Thanksgiving Day is this coming Thursday signaling the start of the holiday season. Some people have already begun the celebration, decorating, watching holiday movies, and ordering their peppermint mochas. Yet, for some people the holidays are very different. The holidays may serve as a sad reminder of empty chairs at the table, or even a feeling of being overwhelmed by all the seasonal rush and busy-ness.
Stress and its’ cousin, mental health, is a real concern, at home and in the workplace, especially during the holidays. And with all the holiday celebrations, those who are struggling with substance abuse or who reach for alcohol and/or other substances as a coping mechanism may be fearful of losing control. What can we do to have a less stressful, happier season?
The Harvard University Health Department has a suggestion, found in this article from 2021. They state that “one aspect of the Thanksgiving season can actually lift the spirits, and it’s built right into the holiday — being grateful…. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
With that in mind, we are offering a few things to be thankful for.
1. COVID-19 is finally starting to ease up. The virus that became a global pandemic is still with us, but the effects are finally showing signs of improvement. According to the World Health Organization there has been a nearly 90% drop in recent COVID-19 deaths globally compared to nine months ago. That is excellent news! To learn more, follow this link to the full article.
2. Those who are suicidal, at a difficult point in their mental health, or need help with substance abuse now have an easier way to call for help, by calling, texting, or online chatting with a local professional by using the numbers 988. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMSHA.gov), those who call or text 988, or use the chat feature on the 988 webpage will be routed to a local crisis center within the lifeline network, based on the caller’s area code. The service is free and confidential and is available 24 hours a day, 7days a week. To find out more about this service, click here.
For those of you who want to learn more about the power of gratitude, we recommend this article on research into the relationship between gratitude and happiness on Positive Psychology.
In the words of American author, Melody Beattle, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, and confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”
From all of us at SCM, we are most thankful for you, our friends and fellow safety professionals.