When people praised the year 2020 with aspirations in excitement of a good time, this isn’t what we expected. The Australian wildfires, Kobe Bryant’s death, volcanic eruptions, talk of the third World War, and Covid-19 definitely put a damper on our excitement. However, it is what we got. For those of us still pushing on, you did it. 

To all the seniors, you persevered through four hard years and you’ll be receiving your cap, gown, and diploma soon. For business owners, you’ve adapted and overcome a new way of selling your product. Teachers, you’ve empathized and connected with your students on a new level. Parents, you’ve figured out how to deal with your kids 24/7. Essential workers, you’ve worked through all of this, which has shown people what others have known all along, that your work is important and you are worth a higher pay grade. Students, you’ve found a new way of continuing your studies and are navigating yourself through a new way of living. For all categories of people, you have survived yet another day of a pandemic. Just because the message coming across to us feels like life is being put to a halt, doesn’t mean you actually have to stop living. 

Take this time to focus on your mental and physical wellbeing. Try a new recipe that looks challenging. Watch a long movie. Finish that show you didn’t have time for before. Read a book. Write your feelings down and burn it. Explore local businesses. Buy a gift card from one of your favorite shops; they could use the help. Send your friends letters. Redecorate your room. Buy a book online from a nearby bookstorebook store. Light a candle. Treat yourself to that item you couldn’t justify spending money on in the past. Eat some cake. Sit outside at least twenty minutes a day (away from others). Leave a note on your mailbox thanking your mailman. Share any extra supplies you have with a neighbor. Start a business online. Plant a garden. Smell some flowers. Drink water, give your body the nutrients it needs. Take a day off to sleep. Allow yourself to spend a day being as unproductive as you want. Then tell yourself that you deserve days just to exist. Don’t stress yourself about what you can’t change. Be kind to others. 

Life is constantly changing around us. As humans, we crave control in our lives. This is one of those times where we are being reminded that we don’t get to control everything. We only get to decide what we’ll make of our situation. When this is all over, there will be great joy that we’ve overcome this stage of life. There will also be great sadness of the loss of those who didn’t make it to see the end of Covid-19. One of the hardest emotions for people to show during this pandemic is empathy. If you need a reason to help contribute to the curve, remember that even if you don’t know anyone suffering right now, doesn’t mean that others don’t value those people. Others can suffer from your decision not to distance. Acts of humanity become invalid when they were born out of acts of cruelty. This is new for everyone. 

Practice understanding. Tell yourself it’s okay to not always be making progress. Take a moment to breathe. Sit with your feelings. You have survived every day that has been thrown at you. You have come too far for this to be as far as you go. You got this.

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