GRATITUDE AND PERSPECTIVE – TWO OF THE KEYS TO HAPPINESS

RIKKI MAY – STUDENT SPORT WELFARE OFFICER 

Whilst writing this, I’m aware it’s incredibly easy to look at a seemingly overwhelming set of circumstances, mixed with a state of uncertainty surrounding the future, and feel negatively. Perhaps there’s also difficulty in adjusting to our new routines and other personal challenges we’re facing.

Many of us may have lost out on income, stability and valuable time in our social lives. Then there’s the little things that we took for granted, like jetting away on holiday, or going to our favourite coffee shop for a catch up with a friend, that we’re temporarily unable to enjoy.

It’s very important to state that this isn’t the whole picture. In fact, there is a bigger picture here. Let’s delve further into the wider context of what our circumstances mean for us and re-frame things.

REFRAMING OUR CIRCUMSTANCES

Let’s now choose to put extra focus on the positives that we’re experiencing. I’d encourage you to pick up your pen and paper, or load up a word document, split it right down the middle, and list the positives and negatives. You’d be surprised at the outcome.

We cannot see extended family and friends, or maybe even our partners in person.

We CAN FaceTime anybody in the world, for however long we wish, and we can connect on social media more so than ever before. There’s free software available enabling us to host virtual parties, book clubs, quizzes and meet ups.


We cannot go out and pursue that new hobby we aspired to.

We CAN, using the world’s information (which is more accessible than ever), learn something new via online resources, most often for free!


We cannot get things done with our kids at home or in a busy household.

We CAN now spend that extra time with our family, partners and house mates. We can also spend valuable time with our children that we’d usually never get to, to slow down and get to see them grow. This will soon be a distant memory, so make the most of the quality time!


We cannot bear to think about what we’ve lost, even if it’s on a temporary basis.

We CAN use perspective and show empathy that others have lost more than us. This doesn’t necessarily take our own issues away, however, there are always others worse off than us. We must be grateful for what and whom we have.


We cannot control putting on weight and our motivation levels are plummeting.

We CAN take accountability of what we eat and drink, limit the damage significantly and do our best with discipline and routine (equally, allowing ourselves the odd treat). Our Health and Fitness Facebook group provides tremendous support and a wealth of knowledge from our instructors and members alike.


We cannot partake in our usual gym routines. We’re stuck indoors (without a garden!)

We CAN enjoy the sense of community and take part in free daily fitness classes with Sport & Recreation. We can source online; a new yoga mat, resistance bands, maybe some weights or a cheap bicycle. We can run along a wonderful beach on our doorstep. Plus – think of the renewed motivation you’ll have when the gym re-opens!


When things seem overwhelming, and inevitably they will at times, think that there is good in everything by reframing it. Even if it isn’t apparent at the time, you will subtly have learned something about yourself.

We will always find negatives if we look for them. We will also always find many positives if we look for them too. I urge you to practise gratitude and keep perspective – they’re two of the keys to happiness.

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER ARTICLES FOCUSING ON YOUR WELLBEING ON OUR HOME WORKOUT HUB. WE HAVE LOADS OF FITNESS AND NUTRITION RESOURCES FOR YOU AS WELL.