I find myself thinking about the Thanksgiving holiday much differently this year than any other time in my life. And I am sure all of you feel the same way. 2020, to say the least, has been filled with ups and downs, fear and uncertainty. And unfortunately, for many, it has been a year of loss and unimaginable grief.
So, how do we find gratitude and thanks during a pandemic, at a time when so many are suffering? It can be extremely difficult, but we as humans have an innate sense of resiliency and desire to do good unto others, even during these challenging times.
These acts of kindness, care and resiliency started early in the pandemic and have continued throughout – especially in senior care settings. The selfless frontline heroes showed up shift after shift determined to care for the residents they serve, even at great risk. Organizations found exponential ways to assist these employees and thank them for their unwavering commitment. In turn, residents received palpable love and support from caregivers, who creatively found ways to lift their spirits and help them stay connected with loved ones. Local communities rallied around long-term care centers and hospitals, offering free meals and other perks for those bravely battling COVID-19.
In addition to the charitable effort that began to emerge, people started showing thanks for the little things—the things that we might not typically think to celebrate during a holiday like Thanksgiving. Things like the ability be present. Many have used this year to refocus and reprioritize their lives, to slow down and get back to the basics. Others have used the downtime to reconnect with old friends, learn a new skill or pick up an old hobby.
While we can likely all agree that we never want to experience the trials and hardships of COVID-19 again, we can’t negate the fact that we have all learned something during this time, specifically about the importance of gratitude, thanks and of course, hope.
This Thanksgiving, I invite you to recall one (or more) positive thing you’ve learned, witnessed or done yourself in the past eight months. I know I will be thinking of the incredible work and sacrifices that senior care providers and employees have made this year. But my appreciation for all of you came long before and will extend long after the Thanksgiving holiday.
Beyond that, I encourage all of you to extend this celebration of thanks each day. After all, experts say practicing gratitude regularly can rewire your brain and make you a happier person. I leave you with this quote I recently came across that reminded me to be grateful for the simple things.
“Each day I am thankful for nights that turned into mornings, friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality and likes that turned into love. Most importantly though, I am thankful for you today and everyday.” -Anonymous
On behalf of all of us at OnShift, be well, be safe and Thank YOU!
Here’s a video we created at the start of the pandemic that still rings true!