IN IT TOGETHER: Join together in sharing gratitude for Canadians

Maple Ridge mom offers series of wellness columns aimed at helping navigate through COVID-19

By Alex Bruce/Special to The News

Today’s article is inspired by Debbie Merritt who recently posted on the Pitt Meadows/Maple Ridge Facebook page regarding gratitude: “It’s soooooo possible. Every day is a great day. Even in this pandemic I’m so grateful for what I have (and) the time to be with my family.”

Researchers, experts, scientists, and specialists assert that the healthiest emotion for us to feel, express, and share is gratitude.

If you’re surprised by that, you’re not alone.

Most people assume that the emotion of love would top the list, for obvious reasons.

Happily, feeling, expressing, and sharing love is the runner up. (If you’re interested, it has been found that the most detrimental emotion for our brain is anger and the most damaging emotion for our mental health is shame.)

Being truly grateful automatically infuses us with a feeling of love, along with feelings of appreciation and often, awe.

It helps us to maintain present-moment awareness, which supports our mental-wellness.

Practising gratitude as often as you can, for as many people, experiences and things that you can is incredibly supportive to your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being.

In fact, science even indicates that being grateful for what you eat before you eat it actually promotes greater absorption of the nutritional components. Yet another perfect example of the undeniable mind-body connection!

Every day my husband and I go out for a walk, ride, run, or hike.

Writing this article has shifted my awareness and I’m noticing things that I may not have noticed in the past.

Within the last few days, I have noticed all of the colourful, fun, creative, and loving messages of chalk on the sidewalks.

WATCH: Recent chalk painting effort south of the Fraser[0]=68.ARAwC-D2CqVSq2jDH43RrZ2FeUjGMWwn95hrnYUU7ZIukr6RcXFSh9vRtIufcTurqBtnL6GdDD0DsQVboRuiLbLZD4S8d4LMxLwVCorC7FO48_vVM7Mp1mAW2MHY4O-I9k4rCI8wcHX0ws17I1J2Pe4k_pI88RAJaqxLTN9SmqkRgvSVyvTRti_SGNWjdMCQPat3257JNFs68M-KUvkSOWdDxJCha9F5EVy6AGbNGm-NGCd4bbycWcx7QFA3Qr6rLubXj6UlnvM8UW6aL4Ae5IXWxDTWBlo4mxkYVSej1YwhCN-TES6oGV9qFrlopIgz1EiQSIe-LhvLysNqMi7FlOX-uCJHHAVjiSgoUA&__tn__=-R

I’ve seen signs posted on community mailboxes inviting people to join a Facebook page and engage in a neighbourhood “standing ovation” for all of the front-line workers who are supporting us.

Let’s be grateful for everyone making a difference in our neighborhoods.

Let’s be grateful for the dozens of houses that we see with painted or taped hearts in their windows.

Thank you for spreading messages of hope and love and thank you for teaching your children to participate in cheering on humanity.

As mentioned previously, there are painted rocks, hand-written signs, and passersby’s seem to be even more friendly than ever before. Let’s be grateful for our community.

The news has highlighted several different people from Maple Ridge during this pandemic for their creativity and community-minded efforts.

I’m grateful for Maple Ridge. British Columbia has received accolades from country officials for our measures to control and sustain low spread of the virus. Let’s be grateful for the experts that we have who are educating us, the people who support them and for each and every single one of us British Columbians for being a part of the solution.

It was recently announced that not only are car manufacturers producing ventilators, but they are now using the plastic for airbags in order to manufacture medical gowns. The resiliency, creativity and adaptability of Canadians is unprecedented during our time of greatest need. Let’s be grateful for Canadians.

Not only have Canadians been true heroes throughout history, including when our neighbours to the south were taken in during the Sept. 11 attacks by our compassionate, hospitable, and giving Canadian friends in the east, but we also recently provided medical masks to China when they were most in need (and that favour has been gratefully returned).

Now Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that not only will Canada produce the ventilators we require to save Canadians, but that we will also share anything extra with other affected countries in need.

I am so proud of Canada and so proud to be Canadian. Let’s join together in sharing gratitude for Canadians.

• Join us on Facebook at and post your pictures depicting yourself or others are doing to Send Positive Thoughts to Others. Share your creativity during these times and be sure to include names, ages, and details for an opportunity to be highlighted in a future article.


FIRST COLUMN: Maple Ridge woman offers series of wellness tips amid COVID crisis

SECOND: We mammals are in this together and will thrive together

THIRD: Trying something new can help

FOURTH: Celebrating inclusion in team humanity

FIFTH: Learning to learn at home

SIXTH: Take good care of yourself, so you can care for others

SEVENTH: Important to move your butt


– Alex Bruce is a health and wellness author and accredited meditation and mindfulness instructor, and this is excerpt from her: “Let’s Be Calm: The Mental Health Handbook for Surviving and Thriving Through Pandemic”


• Stay tuned tomorrow for the next COVID-19: In It Together column


• If there is more to this column, please let us know about it. Email us at We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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