In this crazy year, what does it mean to be thankful?

November 16, 2020

This year continues to be a struggle for all of us. With most of the state back into the strictest tier, many businesses closing their doors again, small businesses continuing to struggle or close permanently, schools reopening and some being delayed, and our holidays continuing to be changing how they operate (first Halloween and now Thanksgiving), good people losing their jobs, mental health being an issue for numerous people of all ages, people getting sick, taking a long time to recover, and the loss of so many due to COVID and other health issues during this time, and the added financial stress of the holidays and being around our family more than we are used to- it can be too much.

How do I cope?

  • I have been researching new traditions, games, activities to celebrate the seasons and the holidays with my kids.
  • We have started playing board games and turning off social media and the news for a spell. 
  • I have learned the value of taking care of myself during all of this- I always focus on my family and my work and often forget about me.
  • I seek out the good in the world and try to connect people to it when I find it.
  • Honestly, I started watching holiday shows and movies to help me have an escape. 
  • I listen to feel good songs.
  • I text my friends just to let them know they are loved and cared for.
  • I work on projects at home.
  • I try to laugh everyday and smile whenever I can (even with a mask on).

What am I thankful for this year?

I am thankful for my family, my friends, my former co-workers, the JPA Board, the staff from both cities, my extended work network, and the ability to still connect in some way through a distance. I am in awe of the hard decisions and jobs that our Schools, teachers, parents/guardians, first responders, health workers, and local officials are doing each day to help keep us safe and keep life moving. Is it hard to be thankful some days? Yes, and some days I want to stay in bed all day and forget about the world and my problems. That is when you need to reach out to friends and family to check in. It is amazing how a phone call or text or email can pick you up.

Here are some tips to help us enjoy the holiday season even in a pandemic:

  • This year make cards and hand deliver to your neighbor (stay masked and socially distanced) but it could really help cheer someone up.   
  • Do Friendsgiving over Zoom... still get to eat together and can even play games.
  • Find a obscure holiday movie and try to find a new one.
  • Decorate your homes and enjoy walking or rolling through the neighborhood to get a little bit of cheer. 
  • If you know a family who is struggling - gather a surprise bag of groceries or other needs.
  • Savor your coffee, tea, or hot cocoa moments.



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