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How to Be Thankful in the Midst of a Crappy Year

Let’s face it, this year has collectively sucked. So many of us had our plans come to a halt and our dreams and desires for the new decade have disappeared into thin air. While so many things have not been so great this year, when you really think about it, there still is so much to be thankful for. Every year when November comes around and the Thanksgiving holiday is upon us, I find myself thinking about the many things I am thankful for and grateful for in my life. This year in particular, with so much negativity around, it may be harder than normal to count our blessings and acknowledge all the good that is still happening in our lives. But in times like these, it is more important than ever to set aside some time to reflect on all you have been given and even gained in the last year. 

Sure, we have not been able to have birthday parties with friends or celebrate some of our favorite holidays with family and we have not been able to attend concerts or plan trips that would normally allow us to escape from reality. But that does not mean that the good times have not been there. Yes, the tangible experiences may not have been there, but the memories of special social distance hangouts with loved ones and laughter filled Zoom calls have made up some of the year’s brightest moments. 

Woman sitting at computer drinking coffee
Photo by Bongkarn Thanyakij from Pexels

Personally, I feel as if I have developed more meaningful relationships with people in my life than I normally would in the course of any other year. The time I did get to spend safely at a distance with others was very valuable and left me feeling really appreciative of the people relationships I have in my life. I have gotten to know family and friends on a deeper level as we shared with each other the struggles we were facing through this crazy year. From stressful hunts to the grocery store to find toilet paper, to emotional breakdowns on a weekly basis, this year has been everything but easy yet I still feel as if I have grown so much and really become my own person. 

Anna Shvets via Pexels

Being thankful I believe is key to being sane; you have to appreciate the good in order to make the bad better. To do this, set aside some time in your day to write down a list of things you are thankful/grateful for. Full disclosure, as a child I really did not like it when my mom would suggest I do this, but now I really appreciate this little act. I can almost guarantee that you will feel a little better once you see all that is good in your life written down on a piece of paper in front of you.

It may not feel like it now, but this year will come to an end, the pandemic is temporary, and we will get through it. One day (maybe it’ll be quite some time from now), we will look back at this year and wonder how the hell we got through it. 


Ashley is a senior at the University of California, Davis. She is studying Communication and getting her minor in English with the hopes of one day having a successful career in one of the two fields. Ashley enjoys spending time with her family and exercising in her free time.
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