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2020: The universally hated year, and rightfully so. Between all the stresses last year brought, it’s hard to look back with fondness. Nevertheless, there are ways to move forward from one of the biggest dumpster-fires humanity has ever seen. In an effort to forgive 2020 and retain some hope for the new year, I’ve compiled a list of things 2020 taught me that you might also find useful. 

1. Stay Informed 

This has always been important. Now, however, staying informed is crucial. 2020 showed the world that anything (literally, anything) can happen. While no one can say what will happen in the future, staying up to date on information is a critical step in preparing for what could happen. Whether you watch the news, read the paper or peruse online articles, keep yourself up to date with what is happening around the world. In an age of misinformation, knowing what is and is not fact makes a huge difference in how you interpret the world. Stay informed!

2. Maintain Connections

As difficult as it is during a time when seeing friends or loved ones can feel impossible, there are ways to combat the loneliness you might experience. Reach out. It’s really that simple. If nothing else, 2020 can be positively viewed as a bonding experience between people all over. Call, text, Zoom, or Facetime—there are options for keeping in touch. Catching up with others can help both of you and they feel more normal in the midst of chaos. More than ever, it is important to keep the ones you care about close (figuratively, of course). 

3. Self-Care is a Necessity

[bf_image id="qwhf4w3znj9fhn67zgvxvw"] Yes, maintaining connections is important. That doesn’t mean, however, that you shouldn’t take time for yourself as well. Setting aside just a small amount of time every day to do something for yourself can make such a big impact on how you feel and interact with others. Self-care can look like almost anything: taking a nap, reading a book, cooking or painting—the list goes on. I personally enjoy doing my makeup as a form of self-care, even if no one will see it. Anything that interests you is worth making time, especially when the world seems to be falling apart. 

4. Be Thankful

Easier said than done, but good advice, nonetheless. When so many things feel out of your control, taking a step back and recognizing what you are thankful for in life can help ground you. This has been an enormous help to me over the years and especially was in 2020. If I’m overwhelmed or anxious, taking a few deep breaths and calling to mind the things that I’m grateful for brings some much-needed inner peace. Try it—it works!

5. Wash Your Hands

Ok, I definitely learned this one way before 2020, but there’s nothing wrong with a reminder. Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands! Seriously. 

I hope this list inspires you to try and take some good from the bad as well. Stay safe and here’s to 2021! 

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Mollie Cavanaugh is a second year student at FSU majoring in English Literature and minoring in Classical Civilizations. Her passions include writing, cooking, and painting. In her free time, Mollie enjoys spending time with her dog Winnie and exploring Tallahassee with friends.
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