As with many other plans that have been made and changed this year, your Thanksgiving holiday plans are probably also changing. In fact, according to most health experts, you should adjust your traditional holiday gatherings to make sure everyone stays safe and healthy. Try some of these COVID-19 Thanksgiving ideas for ways to celebrate and stay safe in 2020.
Stay Home and Stay Safe
The CDC and most other health experts say that staying home and celebrating Thanksgiving with the people you live with is the safest choice this year. The number of COVID-19 cases has increased at a rapid pace over the past few weeks. In fact, more than one million cases were reported in the US in the week between November 12 and November 19. Traveling and spending time in large gatherings of friends and family members will only add to the possibilities of contracting the virus.
Take Precautions Around Others
It can be mentally exhausting to be isolated and to continually worry about being around other people. This Thanksgiving, if you do decide to attend a small gathering, do so in a safer manner by taking precautions such as:
- Wearing your mask, asking others to do the same, and safely storing your mask while you eat
- Bring your own food and dinnerware to the meal
- Use single-use packets for salad dressings and other condiments
- Avoid going in and out of areas where food is being prepared or handled by others, such as the kitchen
- Enjoy an outdoor meal with adequate spacing between guests.
The best idea, though, is to stay home so you can celebrate and stay safe in 2020.
Why You Need to Celebrate
This has been a challenging year for everyone. If you have been isolated for months at a time, it can affect your physical and your mental health. Taking the time to celebrate and to be thankful is actually good for your health and well-being.
Krystine Batcho, PhD, professor of psychology at Le Moyne College in New York, explains that unexpected or substantial change, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, threatens your sense of being in control. As a result, anxiety that stems from the uncertainty of the future is heightened when you no longer feel that you can predict what might come next and whether you’ll be able to cope with it. You have a greater need to strengthen and renew relationships as the uncertainty around the pandemic continues.
Dependable markers, such as holidays, can help alleviate your feelings that things might be changing too quickly, so much so that you may not be able to – or may not want to – keep up with them. Dr. Batcho adds that “Because holidays are predictable, they offer the opportunity to hit ‘pause,’ and give a bit of stress relief. Grounded in tradition, holidays connect us to the past and ensure the comforting feeling of continuity across time and change.”
COVID-19 Thanksgiving Ideas
You can celebrate, creatively and safely, this year. Consider these options for a healthy and happy Thanksgiving.
Host a virtual Thanksgiving. Use video chat technology to “share” a meal with your loved ones. If you are video conferencing elderly relatives such as grandparents, keep in mind they may be a bit challenged by the technology and with being able to hear everyone. Consider using closed captioning and a larger screen so they can see all the people involved and understand the conversation more clearly.
Deliver meals to others (safely). Speaking of elderly friends and family members, consider preparing a traditional Thanksgiving dish and delivering it to someone’s porch or doorstep with a kind note. Think of those around you who are not as fortunate as you or who cannot get out to purchase their own groceries during the pandemic.
Practice your own gratitude. Start a journal and write down the things for which you are grateful. This activity is good for your mental health during a time of isolation and increased COVID-19 cases.
Watch the parade. Stay home and watch the modified Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. This year, the parade will be limited to television viewing and will focus on the traditional balloons and performances, scheduled to be held in Herald Square.
Enjoy the dogs. The National Dog Show is also being held for a television audience only this year. Watching the lineup of beautiful and well-trained pups is a great way to life your spirits while celebrating!
Get outside and get some fresh air. One of the best ways to celebrate and stay safe in 2020 is to take a hike. Enjoy the fall weather while getting some much-needed exercise. This is a great COVID-19 Thanksgiving idea for an after-dinner activity, to walk off that turkey and pie.
Makana Path Offers Help During COVID-19
At Makana Path, we understand that this year has been challenging for you. Please know that you are not alone. We are here to help, with an intensive healing approach that will help you regain control over your life. To learn more about getting help for your mental health or addiction during COVID-19, contact Makana Path today by calling 1-866-313-0978.