We’ll never forget 2020. For the COVID-19 pandemic, for the social and political turmoil, for the economic struggles and adjustments that have accompanied all of it.

And we’ll never forget the Thanksgiving Day 2020 holiday when people stayed home, meals attended by only a few, while watching the graphs of COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths skyrocket.. When the SARS-CoV-2 virus surged and spread around the world, and faster in the US than anywhere else. And families were isolated at home or in the hospital, rather than gathering. But the truth is, we’ve lived an historical event since January.  It will be in the history books. But for now, what do we do with it?

Well, maybe a good place to start is with Giving Thanks. You may have lost loved ones this year, maybe even from COVID-19, or you may just miss them during the holidays because they’re gone…

There are plenty of reasons to be sad, or angry, or frustrated. There are also reasons to be thankful.

Choose Gratitude No Matter What

A study at Berkeley found that people who practice gratitude on a regular basis have healthier emotional lives, are happier, and build resilience for tough times ahead.

In addition, the more often we practice and feel a given emotion, the more space that emotion occupies in our psyche and becomes the mood we live within.

Honestly, during terribly difficult and turbulent times like 2020, you get to choose your frame of mind. The way you see your life. If you tell yourself that life conspires against you…c’mon now…be  honest….  If you tell yourself that you’re a victim of some villainous force, then you will believe yourself, and live within a life of self-pity, blame, despair, powerlessness or bitterness…that’s all you’ll have.  

But. if on the other hand, you tell yourself that you’re blessed in numerous ways…list them!…that life is working in your favor no matter what the challenges….you’ll feel gratitude, inspiration, and the power to make your life what you want it to be.

For the Thanksgiving Day 2020 holiday, you can make the most memorable experience by applying gratitude.

Gratitude …  expressing how grateful you are… is practice toward underpinning your brain’s circuitry, and strengthening your resilience. And doing that helps you see the good in challenging circumstances. 

Because, truth be told, you want to be resilient and healthy, and we want that for you. During Thanksgiving, as you and your loved ones make decisions geared at the wellbeing of everyone involved, you need resilience, love, and the ability to adapt.

First, for the older members of your family, and those with underlying or chronic conditions, this is not the time to take chances. 

The increases in SARS-CoV-2 burgeons on. It’s far better to love your vulnerable family members to stay home and celebrate with you over FaceTime or Zoom, rather than risk their being infected, hospitalized, and worse. Next Year. Thanksgiving 2021 should be a  holiday — hopefully — when you can all safely be together again.  

But for this one Thanksgiving, when you sacrifice face to face contact, you can yield a life shared for years to come. And don’t travel, or let anyone come to you who has to travel. The risks right now are only increased by transportation that involves contact with others.

Second to that,  only those who you’ve been around and KNOW their attention to isolation, distancing, and precautions, are the ones to be allowed near you during the holidays. Maybe two or three trusted friends or family…?  If anyone comes to visit, insist on a COVID test before hand within time to get the results. All the rest can visit you online, but confine their exposure to those who live within their own homes.

And third? Well, here’s a suggestion:

Share your love and gratitude with those important people who can’t be there. Write the gift of a letter to each one with a list of why you’re thankful for them, or to remind them of a memory you share together. Find a way to shower your family with love, without face to face contact.

Choose Warmth, Kindness, and Generosity for an Unforgettable Thanksgiving Day 2020 Holiday

By choosing the frame of mind you want during this holiday time, by putting to work all the best safety precautions, by carefully selecting anyone from outside your home who joins you, and by reaching out to loved ones with love through email and gratitude, you can have the happiest and most fulfilling holiday in memory. 

In the face of the pandemic, and the changes it causes, ADAPT. That’s how you survive and overcome difficulty.  By adapting and applying new approaches. And enjoying them.

At the same time, if you find yourself depressed, or caught in the throes of PTSD, or struggling with alcohol use or substance use, or social anxiety, IV ketamine infusions can really help.

At Innovative Psychiatry, we’re fully functional in spite of the pandemic, with newly installed technology that gives you and our staff the best possible protection from COVID-19 in our offices. 

We continue to serve as an essential service and we’re here for you when you need ketamine treatment.

There are lots of things about holidays and gatherings that unsettle and trouble some people who already suffer … 

If oral medication hasn’t worked for you, if you’ve suffered from your symptoms that nothing has relieved, call us.

We’re here to help you in a safe and supportive environment.

You’re not alone. 

To the restoration of your best self,

signature of Lori Calabrese, M.D.

Lori Calabrese, M.D.

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