Just One Thing

I’ve been hearing quite a bit about the value in sharing activities that have proven helpful in getting us through the pandemic. Well, there is something I’ve really enjoyed doing over the past few months. I call it my Happy Tracker.

“Oh, maybe that just works for me,” I initially thought, so why bother posting about it. It’s not fancy and doesn’t cost anything, so how valuable could it really be?

Well, I decided this morning to heck with it. If I can benefit one person out there today, then I have succeeded.

Here’s the deal. I don’t believe I need to write down three or five things I’m grateful for each night before bed in order to feel good. And why three or five things anyway? Research Schmesearch. So here is an activity I’ve been doing, and so far I’ve held things together quite well, thank you, while awaiting my turn for the vaccine (which may still be a while in my state of California.)

If you don’t have a notebook or some fancy journal your aunt gave you for your last birthday, then grab any piece of paper you can find. Heck, dig through your kid’s backpack (you have my permission!) for a sheet of binder paper.

Write this at the top of your sheet: Happy Tracker. Below that, write today’s date at the beginning of the first line. Proceed to write just one thing that brought you joy today, gave you a sense of peace, made you smile, laugh, or heck, just kept you from losing your mind. You can write it down now if you’ve already thought of something, anytime during the day, at night before you go to bed, or first thing tomorrow morning as you reflect on the previous day (this last one is the technique I use).

And yes, it’s okay to write simple things like, “Enjoyed a delicious bowl of ice cream,” “Played with the cat,” or even, “Went outside and got the mail.” It’s your list. There are no rules. Write anything you want. Just keep it positive, and keep said Happy Tracker where you will see it again tomorrow.

The greatest thing about this activity for me has been that writing down one thing each day has been doable. It’s not an overwhelming ask. And as I occasionally find myself pausing to look back on my entries over the past month while writing a new one, I can see that there’s been a lot of positive stuff going on in my life. And then that thought brings me joy – yes, a double whammy of joy on the same day!

And not to worry if you skip a day or forget. There are no Happy Tracker police coming to get you. Just do your best to write down one thing each day. And if you ever feel like entering more than one thing on a day, that’s cool too.

I hope this activity finds its way into your routine and brings a smile to your face. Maybe even tell your family and friends about it. Heck, make a Happy Tracker for someone else and gift it. After all, there’s apparently value in sharing activities that have proven helpful in getting us through the pandemic 🙂

For more ideas and information to make life a little brighter, follow Elizabeth Kemp on Instagram at litetherapy_org or on Twitter @litetherapy


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