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A COVID-19 Thanksgiving: 5 Ways to Show Gratitude and Continue to Stay Healthy

You probably wouldn’t be too surprised if I told you that Thanksgiving is going to look a little ~different~ this year. As COVID-19 cases continue to increase rapidly across the United States, the CDC has encouraged people to consider how their holiday plans can be modified to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to keep friends, families, and communities healthy and safe.

Still, an increased focus on health and safety does not mean that we have to forgo Thanksgiving altogether! The pandemic has filled our lives with so much uncertainty and confusion that it’s more important than ever before to reflect on what we are grateful for and how we can pay our gratitudes forward.

So, what exactly can we do? Here are five ideas, concordant with the times, on how you can enjoy your Thanksgiving tomorrow:

1. Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

While the parade’s structure has been modified, the show is still on! Reinvented to keep spectators in NYC at home safely, the 94th edition of the iconic event “ushers in the holiday season with a televised celebration featuring giant character balloons, animated floats, incredible street performances, musical acts and the one and only Santa Claus, broadcast from 34th Street on NBC and Telemundo.” Read more about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade here.

2. Volunteer.

There are still many ways to give back to the Boston community this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. Some Boston-area nonprofits accepting volunteers include, but are not limited to, the American Red Cross of Massachusetts, Community Servings, and Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston. Click here for more information.

3. Take a walk or hike.

Thanksgiving day is a great time to get out in nature and be active! Going on a walk or hike is also a great way to stay socially distant. Also, did you know that Massachusetts has two of the best fall hiking trails in America, according to Conde Nast Traveler? The travel publication recently named the Skyline Trail at Blue Hills Reservation (Quincy, MA) and Bellows Pipe Trail on Mount Greylock (Adams, MA) among some of the best fall hiking trails. I can’t wait to check these trails out myself!

4. Think (and share with others!) what you are most grateful for, even in a time of the pandemic.

Whether formally (check out this Thanksgiving Gratitude Game) or informally, it is perhaps more important than ever to focus on gratitude, “the practice of noticing and being thankful for what is valuable and meaningful to you.” The health benefits of practicing gratitude are numerous–including an improved immune system, lower risk for mental health issues, and a better handle on stress, to name a few. Share your gratitudes around the Zoom table or over the phone, but get them out there for the people you care about to hear!

5. Eat good food!

You knew it was coming! At 6AM Health, we can’t stop talking about our obsession with good, hearty, healthy food. No matter your plan this year for Thanksgiving, we hope you can enjoy one of your holiday favorites (or even something new)!

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