During Hard Times, Gratitude Goes a Long Way


In the last six months, can you relate to any of the following?

  • You wake up at 3 a.m. with your mind racing and have trouble falling back asleep.
  • You find yourself worrying about things that don’t usually bother you.
  • You feel shaky, restless, and unsettled.
  • You’re tired and unmotivated – but can’t pinpoint why you feel this way.
  • You want to be alone more than usual.

We are living through unusual and trying times that came on quickly and without warning. One minute, we were carrying on with life as usual, and the next, everything turned upside down.

At Krause Funeral Homes, we understand how painful this time has been, as many Milwaukee, New Berlin, and Brookfield  families came to us for help following the loss of their loved ones. Nearly a year later, we continue to deal with the repercussions of COVID-19 (learn how our funeral home is managing Coronavirus).

In spite of hardship, Milwaukeeans go out of their way to recognize the goodness all around us. We hear about neighbors helping neighbors. Young people raising money for their community. Local businesses paying it forward even as they face challenges all their own.

During time of stress, it’s more important than ever to focus on the good and choose to be grateful. Of course, you may not feel particularly grateful. You might even think, “I am having a really hard time and don’t have much to be thankful for right now!”

We understand. We also know this: Gratitude is one of the greatest healing tools available. In fact, there is not a single downside to expressing thanksgiving! Scientific studies have found that gratitude leads to healthier relationships, better sleep, lowered blood pressure, ability to cope with stress, and much more.

Even with the obvious health benefits, some people we’ve talked to say they don’t know where to start when it comes to expressing thanks. Here are a few ideas:

Whether you’re outside or inside, look for the following – and think about or write down what you find:

  • Something that is your favorite color
  • Something that smells amazing
  • Something that makes a beautiful sound
  • Something that makes you laughs
  • Something that brings a happy memory to mind

Think about:

  • Someone who makes you smile
  • Someone you enjoy spending time with
  • Someone you went on an adventure with
  • Someone who listens well
  • A childhood friendship that meant a lot to you

You can also build thankful moments into your day:

Before you get up in the morning. Spend a minute thinking through your day and what you have to be grateful for.

Before you eat. Take time to express gratitude for the food sitting in front of you. As you’re eating, slow down and savor your meal.

Before you go to bed. Think about the positive things that happened to you and anything you have to look forward to throughout the week.

During this time, if you need help managing your feelings or setting expectations, we are here for you. With years of experience caring for families, we know the best specialists, resources, and support groups Milwaukee has to offer. We are always available, so be sure to contact us for assistance.

As you think about building more opportunities for gratitude into your life, we want to close with a question: Tell us in the comments below – what are you thankful for? We would love to hear from our blog readers near and far!

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