As we approach Thanksgiving this year, it’s clearer than ever that our mental and physical health and our close relationships are gifts that we can’t take for granted.
With the pandemic and all of the uncertainty we faced in 2020, we’ve seen firsthand how stress and fear can take over. But focusing on what we’re grateful for can help put things into perspective and keep us resilient in the toughest of times.
We asked our Thrive community to share what they’re grateful for this year. What are you most appreciative of this Thanksgiving?
More family time
“I am thankful for all the relationships I was able to strengthen and nurture this year. I was fortunate to spend more time with my kids, enjoying the little moments with them around meals and throughout the day. I also had meaningful one-on-one virtual conversations with colleagues and networked in a new way, leading to many opportunities that I could only have dreamed of in the past.”
—Isabelle Bart, holistic strategic coach, Orange County, CA
The chance to slow down
“I am immensely grateful that this year has brought about the gift of time — time to process all of my experiences, time to heal old wounds, time to recalibrate, and time to reflect. For most of my adult life, it feels as though I have gone a hundred miles an hour. Whether in relation to my career or my personal growth, I was go-go-go all the time. 2020 provided me a worthy pause to reset to a more mature and nourishing energy flow. I am so thankful for this time to slow down and reset. It was the missing ingredient in my journey that this year has made possible.”
—Heather Reinhardt, writer, Los Angeles, CA
A healthy body
“This year, I am most thankful for my health. Prior to 2020, my internal critic was on overdrive. Now, when I catch a glimpse in a store window or in the mirror, I say thank you to my body — for keeping me healthy this year, for having the energy to keep up with my 6-year-old while homeschooling, and for the stamina to run a business at home with steady clients alongside my husband. This year has made me realize that those last five pounds or the wrinkles on my face are extremely trivial. I’m thankful to have a body and mind that is working well, and tells the story of my life.”
—Lisa Pezik, business strategist, Ontario, Canada
Virtual book clubs
“This year, I’m grateful for the online book club I am a part of. We all live in different states, so meeting virtually is the only realistic option. We started to meet in March because of the stay-at-home orders, and it gave us all something to look forward to each week. The books we chose have been so inspiring to me, and the conversations are something I’ll always remember as a bright spot during the pandemic.”
—Kristin Meekhof author and therapist, Royal Oak, MI
Our healthcare heroes
“As Thanksgiving is fast approaching and many of us will not be able to spend the holiday with our loved ones, I am thankful for all the healthcare workers who have put their lives at risk in order to serve those in medical need. My gratitude extends to those who understand the pressure that hospitals are facing for the last few months. In my own field as a veterinarian, I am thankful to the clients who show kindness and appreciation for our nurses and doctors. In these unprecedented times, compassion has never been more needed.”
—Anna Katogiritis, emergency veterinarian, Natick, MA
“I am a practitioner and not particularly a ‘techie,’ but I am extremely grateful this year for the technology of Facetime and Zoom. I am an Australian, having lived in the states for almost forty years. I usually go back to Australia twice a year to see my family, but because I was unable to go back this year, I’ve been appreciating seeing the faces of my loved ones on my computer screen as we talk.”
—Dr. Anne Cooper, director of the Center for Deuterium Depletion, Los Angeles, CA
Little pieces of comfort
“I’ve always tried to remember to be thankful for the big picture, but the pandemic made it a lot harder to be in the moment and be mindful of the little things. To tap into gratitude on a daily basis, I consciously try to think about how lucky I am for the small things that make up my everyday: having an office chair while working from home, the time I gain with no commute, the comfort of a new pair of slippers or winter boots, a hot chocolate in my favorite mug, being around my teens more, and having a healthy body. I always try to be grateful for another day, another chance to make a difference, and another opportunity to learn and grow.”
—Siobhan Kukolic, author, inspirational speaker and life coach, Toronto, Canada
A true sense of community
“If there is any light that has come from this pandemic, it is the renewed appreciation for community and the value of human interaction. Our collective separation has surprisingly brought us all closer together. Despite being forced apart physically through border closures and travel restrictions, our response has been to optimize digital interactions to foster connection in a safe way. We have seen humanity rise above these challenges, together.”
—Angelica Hunt, diversity and Inclusion consulting, Sydney, AU
Unexpected family activities
“Lockdown has given me a whole new way of enjoying my time together with my family. It has pushed me to become a lot more creative when it comes to keeping the kids entertained with limited resources. We’ve even enjoyed unexpected activities together, like rock painting. I see how much more empathetic people have become towards one another in this difficult time and makes me thankful that in a world of social distancing, we seem to have been brought closer together.“
—Leticia Corbisier, head of online learning, London, UK
The gift of perspective
“I’m thankful that I learned a long time ago that there are only three things I can control: everything I think, everything I say, and everything I do. It’s helped me stay focused, energized, and aware of all the positive that surrounds us amid all the chaos.”
—Darcy Eikenberg, leadership and career coach, Bonita Springs, FL
This article first appeared on Thrive Global.