Festivities are being celebrated differently this year. Due to COVID-19, we have not seen our relatives and friends for a few months already and there may be other stresses in our lives such as job instability, balancing work and family life and our health itself. We tend to get caught up with the major changes going on in our lives and we may overlook the little details that could actually be a blessing in disguise. With many of these stresses most of us would question ourselves about what else can we be thankful for? After all, November is the month of Thanksgiving. Let’s look at some of them below!
 
 
Self-care
How often have we thought of just wanting some time for ourselves? While interacting with people is fun and it is a need for humans, too much of it can get overwhelming and drain us. We need time for ourselves to chill and live in the moment. Self-care does not need to be an expensive spa therapy. Self-care could be as simple as enjoying the process of making a cup of tea, lighting a scented candle and reading a book or watching a movie. It is a time just for yourself and it is not linked to any kind of expectation. These are times for us to recharge ourselves, so we are able to handle challenges at work or school later. Self-care also helps us to understand ourselves because it is through finding relaxation methods that we know what we like to do.
 

Hope
Hope is a word all of us are familiar with. But, do we really know what it means and how it can be applied to our daily lives? We are all hopeful about getting a job or a specific grade if we put in the effort and did everything right. However, sometimes even after putting in that much of effort, we do not get what we want and that is when most of us lose hope.
 
Hope is not about being sure that we will get exactly what we want. Hope is needed when things don’t turn out the way we expected them to. It is good to be hopeful about getting the job/grade if we put in effort. But, when we don’t get that job, that is exactly when we need hope. That is the time that having hope will help us to move forward by exploring new places, creating new paths and eventually finding something better. A person who does not have hope will not have the motivation to pick himself up again after the original plan did not succeed. But, a hopeful person will acknowledge their emotions, the pain they feel and they will channel that in a direction that pushes them forward to find a new path.
 
With the current situation of COVID-19, job instability and not being able to gather in big groups with the people we love, now is when we need the greatest amount of hope to help us find ways to connect with people, learn new skills to upgrade ourselves or simply to take some time off from the normalcy we know to love ourselves.

 
Initiative
In any situation, there will be something positive and negative. It depends on how we choose to look at it. We may be used to having people organize outings for us or having new opportunities at work to showcase our talents. However, during this time, it may be more difficult for us to have opportunities come our way. This is a good time to build on our initiative. It may be a challenging task to put ourselves out there to actively seek for opportunities or come up with plans to gather with some of our loved ones. For example, when meetings used to happen in offices, it was easier for us to voice out our thoughts. But, when it comes to working remotely, it is more challenging to get ourselves heard through zoom because it is something that is new, and it is difficult for us to understand how other people might perceive what we are trying to say. This does not mean that we should silence ourselves. Humans are designed to adapt and function in challenging situations, and we should use that adrenaline rush to our advantage. This is the time for us to take initiative and continue to let ourselves shine no matter what changes!
 
Months have passed and the “normalcy” we expected has not arrived. But, by now, most of us would have adapted to it. Take some time to think of the last few months and what you have learnt about yourself. You would have started to do some things differently. Think about what those things mean to you and how they define you. You will be surprised at what you never realized about yourself! It’s true that this year, we will not be gathering with our extended families and we could be missing out on fun moments. But, make the best out of what we have through video calls to catch up with them. This Thanksgiving, take some time to reflect. Let’s be thankful for the time we have with ourselves this year. This could be the year we heal internally and discover traits about ourselves!