The practice of gratitude

The silver lining around the current crisis.

The following was written as a guest blog appearance ” (” by Andrew Milne. (Please give this great advocate for our subject a follow on twitter: @carmelhealth)


The silver lining, 


Over the past couple of weeks during E-learning at the International School of Düsseldorf I have asked my students to share with me what they are grateful for.


In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. (Harvard Health Publishing, year unknown)


It seems only fair that it is now my turn to share my reflection.


I am grateful for the increase in outdoor activity. By adhering to the social responsibility rule most of these activities are done with the entire family. During our outings I see people using all kinds of transportation devices, bicycles, in-line skates, horses and using their own feet. I am aware that we are extremely lucky to still be allowed outside our own home. To be able to enjoy the outdoors is considered a luxury and a privilege and am taking full advantage of this for as long we still have the freedom to go wherever we wish to go, within the borders of this country.


I am grateful for feeling a stronger sense of community. All communities I am involved in are showing growth in strength and resiliency. People take the time to talk and to listen to one another and are making sure that we are all hanging in there. Whether this is face-to-face keeping our 1.50 m. distance or online, the feeling of connectedness and care for each other has increased over the past month.


I am grateful to see people play again. People are being playful with their own children during their family outings. I notice people sharing online that they are playing cards, board games and are solving jigsaw puzzles. In our family we have reintroduced family dance battles and guess-the-animal charades.


I am grateful for the increase in creativity. Many small businesses are not just closing their front doors in full panic mode; they are trying to find new ways to draw in customers and the customers in return are fully committed to support these endeavours. Within our household we have become more creative with the use of our own resources. My children are picking up toys that were left untouched for a long time. We have redecorated their rooms and have found new hotspots in the house where we can hangout together.


I am grateful that there is more time for each other.  People who are experiencing some sort of a freak out when faced with a challenge are being taken care of. Before COVID-19 people were quick to judge other peoples’ situations. However, nowadays they seem to understand that our backpack is filled with worry, anxiety and questions. Some families have huge backpacks and others have smaller ones but to some extent people now have more patience and empathy with each other as they seem to understand that we all are burdened by our own backpack.


The silver lining around the current crisis is that the sense of urgency for our own health and wellbeing has gotten the stage light. I notice that alongside the conversations about COVID-19 people are focusing on sharing ideas to increase all aspects of their wellbeing and to inspire others to do the same.


Through this crisis people have come to understand that all aspects of wellbeing are the foundation of everything else that we want to develop in our life. If our wellbeing is hampered we will not be able to reach our fullest potential in other areas. This is the time for Physical Health Educators to put our backs in our curriculum and to lift it up to a higher platform. With great power comes great responsibility (Thanks, Spiderman). We need to take ourselves and subject content serious as Physical Health Education matters! We should strive for all children to receive quality and meaningful Physical Health Education by specialised and qualified subject teachers.



Sources used: (

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