The Importance of Mental Health During 2020
2020 has been one of the most unforgettable, unprecedented, uncertain, hectic, disastrous and exhausting years I think any individual has ever experienced. From Kobe and Gianna Bryant's death, to the impeachment investigation, to the outbreak of Coronavirus, to George Floyd’s death, to the wildfires in the west coast, to the notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, to the impending election, 2020 has been a year no one will ever forget. Who knows what still awaits us in these last three months?
As a society, and as a nation, I strongly believe we need to unite together, remain optimistic and hope for better times. However, with the disaster that this year has been, it is understable for us to find ourselves feeling sad, overwhelmed, uncertain, lonely, drained, or distraught. Hence, with the challenging year we’ve all been experiencing, we must prioritize our mental health and find ways to keep ourselves active and busy during this time.
During the quarantine, I think many Americans found a love for physical activity, staying indoors, video chatting with friends, going out for drives, cooking, reading or doing other simple tasks that brought them joy. Though, finding things that brought us joy was not the easiest during the beginning of the quarantine period. Many of us struggled to find tasks that we would enjoy or distract us from the reality of 2020. Therefore, we were left feeling stuck and unsure of what to do. I mean, what does one do when in the middle of a quarantine that was issued due to a global pandemic? Although we have been through a lot these past months, I believe it is especially important for us to communicate with our friends and family, express how we feel, and try to help others get through this difficult time.
As we continue to go through 2020, I think we need to do whatever we can to escape the reality of today’s world and find an outlet - an outlet that will distract our minds and occupy our time. For the sake of our mental health, we must check in on ourselves, our neighbors, our friends and our family. We must find simple things to do that will bring us joy. Read, write, go on a walk, become active, paint, draw, cook, bake, video chat with friends, listen to music, or watch Netflix. Do anything that will occupy your time or make you feel happier is definitely worth doing as the year concludes.
As COVID-19 has spread throughout the country, we have been bombarded and overwhelmed with constant news updates regarding the virus, the election, the new Supreme Court Justice, and more. Though, while I have been keeping up with the media, I haven’t seen enough major news outlets express the importance of mental health during these challenging times. From losing jobs, to contracting the virus, to grieving the deaths of thousands, to experiencing mass unemployment and mass division, our country has endured a lot throughout this year. Thus, I ask, why haven’t all of our news outlets expressed the importance of mental health? Why haven’t our news outlets emphasized the importance of maintaining our mental wellness? In spite of this, we must try our best to focus on better times, being more positive, and the new year to come.
Although we may believe we have seen the worst of 2020, we still do not know what these last three months will bring. However, being more positive, thankful and optimistic will help us get through the remainder of 2020. As we continue to face the challenges and obstacles of today’s world, we must prioritize our mental and physical health, our well being, and time to relax and unwind. May we find time to escape our reality, safely spend time with friends and family, and look forward to a (hopefully) much better year.