This Thanksgiving Day Will Be Different-And So Should You: Here’s What You Should Do

This Thanksgiving Day will be very different than years past. The effects of the pandemic will hang heavy over us. Many Americans will forgo traveling long distances, large gatherings and the traditional family dinner, in an effort to help avoid the spread of Covid-19. For the millions of Americans who continue with the longstanding tradition, the dinner and related festivities may be more subdued.

Thanksgiving generally marks the official kickoff to the holiday season. It’s the most anticipated time of the year. There’s the feeling that Thanksgiving up until New Year’s is our time to take a break from the monotony and stress of work. We can relax and spend quality time with family and close friends. You can unwind and forget about your troubles for a while. Christmas and Hanukkah are right around the corner. Towns have bright lights gleaming on the main streets. Homes shine with decorations, inside Christmas trees, menorahs and soon there will be gifts for the children. Before you know it, we’re in the New Year, which offers a ray of hope and the possibility of good times and fortune ahead.

This year may have been tough for you. According to the New York Times, “As of Wednesday morning, more than 12,670,300 people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 259,800 have died.” You or a loved one could have been a victim of the outbreak. It’s possible that you lost your job or are worried about layoffs in the future. It’s hard to shake off everything that has happened this year, but this Thanksgiving could be your turning point.

Operation Warp Speed reported on Tuesday that an estimated 6.4 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine will be distributed to states and territories by mid-December-assuming it gets the green light from the Food and Drug Administration by then. Over 11 million jobs were recouped from the initial massive March and April layoffs and furloughs. The stock market hit an all-time record high with the Dow Jones closing above 30,000 on Tuesday.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel and we will get past this dark time. The economy and hiring will boom due to the pent-up demand. It’s hard to imagine it now, after nearly nine months of nonstop negativity, but conditions will improve and get much better.

Use the holiday time to consider both helping others who are in need, as well as picking yourself up. No matter how bad you have it, the odds are there are a lot of people who have it much worse. Millions of Americans are facing hunger and food insecurity. Bring some canned goods, clothes and other items to food banks and charitable organizations. Take the time to mentor someone at work. Help out a friend who is going through a rough patch. The list of people who need help is endless. If everyone would just do a little, a lot of good could be done.

Write down things that you are thankful for. After such a brutal year, you deserve a reality check. Forget about all the doomsayers. It’s too easy to feel despondent. Instead, try to focus on all of the good you did during the pandemic-no matter how seemingly small or trivial. Take stock of all you have to offer.

In addition to being thankful, be proactive and put your abilities into action. Strategically think about your future. Get up off of the couch and start working on something positive and constructive. Create an action plan for success. Set a goal for yourself and then work hard to achieve it. Start now or you will never do it.

Tighten up your résumé and LinkedIn profile. Get in touch with recruiters, career coaches and résumé writers to help you. Join some online groups to network. This is the perfect time to reach out to people and rekindle relationships. Going back to school to learn something new, pivoting to a different type of job or reinventing yourself by pursuing a new career are options that should be put on the table.

Since this Thanksgiving is unique, to say the least, you might as well look at everything a little differently. Rather than eating too much and feeling bad about the past nine months, change your outlook. Help out those who desperately need help. Rebuild your battered confidence and use the holiday season as the starting point to achieve what you want and desire in 2021.

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