Giving thanks…for what exactly?

 How are you feeling about Thanksgiving this year? Not about the actual meal or logistics, or the family you can or can’t see…but about the seasonal concept of “giving thanks”?

 We don’t know what your personal experience has been this year, but we know there’s a lot of hardship—physical, mental, emotional, financial—going around. And that you’ve likely been impacted by the pandemic, in ways both big and small.

 Still, there are silver linings to be found. Here are just a few that we are grateful for, and that are providing some much-needed inspiration:

 

  • Medical breakthroughs

 The dedicated, collaborative work of scientists around the world to develop effective tools and medicine in the fight against COVID-19 is truly impressive. Check out this COVID-19 Drugs & Vaccines tracker from STAT for the latest developments.

 

  • Major leaps forward for industries like telehealth

Early on in the pandemic, the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) took critical steps to make telehealth services easier for medical professionals to provide, and patients to access—for a range of needs including wellness visits; medication consultations; dermatology; eye exams; and mental health counseling. This has been a lifeline for so many, and we’re hopeful that these advances will continue after the current crisis.

 

  • Widespread acceptance of work-from-home

Yes, we miss the chance to banter with colleagues at the proverbial water cooler, but surely it’s a good thing that the world is finding new ways to work and relying less on the need to commute. If your company hasn’t yet embraced this so-called “new normal,” check out Inc.’s article on Microsoft’s new remote-work policy, which can be summed up by this excerpt: "Moving forward, it is our goal to offer as much flexibility as possible to support individual work styles, while balancing business needs." That’s something to celebrate—and it just might inspire you to create change at your own organization.

 

  • New and ongoing help for the elderly

COVID-19 has certainly been tough on the elderly population—and not just for those who have actually gotten sick. We’ve loved seeing grocery stores and other businesses making special accommodation for those who need a little more assistance or consideration at this time. Whether it’s reserved shopping hours for those 65+, curbside pickup, or home delivery, it’s wonderful to see supermarkets going this extra mile to make sure seniors have the essentials they need. There has also been a surge of volunteer interest in programs like “Adopt a Grandparent” through which younger people are matched with older ones for virtual “visits” that lift the spirits of everyone involved. This new awareness and sense of care for the older generations is heartwarming.

 

  • Increase in family time

Family time—a scare and hard-earned thing until recently—is suddenly in abundance in the era of Stay At Home. (We know, we know…you might feel like you’ve had a little too much family time lately, but try to enjoy this unexpected gift!) For the first time since the early 19th century, parents and kids – in some cases even grandchildren – are under the same roof all day. This is a strange time for everyone, but your kids are still busy making memories, and it’s a special thing to deepen the bonds with immediate family members or whoever else may be sharing your home at this time.

 

  • Good news will always exist

There have been so many amazing stories these past months—of people, organizations, and even companies acting in selfless, courageous, and heartwarming ways, despite the many challenges in the world. The power of genuine human concern and connection is alive and well. And when you need a dose of good news in your day, you can always check out Good News Network for an uplifting story or two.

 

What else are YOU thankful for in the great big world, or just your little corner or it, right now? Whatever it is, we wish you a Thanksgiving season full of health and gratefulness!

Celebrate Thanksgiving with these Thanksgiving Onesies and essentials.

Related articles you may be interested in: Four Simple Ways to Practice Mindfulness This Season.

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