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Mental Health

Thoughts and Feelings on 2020

For the past week, I’ve been brainstorming ideas and things to write about. I knew I wanted to write something about my feelings (shocker) this year and the tough one that it’s been. I considered, “Staying Positive in 2020,” but realized I can’t list many things to feel positive about this year. I considered, “Finding Motivation in 2020” because honestly, it’s been difficult. But the thought of writing an article that focused on one emotion didn't sit right with me. 2020 has been nothing short of a rollercoaster that mainly goes down at a roaring speed.

So if you clicked on this article for advice on how to feel about or navigate this year, you’ve come to the right-ish place. I don’t have concrete tips for you to take with you —we are all just trying to get by. My advice for you is to simply feel whatever you’re feeling on any given day this year. 2020 is the strangest, scariest and most turbulent year most of us have lived through. Unfortunately, nobody has the cheat sheet.

When I’m feeling heartbroken and hopeless at the news of police killing black people, COVID-19 cases rising in the U.S., the president separating families at the border  — need I say more? — it is really difficult to stay positive. There are a lot of terrible things happening, and as much as I try to stay optimistic in life, it seems more appropriate to allow myself to feel upset than to try to push past it. As a whole, we are living through collective trauma from the pandemic, and COVID-19 will affect the way we live the rest of our lives. Many of us are trying to figure out how to carry on with life with the new normal of masks and social distancing in place. On top of that, minorities in our country are being treated horribly, but who do we call when the government and the police are the ones causing the pain? I should note that this abuse has obviously been ongoing for centuries — it just has been brought further to the forefront this year. I do my best to stay up-to-date on current events, sign petitions and donate to help those in poor situations and listen when people speak about their oppressions. 

Nobody could have predicted this year to go the way it has. It has been traumatic, confusing, eye-opening and just disappointing. That’s precisely why I advise you all to just get through each day the best you can. You may feel downcast one day and hopeful for the world the next. They are both valid. So the answer to your question, “How should I feel about this year and everything that is happening to and around me?” is exactly how you feel right now.

Haley Sakuma is a senior at University of Missouri-Kansas City studying communications with an emphasis in journalism and interpersonal communication. She is one of the Campus Correspondents for the UMKC chapter of Her Campus, and her favorite articles to write are blog-style with a personal touch of humor.
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