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As this year comes to a close, I’ve been trying to plan how to go into 2021 with a better, healthier mindset. My mental health has been a bit of a rollercoaster this year, and I’m sure almost everyone can relate to that. With this being said, I think that entering into the new year with a positive state of mind is essential. I’ve been pondering a lot over the different lessons I’ve learned throughout the year and the various coping mechanisms, mantras, and therapeutic tools that I’ve garnered that should be at the forefront of my thoughts. I was trying to figure out what I wanted my attitude to be like in the coming weeks when I came across a new TikTok trend where people discuss the best things that their therapists have ever told them (thanks TikTok, you always have my back). This was the perfect chance for me to see what other people have learned from therapy and to consider what kind of outlook I wanted to have now that 2020 is coming to a close.

[bf_image id="nt3z7bnmkh5bzq7c7hpfkc"] After watching people give a few great examples of what the best thing they’ve been told by a therapist is (one of my favorites was about living a goal-based life versus a value-based life), I started critically analyzing my own experiences with my therapist. I thought a lot about what I’ve learned during therapy and I found that there was one concept my therapist talked about that really stuck with me.

My therapist told me that most people view the metaphorical glass as being half-full or half-empty. In other words, people view life with an optimistic point of view (half-full) or they become pessimistic toward the future (half-empty). While this is normal and everyone tends to hold views that are a mixture of both, she reminded me that people fail to consider something very important: whether the glass is half-full or half-empty is irrelevant because, in the end, the glass is refillable.

[bf_image id="qfy6gq-ftzrf4-3ruk1b"] It’s so easy to tell ourselves to stay positive and to see the glass as half-full, but actually following through with that sentiment can be hard. In an era of unpredictability, falling into a negative state of mind feels simpler and easier. I honestly think it’s completely okay to feel these types of emotions because they’re valid, but it’s also important to cope with them and to understand that they won’t last forever. The glass is refillable and it took me a long time to recognize and accept that. There will be some days where I might not be able to be the brightest optimist ever, but I have found that remaining hopeful and reminding myself that things will get better is one of the best kinds of self-care.

So maybe the glass looks half-empty or maybe there’s not even a drop of water left in the glass. And maybe it will feel that way for a while. But knowing that the glass is refillable is one of the most important mindsets to have. It might sound corny, however, it’s helped me so much. There’s a feisty, resilient glimmer of hope that settles itself into your mind when you accept the fact that no matter what the future holds, there will be better days ahead. Sometimes negative thoughts will overwhelm me and I have to remind myself of this over and over again, but remembering that the bad times won’t last forever allows me to hold onto hope. (I highly recommend listening to “Last Hope” by Paramore, it really conveys the overall message that I’m trying to get across here.)

So, as we leave 2020 behind, it’s okay if you don’t feel the greatest because you’re still doing the best that you can. Take a deep breath. Relax. Stay hydrated. Take care of yourself. Give yourself a break. Remember that it’s okay to have some days where you’re optimistic and some days where you can’t help but be a pessimist because no matter how you view your glass, it can and will be refilled.

Courtney Wells

UC Riverside '22

Courtney is an undergrad at UC Riverside with a major in Sociology and a minor in Feminist Studies. She is passionate about social justice, intersectional feminism, and political activism. She is a lover of reading, iced tea, dad jokes, scary movies, cheese fries, and Taylor Swift. She can usually be found rewatching Pride and Prejudice (2005) with her cats.
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