up on some things that I hadn’t been putting as much effort into as I should be. For instance, I have been working on earning another certification for my job but haven’t been as disciplined as I needed to be in order to achieve it. I also wanted to be putting more effort into working on this blog and just hadn’t been dedicating the time necessary to do so. I am now focusing on both those things and using the time I have to further my goals!
P- Patience! While patience isn’t a strong suit of mine, the events of the past couple weeks have really forced me to take a step back and just let the universe do its thing. Being patient is something I know I need to work on and I have been practicing both yoga and/or Pilates each and every day to slow my mind down and learn how to just take one day, one hour and heck even one minute at a time.
Q – Quiet time! While at home the last couple weeks I have rediscovered that just sitting with a good book, TV off, windows open is soooo enjoyable. I am getting a lot of reading in, some studying for two certifications I am working towards and am feeling like I am at least using this time as wisely and productively as I can be. The extra quiet time is also reinforcing how being disconnected isn’t always a bad thing!
R – Running! While I still have a love/hate relationship with running, I honestly am so happy to be getting outside and doing it again! I have been getting out most days and running around my neighborhood and am so thankful for the exercise I am getting and the chance it gives me to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air. Hopefully at the end of all this, I will have improved my endurance and become a better runner.
S – Sunshine! I went outside this morning to walk my pups and it was 60 degrees and sunny. I stood there for just a few seconds (because any longer than that and my Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix will pull my arm off to keep moving) and just tilted my head up closed my eyes and enjoyed the sun on my face. It wasn’t a particularly cold winter here but it was pretty grey and cloudy so feeling the sun again was such amazing feeling! Go soak up that Vitamin D when you get a chance if you can!
T – Time! Ok so this may not have been planned downtime, but it is downtime nonetheless and I am determined to use it as wisely as possible. Along with staying on top of my eating and fitness and I am going to try to take advantage of the extra time I have to really knock out some reading, writing and studying and even some home renovation. My closet has never been cleaner y’all! 🙂
U – Unconditional Love! Ok sounds cheesy but I have so many great people in my life who check on me every day, have offered support at every turn and are just there for me no matter what. Having people in your life you know you can count on is priceless anytime but having those kinda of people right now is especially comforting. I hope you all are as lucky as I am in this way because it is truly what is getting me through this craziness!
V – Video Calls! Social distancing and self-quarantine can get a little lonely sometimes so I am very thankful we live in an age where video calls are so easy and accessible. I am able to check in on my family and friends as often as I like and because of this technology. My parents are in their 70’s and very healthy but even so I am staying away just to be cautious. We have set up a nightly video call just to say hello and see each others faces while this whole thing plays out. I am also doing this with my friends and colleagues from work. It’s a great way to stay connected and check in on those you love.
W – Workouts! Yep I am sooooo very thankful for the workout programs I stumbled upon two years ago that allow me to workout from my living room and not need to rely on a gym. These workout programs have kept me not only on track with my fitness goals despite being quarantined but have also kept me sane! I haven’t missed a beat with my fitness routine and that has been HUGE both mentally and physically! Click here if you would like to try them for FREE!
X – Xanthos! Ok ok it was really hard to come up with a word for X so this is the best I could do. After googling words that start with X, Xanthos was the closest thing I could find that would make sense in the context of this post. Xanthos is the ancient Greek word for Yellow. So I am going to use it to be grateful for the little yellow tulips that are blooming outside in the backyard. They are a beautiful reminder that Spring is here and with it new life! And also hooray for learning new words!
Y – Yoga! I have started doing yoga every morning before I do anything else just for about 15-20 minutes and it has made a really positive impact on how calm I am throughout the day and how easily I am able to handle the stress and anxiety all around us right now. This is something I plan to continue to do even when things return to “normal” because it really sets a much more positive and serene tone for the day and of course is helping with my February Goal Intention which was to become more flexible!
Z – Zzzzzz aka sleep! One of the silver linings to this whole situation is I have been able to get an extra hour of sleep every morning because I don’t have to wake up and make the commute to work. I actually feel like I have caught up on some sleep I was sorely lacking which is helping to keep me healthy, both mentally and physically right now. I am also able to concentrate more and am being pretty darn productive while working from home if I must say so myself! 😊
This post was a lot of fun to write y’all and if you have made it this far thank you for reading and indulging me! Bottom line, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. Now more than ever, I truly think if we focus on whatever positives we have in our lives we will get through this rough spot and come out on the other side stronger and more humble people. I would love to hear from you now! What are a few things that are bringing you joy, happiness or even just putting a little smile on your face these days? Drop me some responses in the comments below! Stay safe and healthy everyone!!!