Here in Chicago, daylight is shrinking and we’ve had a lot of grey days, as well as chilly weather. That combination in a normal year can make for a lot of moodiness. In this year of COVID, the issue is definitely magnified and I am seeing major moodiness in myself, as well as others. I’ve written a number of posts in the past about working through the doldrums such as What do the Simple Folk do?, which looks at one of my favorite songs from the play/movie Camelot, and Burnout, which was written during my first year of blogging at Searching for EMWA and one of the things I suggest in Burnout is the practice of writing down ‘Three Good Things’, a practice which I still use today.
I even like this idea so much, that I am actually encouraging my students to try it out this year! And I thought it wouldn’t hurt to share with you.
Here is the basic assignment:
Three Good Things
1. Every night, just before you go to bed, sit down for a few minutes and look back at your day.
2. Then think of 3 things that went well for you during the day, that is, the positive things of the day.
3. Write down each positive event. Then reflect and brood upon all three of them.
Now I didn’t just come up with this assignment on my own. There are a lot of experts who promote this practice, such as the University of Michigan’s MidMichigan Health System which put together these great visuals:
which can also be seen here as a complete poster: U of M Mid-Michigan Health’s 3 Good Things.
An interesting video explaining the 3 Good Things can be found here: The 3 Good Things Exercise Explained by Brian Sexton, PhD which compares the powerful and positive results of the 3 Good Things to Prozac!
The University of California at Berkeley also shares the Three Good Things practice as a recipe or prescription, which I found I also like.
But how long do I do it for? At least a week of disciplined practice will definitely help with your mindset, but Brian Sexton, above, pushes for 2.
With the weather and shortened days and seriousness of COVID, I’m doing another round of 3 Good Things and focusing on the positives.
Are you in?