Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, and with it, concerns of how to celebrate, or whether to even hold an event. With health risks and precautions to consider, this Thanksgiving will likely be quite different for many Americans and their loved ones. In addition, the economic effects and mental stress of COVID-19 have brought about prevalent worry and discouragement. No matter your situation, taking the time to choose to have a mindset of thankfulness and gratitude can help lift your spirits this season and help you focus on the most important things in life. However you choose to gather and enjoy the holiday, here is some helpful advice for having a safe Thanksgiving and staying grateful through these troubling times.
As November begins, some are struggling with feelings of guilt and selfishness over wanting to see family after months. These emotions are often in conflict with the desire to act responsibly and safely while the number of cases remains steady and there is no vaccine in sight. In preparation for the upcoming holiday season and its influx of travel and gatherings, the CDC has published some recommended guidelines for having safe celebrations to reduce the risk of contracting or spreading COVID. Depending on your family and how you typically celebrate, you may need to alter your plans or even take a pass on some traditions and festivities in order to make this time as safe as possible for everyone involved.
The main issue that families will be dealing with is whether to stay home and have a small Thanksgiving dinner, or to take the chance and meet with others outside of their home. Due to health concerns of elderly family members and those having to travel from out of state, some families are making the choice to stay put and eat with only the members of their own household. While this is the safest plan of action, it may result in some family members spending the day alone, and during a holiday meant for spending time with loved ones, this can be especially difficult. To combat this, many families are making plans to connect with others virtually in order to make the holiday feel as normal as possible. With many platforms available that provide video calling, the Thanksgiving table can easily be as lively as usual.
For those who choose to invite others into their home, social distancing protocol should not be forgone, especially if the guests are traveling from a different state or city, bringing a risk of COVID along with them. As a different option, some families have decided to plan an outdoor feast with traveling family members or the neighbors in their community. In this way, fellowship can be enjoyed in the open air, with more space to spread out seating. If this cannot be achieved, the CDC also advises opening windows and doors for more ventilation while inside and continuing mask wearing and sanitizing practices. Preparations for eating may also look a bit different. Because buffet style serving puts utensils in contact with each guest, a safer method would be assigning designated servers for dishes or pre-portioning condiments into individual, single-use containers.
Traveling during this time is also not going to be without difficulty as Thanksgiving is typically the busiest time of the year to travel, by plane or by car. While a decrease in travel is expected this season, for those who must take the chance, consider driving as a lower risk alternative to flying. According to the CDC travel advisory, traveling by car will allow you to avoid coming into close contact with others at the airport and on the plane, potentially bringing the virus into the house where you will be spending the holiday. Flyers should also be especially vigilant in wearing a mask, and washing and sanitizing their hands and commonly touched objects. As travel arrangements are being made, it is good to be aware of the rate of COVID cases in each state, as well as any travel restrictions or quarantine protocols in place for incoming travelers that might impact their holiday plans.
The physical health problems, financial hardship, or any number of effects from the COVID-19 pandemic can easily bring about low spirits and feelings of discouragement and helplessness. While these issues are not guaranteed to be resolved anytime soon, shifting our mindset to one of gratitude will allow for a more enjoyable holiday season and remind us of the things that matter most to us. Instead of dwelling on the things that you have to miss out on, focus on the things you can still take part in and make this Thanksgiving one that can be fondly remembered.
The most important thing you can do this Thanksgiving is reach out and spend time with loved ones whether it is in person, on the phone, or virtually. Don’t let the loneliness from social isolation consume and overwhelm you and your family members. Spending time with those you care about has a positive impact on mental health and attitude, especially when you cannot do so very often. Take the time to show your family and friends how much you appreciate them by making them feel loved and valued no matter where they are.
From COVID infection rates to government protests to the presidential election, we are surrounded by information detailing the grim realities all over the country and the world. Consuming this information daily can take a mental toll and easily make you feel overwhelmed and helpless. To combat this, it can be beneficial to limit your daily news intake to have a clear head and replace the negativity with gratitude for the things you value most.
As we enter the season of giving, there will be many around us with various needs. Being intentional about helping others is a good reminder of things we have to be thankful for. If you are willing and able, make a positive impact and back to those who are struggling by bringing supplies to food banks, donating to worthy organizations in your community, or even sending a much-needed encouragement note.
In addition to these practices, consider how you can change your behavior in order to create a mindset of gratitude in the days leading to Thanksgiving. When you find yourself dwelling on negative emotions, try to think of some things in that moment that you are personally thankful for. Keeping a daily gratitude journal is a great way of promoting this habitual gratitude. As you practice this, spread these feelings of thankfulness to others in your household. Planning ways for you and your family members to express what they are thankful for in this time to bring encouragement to your home. In the end, staying grateful even through the difficulties and changed plans is an effective tool to combat worry and enjoy spending the holiday with the most important people.
This season often causes us to reevaluate the things that are truly important in our lives, most often coming to rest on our health and our loved ones. As you reflect on your blessings and cherish the time you spend with family this Thanksgiving, consider how you can contribute to their future wellbeing as well. Financial struggle is a cause of concern for many right now, but it is not something you would want your family to suffer from if something were to happen to you. Life insurance allows you to be confident in the financial stability of your loved ones’ future and show your family how much you care for them among the uncertainty and chaos. At LifeQuote we offer term and permanent life insurance policies suited to your needs, as well as no exam policies for those who do not want to take any risk of contact. By purchasing life insurance, you can take time to enjoy and be thankful for your life while not having to worry about your loved ones’ situation in the case of your death. Take the first step towards this peace of mind and get a free instant quote today.