(illustration by Janessa Muniz) Sadness, negativity, frustration, disappointment, confusion, anger, loneliness, and fear. These words have commonly drowned out the happy feelings we humans have experienced this past year. Staying positive and uplifted during the past months of the pandemic has probably been one of the biggest struggles for people all over the world. However, […]
(illustration by Janessa Muniz)
Sadness, negativity, frustration, disappointment, confusion, anger, loneliness, and fear.
These words have commonly drowned out the happy feelings we humans have experienced this past year. Staying positive and uplifted during the past months of the pandemic has probably been one of the biggest struggles for people all over the world. However, keeping a jovial mindset is key to living a fulfilling life.
Even though quarantine has kept families and friends apart, it is important to keep one’s self in tact. CB Religious Studies instructor Ms. Jennifer Lystrup says self-care is essential to a positive life.
“We have to take care of ourselves. It is very easy to go down a rabbit hole of negativity, so easy — I’ve been guilty of that. I think we all have,” she says. “But it is just really important if we’re going to lift up one another and support one another and be present for one another to not fall into that hole and to rather be present for other people.”
“How do we take care of ourselves?” and “why is it important to worry about ourselves?” are two questions I have personally heard from my peers during the certainly strange past year that has bled into 2021.
Everyone has their own ways of establishing a routine, but the first step to creating patterns is finding what makes your individual self the happiest. Charlie Turner (22) likes to keep an active mindset, physically and spiritually.
“I make myself exercise and go outside because it can get really sad in your room when you are in there 24/7,” Charlie says. “I also listen to affirmations in the morning, like a podcast or something, and it makes me feel a lot better about myself and more confident.”
For most, feeling grounded in life is currently more vague than usual. “Normal” life as we know it feels extinct and out of reach, we are all undoubtedly and universally confused. Our lack of knowledge when it comes to the future leaves an unsettling and mind-fogging feeling. An important factor to keeping a positive mindset is establishing what keeps you motivated. Productivity is vital for a happier mood overall and allows for you to be active, even in the comfort of your own room.
“Journaling, especially for students, is so important and — if it’s possible — to make a space with your plants and your crystals and your candles and all those things that keep it yours, keep it that space that keeps you grounded,” Ms. Lystrup advises.
We are all living in this pandemic that is affecting our particularly challenging world and lives, but if you are able to be that one person who keeps a hopeful mentality, it makes a huge difference in everyone’s life — yours included.
“I think it’s good to always stay positive because it makes you as a person feel better, because if you are always negative, it will make everyone else feel negative,” Quinn Pulliam (23) says. “You will always be around negative energy.”
Obviously, nobody wants to be in the position our world is under right now. Nobody asked for this all to happen, but there is also nothing much many can do. As hard as it is to comprehend this, the only thing we can do as a whole is support each other… from a distance of course.
As young adults who daydream — during our unquestionably unique online video classes — about what our high school years could and should have been like, a feeling of gloominess overwhelms our minds. Understandable. We are all equally disappointed (possibly some more than others), but a positive mindset is exceptionally key during this period of all of our lives because we are all in the same boat, with some personal exceptions.
“I don’t want to spend my high school years being down on myself,” Charlie expresses. “We are teenagers and we’re supposed to be having fun right now, and it is sad, but there’s nothing I can do about it. All I can do is bring myself up and the people around me up.”
Being a collectively optimistic person can make life so much easier. When you are a happier person who radiates upbeat energy, your relationships are notably better and easier to manage. It is honestly all about putting energy out into the world that you would like to receive in return.
“I think that everyone is dealing with different things in their lives, some more severely than others.” Ms. Lystrup says. “If we can’t try and stay optimistic, then we aren’t going to be very good at helping people who might need a little bit more help, a little bit more assistance, a little bit more emotional support.”
It is so difficult to be constantly and visibly content — I get it, and I am sure you do too. Being a pleasing human being is completely impossible and totally normal — feeling bleak and sad is okay. During this terribly odd time, nobody is emotionally able to emit positive energy 24/7. Nobody is asking this of anyone either.
Making yourself happiest should be your top priority. Keeping a happy mindset even in your darkest days is necessary, whether you believe it or not. When you are feeling like your genuine and happiest self, I encourage you to help someone else feel the same.
Happiness, strength, confidence, joy, motivation, laughter, love, light, goodness, and support are all words we should try to surround ourselves with rather than other, negative expressions. You can be the reason someone has a great day, week, or month — it all starts with you.