By Barton Goldsmith Tribune News Service
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Dr. Barton Goldsmith, author of "The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Times" shares his best advice on how to gain some perspective (and gratitude) during Thanksgiving 2020.
Tribune News Service
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and right now gratitude has never been more important. I love everything about this holiday, and this year it's going to be so different. We will all have to get creative to feel like we are having a celebration in the middle of a crisis. Our collective well-being is very precarious right now, and we need to be careful and, together, make the effort to achieve the best possible future. Here are some things many of us can be grateful for, even in a pandemic and a divided country.
· Your health. If you are healthy right now, then be thankful. Over a million have died worldwide, and many more millions sickened, so whatever you have been doing to stay well, keep it up. As a reward, you get an extra slice of pumpkin pie.
· Your life. Thanksgiving was founded on getting through a difficult time. Imagine the hardships those early settlers faced, and be grateful that your life, no matter how difficult at the moment, is a lot easier than theirs was.
· Your income. If you still have an income, consider yourself fortunate, because many millions of people still do not, and their prospects are not getting better anytime soon. Hopefully the powers that be will step up and help people out, but if not, I think that we should open up to the idea that we need to help each other out. How you go about it is up to you.
· Good people. Look for goodness where you can find it. There's still a lot out there, and most of it comes from the milk of human kindness. I am grateful for the kind people in my life. These are the people who make life worth living, and I give back in any way I can.
· Your energy. The world may be on pause, but you don't have to be. You just need to create new ways of doing your life, and some of that is going to be pleasant and some not so much. But you can figure it out.
· Your home. Find ways to make yourself more comfortable in the home that you have. We got a shower bench — not a big deal, but it was a real lifestyle improvement, and it looks cool. I'm also thinking of trading my "executive" chair for a cushy gamer one.
· Good friends. Connecting with others is very important, so get creative. We have many devices, but with family in different parts of the world, Zoom won't work. We may set up every phone, pad, and computer and connect each with a different person to talk with whoever is available at that time on Thanksgiving Day, and for a little while, we will all feel connected that way.
Lastly, I am grateful that I have come to appreciate that this horrible virus has helped me to slow down, and I have been able to value some things that I had been overlooking. A simpler life is far from a bad one, and the gifts that come with it are one thing I can be truly thankful for.
Right now, gratitude and thanksgiving have never been more important, so please use some of these tips for making the holiday special during a difficult time in our lives. Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers. ___ (Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, Calif., is the author of "The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.") ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC