It can be hard to appreciate the little things in your life, especially after the devastating of the pandemic.
But staying focused on the positive can offer hope at a time when it’s most needed. As the pandemic lifts, we have great things to look forward to.
Reading them below will bring a smile to your face and help you find gratitude for the everyday life we’ve all been missing.
CONTENTS: In this article, you discover the little things to appreciate in everyday life, once the world returns to normal post-pandemic (and it eventually will!), including:
- Giving Hugs Freely
- Socializing in Groups
- Visiting Family Abroad
- Seeing New Sights
- Relaxing Property of Nature
- Meeting New People
- Final Thoughts on How To Appreciate the Little Things
A Look Back at the Past Year
This past year has certainly been a somewhat unpredictable and turbulent time for many people. Not only because of the deaths of an incomprehensible number of loved-ones, but because of the loss of life as we knew it.
It is only when momentous occasions like this occur that puts things into perspective. While honoring the tremendous pain of the pandemic, it presents an opportunity to appreciate your blessings.
Those may include your own health, the love of your family and close friends, and a roof over your head.
If you can claim some combination of those things, then you already have a lot that others may not.
That’s a great foundation to start building upon.
And here are more things you can look forward to as these dark days pass.
Editor’s Note: Depending on where you live, it may be premature to practice these activities until the pandemic more fully recedes. Please continue to take the steps necessary to protect yourself and those around you.
Hugs, Hugs, and More Hugs!
This will certainly be something that a lot of people have sorely missed, the ability to embrace and feel human contact through a hug.
Remember hugs? We used to hug people to say hello, goodbye, good-luck, congrats.
After all this time, it almost seems like a foreign concept.
But soon, you might be able to hug:
- Your aging parent
- An old school friend
- A new mother
- Your best friend
- Your little nieces
The genuine connection shared in a hug is sorely missed.
Not only is a hug a form of expressing emotion but it can actually be beneficial for your health as well.
Once social boundaries are safely open, you can even look forward to those corny “group hugs,” and squeeze one another tight once again
Just thinking about hugging the important people in your life can bring on a happy feeling and a smile. Doesn’t it?
Ability to Socialize in Groups
Think about the small everyday tasks that you didn’t give much thought to before this all went down.
You might especially miss the ones that involve socializing in groups or being in places where other people would be, such as:
- Enjoying a romantic dinner at a fine restaurant with your special someone
- Meeting up with friends at a bar for a celebratory drink
- Going to watch a movie or live show
- Some “retail therapy” with your girlfriends at the mall
- Exercising with a group of friends at the gym
- Neighborhood dinner parties
Perhaps a particularly painful loss has been the ability to gather in social groups or meet up with different family members that do not live nearby.
The good news is, in the future, you can look forward to socializing.
While there may be some modifications (like for big concerts) as the world becomes safe, these are all activities that you will enjoy again–and no doubt you will appreciate them more when all restrictions are lifted.
You may have had a bucket list written out for dream destinations, like taking an amazing trip to Spain.
To keep you positive, how about creating a bucket list of these important social interactions. Then, you can celebrate incremental wins as things return to normal.
Visiting Family Abroad
Living apart from your loved ones, particularly in different states and countries is certainly difficult during a global pandemic.
For the most part, you can not just step onto a plane and go and visit them right now. An even if you could, would you risk putting their (and your) health at risk?
Sure, visiting each other using video-conferencing like Zoom, Facebook Video, and FaceTime provide virtual alternatives.
But they can’t replace the real thing.
And, this might be a particularly difficult time if you have not been able to visit the monument or grave marker for cremation ashes of a lost loved one on the anniversary of their death, this past year or otherwise.
But knowing you will be able to visit your loved ones at some point in the not-too-distant future will mean you will appreciate this next visit even more. And it gives you something to look forward and plan for.
In the mean time, rest assured that keeping your distance (literally) helps keep everyone safe for a faster return to normal.
It’s the ultimate sacrifice to spare your loved ones any danger.
Seeing New Sights Again
Something which you will not likely take for granted again is the ability to hop onto a plane and within several hours be in an exotic location, full of wonderful sights to be discovered.
The increase in road trips and staycations have become a travel trend over the last year. Even they will become more robust once destinations, attractions, hotels, and dining out safely opens to full capacity. (I can’t wait!)
So, now is the time to start your travel planning.
You’ll want to be prepared for the time when restrictions are eased.
Here’s what you can do now:
- Decide where you would like to go next.
- Figure out whether you’ll have a travel companion or go solo.
- Dust off that bucket list so you visit those places you have always wanted to see.
- Start watching for future airfare deals.
You’ve got big travel plans in your future, once it’s safe to do so. So be ready to “seize the day,” as they say.
The time is almost here!
The Relaxing Properties of Nature
Wherever you go, look for the beauty of nature.
Being able to get away to a quiet haven of tranquility surrounded by nature will certainly make you appreciate the little things.
A nature walk can help you understand why it is important to slow down and avoid leading such a hectic life, which is something you might have done pre COVID-19 times.
What were we all rushing around for?
When you are confined to your home for such a long time, getting out to simply appreciate nature, its vibrant colors, and delightful fragrances will certainly seem even more impressive now.
Take advantage of those spaces, whether it’s in your back yard or in a city park.
Meeting New People
If you’ve been lucky, your social isolation has included a small group of people who also limit their contact with others. Sometimes it’s called your “bubble.”
If you share a home with other people, that has also been a blessing (and at times, a curse).
But think of those who are completely isolated, like the elderly who live alone.
Without taking your small social group for granted, won’t it be great to meet new people? Interacting with others and learning about new friends or potential romances is one of the thrills of life.
Through COVID, we’ve been suffering with a kind of stranger anxiety.
For instance, at the supermarket when someone you don’t know stands too close, we shrink as though they might have “cooties.” That’s understandable, when you consider that they may unknowingly spread hazardous germs.
I mean, who would have ever imagined that just shaking someone’s hand when introduced would be considered risky business?
But, mixing with another couple over dinner, going out on a date, rubbing elbows with new business partners, or doing fun things with a group of people who share similar interests will be exhilarating!
Let’s look ahead to that, because it’s going to feel great. And with any luck, it’s not too far off.
Final Thoughts on Why To Appreciate the Little Things
As much as we are all craving a return to normalcy, it’s important not to jump the gun. That said, it helps to look at life a bit through rose-colored glasses. You’ll gain a whole new appreciation for things many of us took for granted.
It won’t minimize the pain of this time of our lives, but by appreciating the little things, it will help us all move forward to a new day.
Photo credits: Gratitude – Dominika Roseclay, Nature – Brandon Montrone, Meeting – RODNAE Productions (Pexels), Group Hug – Мария Ткачук, Cheers – Free-Photos, Flight – confused_me, Bucket List – Ian Wakefield (Pixabay)