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The Stress-Free Upsides of A Socially Distanced Thanksgiving

Mother and daughter cooking

There's a huge conversation going on at the moment about the holiday season, and exercising safety in the face of a surge in COVID-19 cases around the country. Many are frustrated by the notion of giving up family get-togethers in an effort to slow the spread of the outbreak. We'd offer, however, that there are many bright sides to a small Thanksgiving celebration at home...

In prior years, avoiding family and the whirlwind of cooking all day sounded like a dream at times. Though most of us have been separated from loved ones so much already this year, having to forgo holiday gatherings feels like an additional stressor when in fact, socially-distanced Thanksgiving festivities presents a ton of opportunities to do something different, be inventive and make lemonade out of lemons. Here are some ideas to get you started: 

 

Couple video chatting on a laptop

Stay connected with distant relatives, but make it an "event" - there's no reason why you can't still say hello to parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles on Thanksgiving, but rather than the typical awkward family conversations that unfurl over hours you can schedule a Zoom call and keep it to an hour or so. While some are planning to do virtual dinner tables when it's time to eat, there's no reason why the family greetings can't happen before or after dinner – a nice break in the day, where you can send them love and then tuck into that turkey afterward! And while we encourage being forthright with one's beliefs, this kind of virtual family time presents an opportunity to stow the heated political conversations that often happen at Thanksgiving; there will be plenty of time for that another day, use this opportunity to mitigate that additional stress.

 

  

Woman holding a cheese platterEat what you want, when you want! - It goes without saying, but there are plenty of people out there who really aren't that into turkey and pumpkin pie. They'll eat it at the big family dinner but it's not something they crave. So when celebrating Thanksgiving at home with just our immediate family and loved ones... who says you need to be traditional with your eats? Enjoy the opportunity to not have to worry about anyone's dietary restrictions or pickiness, and serve the things you want to eat. Have a giant fruit and cheese plate around lunch and then dessert later, if that's your thing! If you do like Thanksgiving flavors, get some quick-to-prepare ingredients and do something fun with it; hey, remember the Moist Maker sandwich from Friends? You could put that together pretty quickly.

 

 

Family watching TV togetherMake it about spending quality time with the family - or "me" time for yourself –  Just because a holiday is spent in a non-traditional fashion doesn't mean there aren't ways to make it fun while being safe and reducing the anxiety of loneliness. If you're celebrating with kids, make them a part of each step: Have them help with preparing the food, then spend time together as a family watching a film that everyone loves. If you live alone, once you've reached out to friends and family via video chat, text, or what have you – use this valuable time that you might not always have at your disposal on you. Take an extra-long bubble bath, or crack open that book that you've been meaning to start for ages. Knitting, puzzles or other hobbies we've talked about as stress-relievers in past blogs... you deserve a bit of "me" time and this unusual holiday season is the perfect opportunity to take it. 

We hope these have given you some inspiration and understanding that there are plenty of ways to mitigate the usual stress of the holidays through making the best of an out-of-the-ordinary circumstance! Everyone at ClearClub hopes you have a safe and happy holiday season. 

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