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Our New Normal: Feeling thankful

As all business and employees deal with this unprecedented health crisis, our leaders have been talking with our associates about how we will manage and work through this together. We hope by sharing our series, Our New Normal, you may find some tips that work for you personally or your company and further know we’re all in this together.

With the upheaval COVID-19 has caused around the globe and within our homes, I think it is more important than ever to spend time each day focused on what makes you happy.

Let’s get real

Like everyone else, life at the Johnson house has looked pretty different in the past weeks. Both my husband and I are working from home, while trying to help teach, feed and support the needs of our seventh, fourth and first graders.

I have learned that allowing each of them to go through their day at their own pace, in their own ways, works best for us. I have also learned that it is OK to acknowledge that some days are really hard. We miss our friends, we get bored and we want the safety and security of our world to be restored.

Be purposeful in your gratitude

The most powerful thing I’ve learned during this bonus time with my family is that building skills of thankfulness – a real “attitude of gratitude” if you will – makes a big difference in our happiness and helps us gain perspective when we feel challenged the most.

Our daughter started keeping a gratitude journal and likes to color the pictures she draws of three things she is grateful for each day. Our oldest is using Snapchat to document his moments of gratitude (at least that is what he tells me), and our youngest likes to talk about his thoughts every night before he goes to bed. They each have such different perspectives and being purposeful in their gratitude helps them be more inclusive and thoughtful of others. Most importantly, it is bringing peace to their hearts, when they are confused, frustrated or lost – and in turn, that is helping mine.

Find what works for you

If you are a visual person and want to see your gratitude work in action, create a gratitude jar. Write things down in a journal or on a whiteboard or cover your windows with positive post-it notes. Try to make it a daily habit and it might just help you, the way it has helped us.

As for me and mine?

Of the many things I am most grateful for is this extra focused time with my family: time to make big dinners together, build forts, camp out in our backyard and go on long walks. While the days are long, the years are very short with our kids at home, and this time together will always be something I treasure.

Besides time with my family, I am most grateful for the 18 years I have had the privilege of working at UMB with incredible people who share common values to support one another, our customers and our communities. Now, more than ever, I am so grateful to be part of a company with heart, that honors the importance of relationships, doing what is right, and working as a team.

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When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s Web site and go to Web sites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other Web sites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.