40 Things to be Grateful For in Uncertain Times

Written By: The Planet D

It’s a difficult time to be optimistic when there is an uncertain future ahead, but Dave and I have found that we can get through tough situations when we take stock of all the things we are grateful for in our lives. I’ll never forget Oprah talking about her Gratitude Journal. Each day she would wake up and recite five things she is thankful for.

After hearing that, I always made a point of practicing gratitude each day no matter how low I felt. Because let’s face it, it’s easier to let negativity take over.

Things to Be Grateful For

Enjoy the little things in life because one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut

1. Our Health

things to be grateful for | gratitude and thankful

We often take our health for granted, but now as daily death tolls rise we have never been so aware of how lucky we are to remain in good health. We are in a position where we can self isolate and keep our distance from others and we never take that for granted. Each morning I wake up and I’m grateful that I am feeling healthy, energized and alive.

2. Our Family

We have seen friends and strangers lose family due to this virus and our hearts break for them. We are grateful every day that our parents and siblings are still healthy. We know others are not so lucky and it could happen to us in a heartbeat.

My parents have done so much for us. If it weren’t for them, we’d be sheltering in a hotel or apartment rental while we wait for new our house to be built. We have been able to lean my parents for support and if we ever need to give my siblings a call to ask for advice or help, we know they will pick up the phone.

3. Gratitude

things to be grateful for quotes | kurt vonnegut quote

Gratitude takes work, but after making gratitude lists on a regular basis, I soon started to feel positive even when times are tough. Sometimes, it can be difficult seeing the good in our lives, but if we stop to appreciate the little things, it can help us get through the day.

Times are scary and Dave and I are struggling with our thoughts and feelings just like so many others around the world, but when we sit down and think about all the good fortune that we have in our lives, it puts a smile on our face. See more Inspiring Travel Quotes to help with gratitude

4. Running Water

things to be thankful for | running water

Having traveled the world, we have seen how many people go without fresh and clean water. In the 21st century, it is unacceptable. Each time we turn on the tap, we are aware of how lucky we are. We don’t have to walk for hours each day to fill up a bucket of water for drinking and cooking. We have clean water at our fingertips and that is something to be thankful for.

5. Our Health Care Workers

I cannot imagine the hardships that doctors and nurses are going through in our emergency rooms. I have read many articles of the sadness in our hospitals and how overwhelmed our medical professionals are feeling. They are always putting us first. They are the ones fighting to keep people alive. We cannot express the gratitude we feel towards these heroes.

6. Living in Peace

things to be grateful for | gratitude

We have been lucky to never have to experience war. Wars are still raging around the world and people suffer daily. We have never had to experience war, and we are grateful for that. We have only had a small taste of what it is like to live in fear as we lived through the pandemic, but other countries have had to deal with fear every day of their lives. They face bombings and attacks, disease and hunger.

We are grateful that we have always known peace and will never take that for granted. We hope that after this, the world may find a little bit more peace. Life is precious.

7. Our Front Line Workers

We are grateful that help to keep society running day in day out. Be it factory workers and grocery store clerks, police officers and mail delivery services. These people keep the economy functioning every day. I don’t know what we’d do without them. And let us not forget our public transit workers who go to work each day to help us all get where we need to go. To all of you, we give our deepest thanks and gratitude.

8. Animals Thriving

things to be grateful about | animals thriving

During our daily walks, we have seen more animals in the fields and on the trails than we have in years. I had forgotten that deer would just show up in a yard or that Canada Geese mate for life. We have seen so many pairs of geese sitting on the golf course or flying through the air. I don’t recall noticing this for several years and I am so thankful to see them thriving and surviving.

9. Being Canadian

Most nationalities are very proud of who they are. We can only speak for our own nation and that is being Canadian. It isn’t fair that some people are born into poverty and war while others are born into a life of safety and privilege. We are grateful for our healthcare system, and our government. We are grateful that we have social assistance should we need it. And we are so grateful to live in a country that gives us freedom of speech, movement, and the freedom to believe in whatever we want.

We would love to hear where you are from and why you are grateful for living where you do.

10. Our Friends

gratefulness | friends
Our friends Kelly is a police officer and Anthony fight forest fires flying water bombers, they are making the world a better place

I have to admit, we have isolated ourselves a bit too much during this quarantine period. We have used this time to recharge and reflect but have now made it a point to make sure to talk more with family and friends. Knowing we have good friends that we can talk to when we need to means the world to us.

When we were traveling full time, meaningful friendships was something we missed terribly. When we settled back into our lives in Toronto again, we were grateful to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. Even when we don’t see them, we are grateful to have them in our lives and know that we can reach out whenever we need to.

11. Having a Roof Over our Heads

Dave and I are the lucky ones. There are so many people going through this tragedy alone on the streets. They need to make a decision each day to either go into a shelter at night and risk being exposed or stay on the streets to deal with the elements and fear. When we go to bed at night, we are grateful that we have a roof over our heads and a warm bed to sleep in safety and comfort.

12. Technology

grateful for technology

If there was one time in history that is the best time to be in quarantine, it is 2020. We are so very lucky to have the Internet at our fingertips. We can have a beer and talk with friends over video chats. Like the friends above from Drink Tea and Travel, Y Travel Blog, The Insatiable Traveler and Honey Trek who took this screenshot. Thanks guys!

We have an endless stream of movies at our disposal and we can put on any song we feel like listening to by simply asking Alexa and we can order a book and instantly start to read it. Being inside every day is not ideal, but we are grateful that we live in a time with social media, video chats, and entertainment in our house. Even though we are isolated, we can have the daily comforts in life that we are used to.

13. Being Able to Go for Walks

Getting outside each day and we are grateful to live in a clean country with fresh air and wide open spaces. We know that we are lucky. We are grateful for the space and freedom that other people don’t have.

14. Sanitation

things I am grateful for | clear skies

I’ll never forget watching an interview with Bill Gates talking about sanitation in developing countries. We have traveled the world and have seen first hand the horrible sanitation conditions people live in. It is one of the most difficult human crises’ to overcome.

According to the Gates foundation:  About 4.5 billion use unsafe sanitation facilities and services. To be effective, sanitation must be carefully managed at all stages, from the point that waste is collected and contained to how it is transported and treated.

The few times in our travels that we have had to use toilets in unsanitary facilities have been awful and we have felt for the people who have to live this every day of their lives. When I go to my bathroom and use clean toilets, have hot water to shower and fresh soap to clean, I am grateful that I am lucky enough to have healthy conditions in my house and public toilets. I will never take that for granted and to learn more visit the Bill Gates Foundation.

15. Slowing Down

things I am thankful for | the time to reflect

The 21st century has been busy. It’s noisy and it’s overwhelming. Our time in isolation allowed us to take time stop being consumed by outside influences. We had been on the go for 10 years and always found excuses to skip exercising or to not read a book.

Our downtime was always spent “in-between projects” and we never truly relaxed because we knew we’d be back on the road or back at work in a few days or weeks. For the first time in years, we don’t feel pressure to be busy. We have been able to enjoy each other’s company and with get to know our inner selves again.

16. Having Time to Reflect

It is easy to get caught up in the rat race regardless of careers. But now, we are forced into a pause and it has given us time to reflect. Dave and I got into travel blogging because we love to travel. But over the past few years, our lifestyle wasn’t about traveling, it was about working -and our lives and health took a backseat.

We are grateful to look at this time as a moment to think about how we want to live the next chapter in our lives. It can be difficult, especially when incomes are slashed but being still can be the best time to make decisions and plans.

17. My Soul Mate

I am grateful to have Dave in my life

I am so grateful for Dave each day. He is so smart and thoughtful. He makes me a better person and I am grateful that I met him at a young age and was able to grow with him. I never take it for granted that I have the best husband in the world.

18. Having a Purpose

Like so many people, we are unsure of the future of our business. But, we have always said that we love what we do, and if it all fell apart, we’d find a way to rebuild. Well, it fell apart and our industry will be forever changed. But our purpose and calling is this blog.

We love sharing our thoughts and experiences. And we know that even if things change, we will still have the passion to write, take photos, and create videos. We will start over, because we found what we love to do. We never take that for granted.

We’ll never forget how it felt to live a life without passion and purpose and each day we are grateful that we found ours. If you haven’t found your purpose, maybe this time can be spent finding it.

19. Eyesight

we are thankful to have eyesight to witness the beauty of the world

We are so lucky to be able to see the beauty of the world.

20. Real News

The media is being beaten up on a daily basis around the world, but some publications and channels push on and try to get us the information we need. We are grateful for the reporters and journalists that take risks to give us information and expose what is going on around the world.

21. Pets

gratitude and thankfulness for pets
My parent’s cat Zach

My parents have a cat named Zach. He is a cutie pie. Each day he brings a smile to our faces when he does something cute like snooping around in the cupboards. We can’t wait to move into our new home to settle down a bit. We loved our cat Spoofy and would like to shelter another animal soon.

22. Heating

As I write this, it is the end of April and it is snowing outside. It is odd for this time of year, but nothing in the year 2020 has been normal. I think of the people and animals outside in the cold and I thank my lucky stars each day that I have warmth when I need it.

23. Coffee

coffee are things to be grateful for
Coffee over the computer 🙂

When I go to bed, I look forward to my morning cup of coffee coffee. Thank you to whoever invented a good cup of Joe centuries ago. I have have always taken food and nutrition for granted, and I will never again.

24. Food and Supermarkets

I have never been so grateful to have food on the table. The pandemic made me realize how dependent we are on our farmers, grocery stores and delivery personnel. I realized that should our food supply chain run out, we would be in serious trouble. Dave and I don’t know how to farm, we don’t have a garden and we wouldn’t be able to provide for ourselves. Each day I am grateful for supermarkets and grocery stores.

And now it is time for the speed round of Things to be Grateful for:

25. Hearing

gratitude | listening to music

We start each day listening to meditation music and as the day goes on, we change to our mellow mix and then finally a good mix of upbeat tunes and motivational songs. Being able to listen to the music of the world is a gift and while in isolation, we are so lucky to be able to listen to our favourite music to give us the motivation to keep on living each day to the fullest.

26. Afternoon Naps

It can be as little as 20 minutes but an afternoon nap feels so decadent. I love being able to stop everything for a moment, close my eyes and float away for a little bit.

27. My Pillow

When we travel, my neck and shoulders are always sore and stiff when I wake up. Dave and I spent a lot of time trying out pillows when we first moved back to Toronto. I now can’t sleep without it. I look forward to my pillow each night.

28. A Good Movie that Makes me Cry

I don’t know about you, but I love a movie that is inspirational and transformational. A movie where someone overcomes adversity and once they go through a struggle they come out on top.

29. Popcorn

thankful for popcorn

I love popcorn. I sometimes skip dinner and just eat popcorn.

30. Reading Socks

Last year we discovered giant comfy socks at our favourite book store, Indigo. I love putting on my big socks to read a book or sit down to work at my computer.

31. Comfortable Pajamas

My favourite time of day is changing into my pajamas at night. I love putting gon my jammies with my big comfy socks and then I turn on Netflix or Amazon Prime and watch a good movie.

32. Dave’s Cooking

grateful for dave's cooking

I know many people are trying new recipes out there with the extra time on their hands. I am lucky because I married an excellent cook. Each night he makes the best meals. We have often joked that if we lost our jobs, Dave can always turn this into a cooking blog. The Planet D stands for Dining anyone?

33. Sleeping In

I remember working in the film industry and having to leave for work at 4:30 or 5:00 in the morning. What I wouldn’t have given to be able to sleep a few more ours.

34. Toilet Paper

thankful for toilet paper

We have traveled to many places in the past where we had to carry our own toilet paper, but we always knew that the trip would either be coming to an end or that we could buy more. The great toilet paper shortage of 2020 made us realize just how much we use the soft squares. I am grateful it is back on the shelves and when we move into our new house, we are installing a Japanese toilet for sure!

35. Soap

I have never washed my hands so thoroughly and often. I am thankful that we have an abundance of soap to be able to sanitize our hands after coming home from shopping. Other people are not so lucky.

36. An Empty Email In Box

For years, we have seen an influx of emails from spam to silly business scams. There is nothing I love more than an email box that is empty. That makes me so happy.

37. Our Life Experiences

playing around in the hospital

Everything that we have done in our lives has led us to this place. We are thankful for the ups and downs and thankful to be able to grow old. Having maturity has given us humility and appreciation for everything we have. When I was younger, I would only look at the negative and I would think about what I didn’t have and what I didn’t get. Now, I appreciate how far we have come, and how lucky we are.

38. Sunsets

grateful for witnessing a beautiful sunset

Whenever we travel, we always take the time in each day to watch the sun go down. When we are not traveling, we tend to forget about a beautiful sunset and go on with our daily lives. While we are at home in isolation, we have the time to appreciate the beauty of this world. Watching the sun go down in a beautiful burst of colour can instantly lift our spirits. So tonight, if you can, take the time to sit and watch the sunset, it will make you feel thankful to be alive.

39. Essential Oil Diffuser

I love the smell of peppermint, lavender, or eucalyptus essential oils coming through my diffuser. When I wake up in the morning, put on my Spotify playlist, and let the mellow music soothe my soul as I take deep breaths of the delicious aroma filling the air.

40. Having Hope

have hope | something to be grateful for

I am grateful that we still have hope.

The world is in a very dark place right now, but we have seen the best of human kind. There are countless people doing selfless acts of kindness. Even in a polarized world, the good in people is shining through and showing us that humans can be kind and that gives us hope.

If you are feeling blue and having a difficult time finding things to be grateful for, don’t feel bad, you are not alone. Many people are feeling anxious and sad, but maybe these quick ideas will help you feel more optimistic that there is still some good in being alive.

Read Next: Inspiring Travel Quotes

things to be grateful for in uncertain times

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About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

Leave a Comment

4 thoughts on “40 Things to be Grateful For in Uncertain Times”

  1. I’m am surprised at how many things you mention I take for granted. We should all be more aware of the beauty and simple pleasures that make each day enjoyable.

  2. thank you so much you know when life gets hard like mine at the second i tend to get really disappointed because i dont appreciate how many different things that their is for me to be thankful for but after reading this article i feel ecstatic.i understand now their is so much more to be thankful for thank you very much

  3. Nicely done!

    Thank you.

    Most Americans (as I am) and countless citizens of other nations around the world share in their admiration of your nation and its people and are similarly grateful for Canada.

    Warmest, Josh

  4. Fantastic! I try to be grateful every day, for all the things both large and small – my happy, loving relationship, my family, and the life of luxury I was born into compared to untold millions.
    Right now I’m luckier than most, as I work from home as a writer. Not only is my schedule relatively unaffected, but people are reading more than every during lockdown, and I’m actually able to pay my bills for a change! It almost makes me feel guilty, when I see how badly this virus has hit so many people and families. All I can do is try to bring a smile to as many faces as possible through my writing – and through being an idiot, which is my other profession 😉

    Thanks guys!