Wellness Interactive logo

The Power of Gratitude

Winter Issue 2021

4 MINUTE READ from Wellness Interactive Branding, LLC.


I contracted Covid-19 in late March. Everything was still new, tests were extremely rare, and mask mandates were not yet in place. In Los Angeles, lockdown had just been announced, and like many others, I had begun self-isolating and was trying to complete a frustratingly intricate 1000-piece puzzle, as well as baking copious amounts of banana bread.

It was a Friday afternoon when I started to develop an irritating dry cough.

As I continued to work on that arduous jigsaw puzzle, my cough worsened. By Sunday, an additional symptom appeared: a tight chest. It was at this point that I booked a virtual doctor’s appointment. By Monday’s consultation, I now had an ongoing cough, tight chest, muscle aches, and a slight fever. With a rarity of test supplies, I was diagnosed with ‘suspected coronavirus’ and prescribed to stop work, stay inside, and rest for the next week.

For the most part, I’m a fit and healthy 26-year-old woman. However, I do have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), which can affect the immune system. The CDC defines CFS as “overwhelming fatigue that is not improved by rest.” Dr. David Borenstein, MD, says the link between COVID-19 and CFS stems from a lack of sleep. “Generally, people with CFS don’t sleep well, and we know how important sleep is to our immune system,” he said. “So having chronic fatigue can already reduce your immunity just by a lack of sleep – which can then affect your risk.” Dr. Borenstein also noted that he had found a link between COVID-19 and deficiencies in vitals. “Every patient that comes to me with COVID-19, I look at their previous Vitamin D and Zinc levels, and boom, they’re all low. Every one of them.” Dr. Borenstein advises all to check their vitamin and mineral levels and work closely with a physician to ensure no toxicity.

As the days went on, so did my symptoms. Friday, one week on, I felt my best. But just as I was hopping into bed, things turned. My chest began to close up, I was having trouble breathing, and my body shook in pain. I have never been more grateful and appreciative of not only doctors and nurses, but of cleaners, receptionists, and security personnel at the hospital. I applauded the effort they put in at all hours of the day, even during the time of a significantly low support of PPE. I spent the night in the hospital and was given some IV drips and oxygen therapy. But while I’m thankful that my health improved, it meant that I didn’t qualify to get a COVID-19 test. At that time, with such low supplies, they were saved for only those admitted. I was lucky enough to qualify for a drive-thru test the following day, and over a week later, I received my results: not surprisingly, they were positive. At this point, it had been two and-a-half weeks since my first symptom.

When you replace, “Why is “ this happening to me?” with “What is this trying to teach me?” –everything shifts. The feelings of gratitude start to take hold, and you realize that this is a powerful emotion that is important for your wellbeing.

I continued to stay indoors, not leaving my apartment for nearly nine weeks. Yes, nine. That was how long it took for the cough to disappear. In those nine weeks, I binged on many shows, deep cleaned my apartment countless times, and finally completed that puzzle! Those weeks really taught me how important human connection is. On the flip side, they taught me that we can be strong when there’s no other choice.

There are still so many unknowns with COVID-19, with Dr. Borenstein noting that many are now facing a condition he’s penned as “Post Covid Fatigue.” My experience has taught me a lot, but most importantly, it’s reminded me to be grateful each and every single day for all the good in my life.

If you’re going through any sort of hard time, I encourage you to remember this – when you replace, “Why is this happening to me,” with “What is this trying to teach me?” –everything shifts.

1. Gratitude for Health

Why is it that, for the most part, we only think about how amazing our bodies are when we’re unwell? Having COVID-19 reminded me to appreciate my moving, working, and functioning body every single day. I was grateful to not have been near as sick as the millions of others, and that age and prior health and fitness levels were on my side.

2. Gratitude for Technology

Social media and technology can be toxic, but also such a blessing. Living overseas for the past few years has taught me how best to utilize technology to keep up relationships and special connections. While staying inside, I felt in touch with the outside world.

3. Gratitude for Loved Ones

This year has forced us to sift through and separate close friends from acquaintances. I’m lucky enough to have friends all over the world who organized Zoom trivia nights, called, texted, and local ones who kindly dropped groceries at my door, cooked me food, and even just sat outside for some face-toface time through my screen door.

4. Gratitude for a Home

Sadly, there’s been a large increase in homelessness this year. I not only had a roof over my head, but I was living alone – which gave me added peace in knowing I had not and was not going to pass on the virus. Another benefit was the large windows in my apartment. While I couldn’t go outside, the sun and natural light shone through every day.

5. Gratitude to be able to Stop and Smell the Roses

Not having been outside for close to nine weeks, when I first stepped out in peak Spring, the aroma of fresh flowers and the vision of bright colors was overwhelming in the best way. It was a lesson to appreciate the small things in life like being in nature and being able to simply go on walks. My lungs were compromised when I first stepped out. I could only walk around for 10 minutes before returning inside.

Annita is a writer and host living in Los Angeles originally from Sydney. She loves covering anything health, lifestyle, entertainment and travel, and her work has appeared in Daily Mail, and various other Australian and US publications.

More articles from this publication

Why Financial Well-Being Matters, Especially Now!

7 MINUTE READ from Wellness Interactive Branding, LLC. “The history of money is all about well-being, and I don’t just mean having enough of it to live well. Money itself— i.e., having a medium of exchange that represents value we all agree on—makes life so much easier,“ By Sheryl Nance

Read More »

There is Proof in the Power of Positive Thinking!

4 MINUTE READ from Wellness Interactive Branding, LLC. Good Vibes Only. Hustle Harder. No Excuses. “Positive thinking is an incredibly powerful tool for healing, but not when it comes at the expense of avoiding negative emotions or processing trauma.“ By Ashley Hubbard. How many times have you heard these statements?

Read More »