If you are on social media, you have probably already seen memes coming out, proclaiming 2020 to be a cursed year. It seems like just about everyone has mentioned how they are ready for 2020 to be over and to get the chance to start over a new year in 2021. While it is easy to fall into the habit of wishing time away, it is important to make the most of the time and circumstances that we have before us.
Most people have not felt their cheery selves this year. What started out as an uneasy couple of weeks early in the year have lengthened into several months, nearly half a year at this point, of uncertain times. With no end to the pandemic in sight and reports of resurgences in other countries, it can be tempting to fall into the trap of thinking the world is doomed.
However, to maintain our sanity, it is important that we remember to stay positive for both our own sakes and for the people around us. Staying positive doesn’t mean that you aren’t allowed to have moments of sadness or anger at the events the pandemic has caused. Rather, being positive means that more often than not, you are choosing to stay on the side of hope and encouragement.
History has told us that similar health issues, such as the influenza pandemic of 1918, do eventually come to an end, even if it is after an extended period of time. Reminding ourselves that very little of life is “forever” can be a reassuring thought during these times. While it is true that we do not know what lies ahead, history tells us that it is fairly likely that the pandemic will come to an end.
Staying positive in 2020 can help not only your own attitude, but the emotions of your friends and family. Emotions can be “contagious.” When one friend is down, it is easy for those around her to follow suit and become unhappy themselves. As an alternative, when someone close to you expresses feelings of dismay during the year, be understanding but respond from a place of positivity. Remind the person of the fleeting nature of this year, and the fact that we still have half a year left to turn the situation around.
Help one another brainstorm ways to stay active and healthy during this time. Make daily calls with friends and family a habit, and be accountability partners for one another. Include social time in your daily schedule, and don’t push it to the wayside. Talk about your efforts to not bring one another down while also being open and honest about the emotions you are experiencing. Practicing positivity should never mean masking your true feelings, but instead, means acknowledging your negative feelings and choosing to have a positive reaction towards them.
Keep in mind that while you cannot control the events of 2020, you can control what you choose to do when facing them.