With the heat of the summer in these long, sticky stretches, it’s not hard to feel frustrated with the year that it's been. The first half of 2020 has hardly panned out as the exciting beginning to the new decade it once promised. And as the pandemic continues to thwart summer plans in our already short season, mounting impatience to go back to the “other normal” is bound to make for bursts of cranky at some point.
Are people at your house done with all this too? The two teenagers in my home are. They’ve got good cause to feel ripped off: lost graduations, no ceremonies to mark the hard work. Nada on the pomp and circumstance milestones like that usually come wrapped in. Backyard visits and expanded social bubbles, don’t make up for big barbecues, camp fires and summer travel. When it starts to get chippy, I remind them – and let’s be clear, they remind me, too – to start from gratitude. The act of naming reasons for which we are grateful helps act as a reset.
In fairness, gratitude doesn’t seem to come as easily as griping does, but research shows that people who regularly take time to notice things they are grateful for enjoy better relationships, show greater resolve toward achieving goals and are more compassionate. It’s easy to spread and good to build.
A few weeks ago we asked you to share your good thoughts about our frontline staff who have gone above and beyond for months now. We were so overwhelmed with messages that we put them up electronically to share with everyone. Our friends at Harris Sheaffer took it so seriously that the partners donated 250 self-care bags including locally made and sourced towels, bath soak and candles, encouraging frontline workers to practice self care.
Why care baskets? Because the sacrifices and challenges faced by our frontline staff encouraged the partners at Harris Shaeffer to do something directly for Kensington’s frontline workers, a gesture of gratitude in appreciation for their sacrifice. One partner described it as work that will “never be forgotten.” “Keep doing what you’re doing!” they said. “Thank you again.”
Saying it once doesn’t mean it can’t be restated. Monat Global Canada, who donated care products for frontline staff, remind us that we can say it in more ways than one. So if your social circles are bubbling over with grumbles in a year that most would rather forget, start with gratitude and bring on the thanks. And if nothing else, reconnecting to positive energy is a good way to channel the divide between the old and new normal.
Good vibes only,
Corinne Rusch-Drutz, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Kensington Health Foundation