OK, stay with me! I know what you’re thinking! The world is in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic, people are dying, the world’s economy is crashing, you can’t work or maybe you have to work but feel exhausted or unsafe, you have to home-school the kids, you miss your family/friends, you’re worried about money, you feel isolated and scared etc. etc. And you’re right there is a lot of horrible stuff going on at the moment and none of us really know when it’s going to end or what the future is going to look like do we? However, I maintain that there is still a lot to celebrate and I think now more than ever it’s important to do so.
We tend not to celebrate the little things in life, we wait for the big events. Maybe we’ve been conditioned to ignore the little day to day things, maybe we are too busy worrying about the big stuff, maybe we don’t notice or acknowledge the efforts we go to, maybe we don’t like to blow our own trumpets, maybe we feel that that little thing we achieved would not be important to anyone else or maybe we are too concerned with what could or might happen to live in the moment and allow ourselves to fully experience our little achievements.
Practicing positive psychology including treating ourselves with kindness and showing gratitude, leads to increases in our self-esteem and can help improve our outlook on life. It also has a ripple effect, it’s not just good for us to celebrate our little achievements to improve our own wellbeing it’s good for everyone around us. Our friends, family and colleagues see us happier, healthier, more grateful, less stressed and it can then also help lift their mood. They also might notice the little things we do when they see us becoming proud or celebrating them. And additionally, what a great role model we become to our children when we show them how to value someone’s effort no matter the size of the event.
Remember the value we place on an occasion or circumstance is relative, it’s different for each of us. What feels like a big achievement for one of us might be all in a day’s work for another, what seems miniscule to one person might have taken a huge effort for someone else. We are all different! We can’t judge how important or ‘big’ something is to someone else, but we can learn to notice, love and celebrate the things we ourselves do and not to worry what others might think.
There will be big things in our lives again to celebrate, there will be weddings, parties, births, retirements, graduations, people surviving trauma/addiction/abuse, renewal of long-lost friendships etc, and they will all be amazing and worth celebrating BUT in the meantime maybe we can take some time to celebrate the smaller things?
So next time you pair up the socks, do the washing up or pick up the phone and talk to someone, get celebrating. If it took effort to do then it is worth acknowledging and being proud of! The more you learn to appreciate the little things the more you appreciate everything.
This lockdown has taught me many things over the last few weeks and this week I am trying hard to acknowledge everything I do, big and small. They all count! So here are some of my celebrations…
Stay safe & well