Maritime women encourage gratitude journaling to help cope with pandemic stress


Two Maritime women are encouraging people who may be feeling stressed amid the pandemic to consider starting a gratitude journal.

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Every morning without fail, Shelley Butler of Riverview, N.B., said that she wakes up reminding herself what she is grateful for and then jots it down in her journal,

“People say to me, ‘What do you write? I don’t know what to write.’ So, I start my day with, ‘It is beautiful, it is sunny, maybe it is raining,’ and I put the date down,” Butler said.

Keeping a gratitude journal amid the pandemic has helped her maintain a positive mindset, Butler said.

“What a journal can give for you is a release of that negative bias where we focus on all the bad things that happened that week and it can give you clarity on all the golden nuggets that actually happen to you every day,” she said.

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Across the border in Greenhill, N.S., Michelle Jeans said she is keeping a similar journal and is encouraging anyone who may be struggling with pandemic stress to do the same.

“Watching all the news, seeing all the cases and all the doom and gloom, it is just so heavy,” she said.

Writing down what you are grateful for, the women say, helps to lift the spirits when the mind starts to go to dark places.

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“If I am confronted with a negative, I am able to flip the script and find the silver lining,” Jeans said.

Amid the growing case counts and lives lost, it can be hard to find the good in the world, Butler said.

“We have to actually train our minds to focus on that wonderful thing and celebrate it over and over again,” she said.

Butler added that she works out every morning to help reduce stress and rereads her journals when she feels that she needs an influx of positivity.  She says, even amid the trying times of the pandemic, her journals serve as a reminder that there is still much in the world to be grateful for.


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