It’s March of 2020 and COVID-19, aka the novel Coronavirus, is shutting down the world.  Events are canceled, businesses are temporarily closed, travel is banned in certain places, and some areas are under quarantine orders.

The governor of my state has issued a “stay at home” order for the next few weeks…which will probably be extended.  Aside from necessities (like getting groceries or working – if you aren’t able to work remotely), we’re expected to stay home.

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In chaotic, unusual times like these, it’s easy to focus on the negative…especially if you spend any time watching the news.

I think it’s important to remember that we don’t HAVE to be freaked out about COVID-19.  Worry and panic aren’t useful – worry is one of those emotions that simply pretends to be useful.  We can do all of the smart things like washing our hands frequently, using hand sanitizer, staying home as much as possible, and practicing social distancing…without having a panic attack about the virus.

Rather than freaking out about things I can’t control, I’d prefer to focus on the positive right now…like the many things I’m thankful for during this time.

Side note: I am aware that this is a serious situation.  Many people are sick and some of them are dying.  Others have lost their jobs, had their hours reduced, or are being impacted by COVID-19 in a significant way financially.  I am fortunate that I have been minimally impacted by this pandemic. 

One pastor described the situation eloquently by saying: “we’re all in the same storm, but we’re not all in the same boat.”

Different people are being impacted by this pandemic in different ways.  There are people who need help, and if “staying informed” (watching or reading the news) motivates you to take action and help people, that’s great.  Click here to learn more about how you can help.

That being said, I’m finding that most people say they want to “be informed” even though they’re doing nothing useful with the information that they’re learning.  Instead, they’re freaking out and feeling anxious, worried, and stressed all the time.  That doesn’t help anyone.

Here are 20 things I’m thankful for during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. I’m thankful for the government officials, doctors, healthcare workers, and others on the front lines who are doing everything they can to keep us safe and healthy.
  2. I’m thankful for the many many many people who are taking this seriously and who are doing what they can to help stop the spread of this virus… by allowing employees to work from home, temporarily closing businesses (even though their revenue will take a hit), canceling travel plans, social distancing, and more.
  3. I’m thankful for the laws that were recently passed in the U.S. to help businesses and individuals who are struggling financially during this time.
  4. I’m thankful for the MANY employees working hard to implement the changes these new laws require.
  5. I’m thankful that this is happening during a time when so many things can be done online…work, school, exercise classes, church, and so much more.
  6. I’m thankful that my husband and I are both able to work from home during this time.
  7. I’m thankful for being able to wear yoga pants to “work” (my house) while my pugs snuggle up together under my desk.
  8. I’m thankful that spring is finally starting and the weather is beginning to warm up a bit…so we can take our energetic puppy for more walks.
  9. I’m thankful for the reminder that we take so many little, seemingly insignificant things for granted (like getting a haircut, buying toilet paper, or giving someone a hug).
  10. I’m thankful that I have extra time…time I’m using to go on more walks, listen to more podcasts, read the Bible more, write more blog posts, and spend more time relaxing with my husband and our two pugs.
  11. I’m thankful that I can slow down right now…that I’m not feeling rushed, busy, or overwhelmed like I often do.
  12. I’m thankful for Starbucks products I can have at home…so I can enjoy Starbucks without leaving the house.
  13. I’m thankful for online church, Christian podcasts, and that I can read any version of the Bible online.  It’s truly amazing how many resources we can access without even leaving our homes.
  14. I’m thankful for my parents, who do thoughtful things like buying us toilet paper (they actually managed to find some!) and giving us their old desk so my husband and I don’t have to share the same desk while we’re both working from home.  Being able to work in separate rooms has been good for our marriage ;)
  15. I’m thankful for the Life Coach School podcast.  Brooke did a series on Handling Chaos and other on Moving Forward (both related to COVID-19) and they’re awesome (of course!).  I’m thankful for life coaching and everything I’ve learned about managing anxiety and other emotions.
  16. I’m thankful that we can still find joy and humor in uncertain times.
  17. I’m thankful for music that makes me feel peaceful and the ability to play it on Spotify.
  18. I’m thankful for Netflix and the internet.
  19. I’m thankful for Amazon deliveries.
  20. I’m thankful for God…in times of uncertainty, God is the only constant.

These are strange times and it’s easy to focus on the negative right now, but it’s okay to see a silver lining.  Making the best of a bad situation doesn’t mean that you don’t care about people who are sick or struggling financially during this time.

You can protect yourself (and others) and help people while still choosing to see the good in challenging circumstances.  Complaining and freaking out don’t help anyone.

What are you thankful for today?

Remember: there is always, always, always something to be thankful for.  Every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day.