Damn. What a year.
If you told me at the beginning of 2020 that we would be living in a global pandemic, murder hornets would invade the continental United States, and an old, white man would be elected to the Presidency – ok, that last one isn’t all that surprising – I would have looked at you like I look at one of Donald Trump’s tweets: mortified and concerned.
We only have one more month left in 2020. If this year and JSC has taught me anything, it is that I need to have a little more compassion for myself. With everything happening in a virtual space, it can be difficult to build a routine or take a much-needed break. Now more than ever, we need to ensure our emotional, physical, and mental well-being.
Part of this well-being is forgiveness for our own mistakes. I have had to learn to let many things go. During this time, it is much more difficult to be as productive as I once was. Project deadlines, returning emails, and hours of Zoom meetings are not as important as keeping myself safe and well.
Well-being also requires intentional time set aside for self-care. Self-care can take on many forms. One of my housemates, for example, likes to bake and cross-stitch, while another likes to watch sports to relax. Whatever your form of self-care, I have learned that it is best to set aside weekly time for myself.
Finally, personal well-being also requires that you show compassion and gratitude to others. Research illustrates that thankfulness is “strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.” Like self-care, expressing gratitude can come in many forms. One of my favorite ways to express gratitude is to write a thank-you note, but you can also keep a gratitude journal, call someone to thank them, make something for someone, or pray.
The holiday season can be difficult for many people. Even if it is challenging to have compassion for yourself or others during this time of year, it does bring at least one joy – the end of 2020.
 “Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier,” Harvard Health Publishing.