Has this year been hard on our mental health? Absolutely. Has it been the year we focus on it a bit more? I think so!

I want to start this out by saying I know this year has been extremely hard on everyone; however, I am always a "glass half-full" kind of person and I think this year forced us to deal with a lot of things we otherwise wouldn't have.

When 2020 started, I was beyond excited and said countless times, "this is going to be my year, I can feel it in my bones." Then COVID hit and this really wasn't anyone's year.

I think, though, it's because I wasn't ready for it to be. I got a dream job, finally moved in with my boyfriend and lived closer to my family and friends. I thought that was all the "ticket", that all of that were the only things I needed to finally be truly happy.

Now, as I have had lots of time to sit with myself and reflect, I now know that wasn't true.

This year has tested us all financially, mentally, some of us physically, and probably in many more other ways.

In my case, this was the year I realized I was not financially prepared for a disaster so I took the time to get serious and have myself on a strict budgeting/savings plan. I also realized there were a lot of toxic behaviors on my part that I was simply not addressing. There were red flags waving right in front of my face from people in my life that I was not talking about and resolving.

I won't bore you further with my personal journey this year but I do think that I am not alone in this position.

Again, this is not dismissing just how hard this year has been or trying to push "toxic positivity." 2020 has been a complete dumpster fire but I truly feel it has taught us how to deal with situations where it feels like the world is imploding in on us.

We learned it is okay to sit and feel, make those feelings known, and maybe just curl up and binge-watch TV until you feel better. Many of us became more open to conversations around people's various coping mechanisms.

All in all, this year really showed us what we are made of both in our determinations, our beliefs, our morals, our values but it also really showed us how to look at our faults and let us reflect on how to change them.

Now that we have had time to process it all, the good, the bad and the ugly, we're more ready than ever for what life throws at us.

I know this all will take time to blow over but I think in the years following 2020, my hope is that people will be happier, more accepting of each other, a little more warm and friendly but also more fearless, more creative and more willing to do things just for the sake of being happy!

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