Focus on Savouring and Gratitude

Posted:15 December 2020

Author: Stephanie Brown, Hinton Adult Learning Society/ Hinton Employment & Learning Place

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Comments: 4

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Eight and a half months into Covid-19, and I have been fortunate enough to be able to attend my first “hybrid” CLN Board meeting with cohorts from around the province. I have attended meetings in the past with CALP but this was my first time in attendance wearing my CLN Director hat. It was also my first time going into another community since March. I was not sure what to expect, with the pandemic in place, so graciously I accepted that I will expect the unexpected. 

While on my 4-hour drive to Red Deer, I managed to push my ‘nay-say’ thoughts aside and trusted that all precautions were in place at the hotel and meeting room. Upon arrival, the hotel staff demonstrated excellent customer service and I felt welcomed there as a guest. 

With all the present changes, everything still ran smoothly. 

The food (yes I must mention the food) was more than satisfactory at the Blue Dragon restaurant and at the Red Deer Cambridge Hotel. The hotel took those extra measures to ensure all was satisfactory by ensuring we had received what we pre-ordered. They also communicated beautifully with the other members of the Board. If the meal wasn’t what was expected, they offered a new one in replacement. These behaviours showed me how much the staff was positively adapting and trying to create and maintain a social connection with all the changes that have occurred with mask wearing and social distancing.  

All changes are adaptable. That is what we do best as CLN/CALP… we adapt. Those adaptation skills have been met with gratitude from our learners and community members. While a lot of services have been closed or temporarily closed, our services have changed delivery and have remained available. That gratitude I have felt from learners and community has been creating space for me to savour the moments as they occur.  

I have decided for the month of December I will be focusing more on savouring and gratitude with my experiences. When we savour gratitude it helps limit the thinking towards the displeasures occurring in our communities from the pandemic. I do not mean we avoid what is happening in our communities, but we can increase our own happiness and this in turn spills out into our learning communities. 

Savouring can boost happiness in at least three ways…

  1. Puts us into the present moment; Helps increase the gratitude.
  2. Helps us remember the ‘Good Stuff’, which in turn stops the need to limit our happiness levels. It is okay to be Happy.
  3. Makes us increase our gratitude as we experience the moments.

Did you know?

Gratitude can create a feeling of stronger social connections with those around us. It increases mood, which lowers stress levels. With the lower stress levels, you are strengthening the immune system and lowering blood pressure. All positives with an ongoing pandemic.

It’s quite easy to practice gratitude and savouring. You start with, what are you grateful for? Take pictures, journal, paint, draw. Use whatever medium you choose. Really take the moment to experience that feeling of gratitude. That is how we savour…by maximizing our thoughts about our joys in life. To create that habit of savouring consider stepping out of your experience, review it, and really appreciate what is happening. 

May your December be filled with much gratitude and savouring as you share your experiences with others.

I wish you all a safe and savouring holiday season!  

Mindful

Stephanie Brown
Essential Skills Coach, Hinton Adult Learning
CLN Board Director

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