There was a word that I chose to be the forefront of my year: JOY. The truth is that finding joy has been a bit of a struggle for me. I have had a lot of personal struggles with my mental health. What sent me over the edge was getting laid off from my full time job in February.
I have been finding myself feeling absolutely helpless. My anxiety has been through the roof. Often, I feel like I do not have a chance to get out of the heartache I am going through.
I realized this weekend, however, that the reason I have been unhappy is not because of a lack of control. It’s because I am not taking the time to be truly grateful for the blessings I have.
Have you ever written out a list of things you are grateful for? I find that I was write these lists far too vaguely. In turn, I have been struggling to be grateful every day.
When it comes down to it, we need to really focus and be specific on what we are grateful for. For example, these are some of the things I am grateful for:
- I am grateful for my community. When I announced that I was laid off on Instagram, my heart was filled with so much joy. Because so many of my followers reached out offering me advice or even a chance to talk about the whole situation. It turns out, there were a lot of women who have had to deal with a lay off and were more than willing to help out in any way they could.
- I am grateful for my closest friends and family. I’m grateful that I have so many deep and meaningful relationships that have helped me to stay focused on moving forward instead of feeling sorry for myself. They continue to shower me with more love and support than a girl could ever ask for.
- I am grateful that I have a new job. As a girl who has been financially responsible for herself since 16, I was haunted by of the fear of not paying my bills on time. Thankfully I am not struggling and for right now, that is all that matters.
- I am grateful that I have a home. When I get home from work, I have the luxury of taking a warm shower, change into clean clothes and end my evening by blogging or watching Friends at the end of the night. A home is a blessing and it is one we can’t afford to take for granted.
- I am grateful for my car. My friends and family know that I basically live in my car and that is because I spend so much time in it. Whether it is for Target runs or to get to work, I am so grateful that I never have to worry about getting when I need to be.
My list could go on and on. Here is the bottom line: when you are practicing gratitude, do it on a day-to-day basis by being specific. The more specific you are when practicing gratitude, the happier you will be. Life sure can be tough at time. As long as you take the time to truly focus on what is important, you will be able to face anything that comes your way.
Photography by Katie Vee Photography