To put it bluntly, 2020 has been one of the most unconventional and exhausting years in recent memory for many of us. Of course, with such frustration and stress comes pent-up emotional reactivity, negative mindsets, and the subsequent complications in everyday life that accompany these responses. While it would make little sense to shrug off the hard times and pretend that they never happened, what is best for us collectively is to revisit what it is to feel positive and optimistic. 

Why Wait? Today is Yours

Pessimism is a toxin. It can poison the mind and is as addictive of a tendency as any number of substances out there. Therefore, in order to recover and collect ourselves, we effectively need to retrain our minds to even see that the grass is greener on the other side. In fact, it’s not even on the other side – you can make a difference in your life every single day – it is all down to the approach and commitment on your part, and whether your mental health is in a good enough place to maintain that optimism. 

Do Not Deny the Past – Embrace It!

Whether you encountered economic difficulties, relationship troubles or unforeseen health complications, the only way to healthily move forward is to accept the circumstances. However, this is not to be confused with complacency – there is no such thing as “stuck” when you are in charge of your own decisions as a grown adult. A wholesome and rewarding life is not without its difficult times and challenges and, should 2020 have presented them to you on a tarnished silver platter, the key to recovering is to do your best with the circumstances protected. 

For example, if you are tired of being indoors at home, consider taking up a new hobby or deepening your relationship with household members. Perhaps someone is looking to talk, be heard, consoled or otherwise; the power of human interaction is at its greatest in challenging times, so embracing the gift of connectivity can act as a gateway to newfound optimism. Finding the little joys in every day – even a small gesture of kindness can linger and improve one’s mood – is another way to accept the past and move forward.  

We have seen positive changes in many local business owners as well, as unconventional times often encourage fresh new approaches that can help them better appeal to the population. This is not to say that every business has had it easy – far from it – but change can often be a good thing if handled with a positive mindset. Use the lessons and valuable insights of the past to inform your direction for the future, then make the most of the journey along the way.

Finding Oneself Amidst the Noise

It may be more difficult than ever to shut off the news and focus on what makes you happy, but doing so can do wonders for the mind and your emotional state. Disconnecting from as many screens as possible and focusing internally can help reacquaint oneself with their passions, interests, genuine needs, and more. Shutting off the noise of the world, which has been noisier than ever, is crucial at this time, as uncertainty is the last thing anyone needs at the moment. If anything, the circumstances presented to you specifically may pave the way for healthier, more beneficial opportunities in the days and weeks to come – so long as you enable yourself to be open to them when they present themselves. 

Finding Ways to Make Your Mark

Giving back and paying it forward are the best ways to feel good about yourself, but the key is to do so without a bias. This is why connecting with those facing hard times is important – a mutual understanding can introduce a sense of humbleness that may be refreshing for yourself and others around you. Whether volunteering in a safe, considerate manner to assist in person or making donations to causes that are important to you, there are plenty of methods available for contributing towards a positive outlook; even if the results do not affect you directly, knowing that you have made a difference usually encourages positive emotional reactions. The more instances where this occurs, the more you may be able to slowly develop a more optimistic and peaceful state of mind. 

A period of time is never permanent, hence the term. Everyone has faced the chaos of 2020 in their own way, experienced their own unique struggles, but what matters most is how we move forward and prepare for a new year of possibilities. These times will shift into more positive ones before long but, for now, the best thing you can do for yourself is trust that there is nothing wrong with feeling good, especially if you can make a positive difference in your household or community.