The story is all around us that 2020 was a disaster. It started in the early days of the pandemic, saying it was ahorrificyear, maybe it was theworst year ever, worst in adecade,we need toleave it behind. Even social media sites are advertisingT-shirtsthat say 2020 is the worst year. And lets not forget the Times Square annualgood riddance day2020.
In fact, it has been horrendous unprecedented and unimaginable. Unimaginable losses from COVID-19. This week, the U.S. hit record highs for coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths. Over the last nine months weve heard heartbreaking stories of nurses quarantining from their own families, living in fear of being sick or shedding the virus to elderly family members. And the heartbreak is present tense. ICUs are bursting with ill patients while doctors and nurses are becoming increasingly depressed from observing multiple deaths each week.
2020 also saw upheaval and interruption in educating our children, replete with ongoing tension between risking COVID-19 contagion while in school or risking mental health issues and unbearable lack of social involvement with virtual learning. And, in the indomitable way that reality is more unbelievable than fiction, while millions were dying in beds, thousands of families were losing their homesand many, their lives to wildfires or hurricanes linked to the escalating global impact of climate change that ravaged states.Coinciding with the pandemic, the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, followed by tense nationwide protests, awakened a longstanding need to support racial justice and dismantle structural racism. Andeconomic disparities have grown wider this year. In this last week of 2020, the stock market has reached record highs while millions of Americans were anxiously waiting for the Senate to pass a bill authorizing stimulus checks.
We are all frayed, exhausted and still numb from the multiple pandemics of 2020.
Could there somehow be a silver lining to all this? Even for some of the most distraught there can be a positive frame amidst the horror and sadness of the past year. And we need to give ourselves permission to have a counternarrative.
Why? Becausenarratives arepowerful. For example, our mindset about stress can influence health outcomes, from weight loss to insomnia. In onestudy, participants at a finance company were randomly assigned to watch two different three-minute videos about stress. Half of the participants watched a video that reinforced the negative aspects of stress; the others watched a similar video, but the messaging reinforced the positive side. After four weeks, the employees were surveyed: the stress is bad group experienced more negative health symptoms than those in the stress is good group.
To be sure, our mindsets do not preclude history books from saying 2020 was one of the most terribleyears in world history. For most of us, it wasnt the year we would have chosen the losses and inequities that resulted from COVID-19 are tragic. But maybe looking back theres an additional way we can look at this year.
Because even in the worst of times wonderful things can happen, or even formative things, things you can find meaning in, things that become part of your story. We know from research about people who have experienced a traumatic event that the story we tell ourselves about that event can have a significant impact on how we heal. A positive narrative strengthensresilience, a negative framing may keep you stuck. As we tell our personal stories of 2020 we are writing our history. Maybe our story doesnt have to be as "dark" as the "good riddance" articles say.
There is strength born of trauma and amazing generosity shining even more brightly against the dark backdrop of pain. The audible memory of applauding the hospital workers at the 7 p.m. changing of shifts people hanging out of their windows, clanging pots in awe and recognition of the extreme bravery of facing disease in the service of healing, every day. We applaud the everyday acts of people showing up for work behind the grocery store counter, driving the trucks that brought PPE to hospitals, grassroots organizations creating brave spaces for conversation, food services that sprung up to feed the homeless and the elderly who couldnt get around. The choruses who brought music through Zoom to lift our spirits when we could barely muster the energy to turn on the computer. And the miraculous vaccines that are here now harbingers of a healthier and brighter tomorrow.
And, the grace of the small moments in our personal lives too.
Once the pandemic is over and we are all out of houses, many of us will miss making a cup of coffee in our kitchen and "going to work" at the same table. Well miss the time we stole back from hours of commuting, whether that means extra sleep or the opportunity to be face-to-face on Zoom with old friends, or reading to our children at bedtime. We wouldnt want to delete that part.
As challenging as forced family time was, we were able to enjoy breakfasts and dinners we dont usually have together. The opportunity to "meet" for lunch in the kitchen, or to work with our children on their schoolwork. The opportunity to rummage through an old closet or do an art project with our children, or a pick-up game of chess inspired by hours of watching "The Queens Gambit."
Many of us appreciate the pause this time gave us. So our story of 2020 can also include gratitude for what we do have, for the opportunity the year gave us for a different perspective and time to reevaluate our work-life balance, our attitudes and actions.
One of the benefits of developing this positive frame is that it acknowledges we cant delete our history but we can make it a complete history. Telling only part of the story of 2020 is like throwing out a part of ourselves. It forgoes the opportunity to learn from what we went through.It helps us internalize and learn something from the "silver lining" of 2020 things like the upside of more frequent communication with colleagues despite fewer in-person meetings;the bonding that comes from shared vulnerabilities that previously were secrets among communities of peers; the relief of letting go of expectations; the warm glow of reaching out to let people know we care about them; the strength that comes with staying positive in the face of ongoing adversity.
None of this is to minimize the tragic losses and challenges that came with 2020. But its become so popular to be so negative about this past year that we deny ourselves the opportunity to feel gratitude for what we do have. Instead, we can give ourselves the permission to embrace the counternarrative and give ourselves the permission to feel grateful for the people on the front lines, permission to feel grateful for all people who support our lives; give ourselves permission to feel close to our loved ones, permission to miss all those endless hours of any Netflix series that kept us sane, permission to feel compassion for ourselves and others when we are less than our best selves.
Maybe 2020 happened at least in part to ensure we remember how wonderful playdates are for our children, the fulfillment that comes from quality in-person time with our best friend, and the joy of hugging our relatives over the holidays. And moving forward we might just find that some of the hardest things about this year will make us more deeply appreciative of everything that is yet to come in the new year.
Robin Stern, Ph.D., is a psychoanalyst in private practice, co-founder and associate director of theYale Center for Emotional IntelligenceatYale University and author of "The Gaslight Effect."
Marc Brackett, Ph.D., is the founding director of theYale Center for Emotional Intelligence, a professor in the Child Study Center at Yale University and author of "Permission to Feel."
See the article here:
- How to get the most from ChessBase 16 - Chessbase News - January 20th, 2021
- What are the key factors and impact of interventions in Englands COVID-19 epidemic? - News-Medical.Net - January 20th, 2021
- Richmond Hill basketball coaches piece together scouting reports on opponents - Savannah Morning News - January 20th, 2021
- What The Biden Presidency Means For Privacy, Consumer Protection And Antitrust - AdExchanger - January 20th, 2021
- An intro to the fast-paced world of artificial intelligence - MIT News - January 20th, 2021
- Counter-UAS System Market Size, Growth Factor,Analysis And Forecast By 2027| Lockheed Martin, Thales, Boeing - NeighborWebSJ - January 20th, 2021
- Anglo Singapore International School are delighted to welcome you for a school visit. - Bangkok Post - January 20th, 2021
- A Guide to Optimizing Your Mental Health in 2021 - Dan's Papers - January 20th, 2021
- Chess Global Market : Industry Analysis and Forecast (2019-2026) by Type, Application, and Region - The Courier - January 15th, 2021
- ONTARIO: How one womans online chess school is getting young girls worldwide excited about the game - TimminsToday - January 15th, 2021
- LaFleur Won't Be Able to Fool McVay on Saturday - Zone Coverage - January 15th, 2021
- Lewis Carroll Death Anniversary: Here are Some of the Author's Greatest Works - News18 - January 15th, 2021
- Reflecting on 'The Queen's Gambit': Are women genetically hardwired to underperform men in chess? - Genetic Literacy Project - January 13th, 2021
- Chess Market: Global Strategies and Insight driven transformation 2020 2026 - SoccerNurds - January 13th, 2021
- Why Its Not Too Late to Learn New Skills - The New Yorker - January 13th, 2021
- Global Counter UAV Market 2020 Trends, Demand and Scope with Outlook, Business Strategies and Forecast 2025 - SoccerNurds - January 13th, 2021
- The Seedy Chess World of Queens Gambit Is the Shows Masterstroke - Observer - January 9th, 2021
- Chess Market Study by Global and Regional Analysis with Forecast | The House of Staunton, ChessSUA, CNCHESS - NeighborWebSJ - January 9th, 2021
- How this Ontario woman's online chess school is getting young girls worldwide excited about the game - Toronto Star - January 9th, 2021
- Americans are living 30 years longer on average and that's a big plus for businesses - Palo Alto Online - January 9th, 2021
- From Text to Tablet: How to Learn in Lockdown - Global Citizen - January 9th, 2021
- Overcoming lockdowns and uncertainty to triumph at the end of a tough year - Neos Kosmos - January 9th, 2021
- Science-backed strategies to deal with stress and anxiety - World Economic Forum - January 9th, 2021
- 'The Queen's Gambit' Is About More Than Just Chess - Study Breaks - January 6th, 2021
- Barnegat's Kasey Keshecki is our Student of the Week - wobm.com - January 6th, 2021
- Film Study: The Ohio State Offense Was Prepared to Peak in the College Football Playoff | Eleven Warriors - Eleven Warriors - January 6th, 2021
- Chess Market Statistical Overview 2021-2026 with Industry Insights and Growth by ChessSUA, CNCHESS, ChessBaron, Chessncrafts, Chessbazaar.com, and... - January 6th, 2021
- Global Used Construction Machinery Market Precise Scenario Covering Trends, Competitive Scenario, Business Opportunities and Growth Forecast during... - January 6th, 2021
- 2021 Could Be a Banner Year for AIIf We Solve These 4 Problems - Singularity Hub - January 6th, 2021
- Anti-UAV Defense System Market Analysis, Opportunities, Competition Scenario, Threats, Future Prospects, Trends, Applications, And Growth Forecast To... - January 6th, 2021
- Global Chess Market to 2026 Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis, and Forecast - Factory Gate - January 4th, 2021
- From the shadows into the light the man who broke the UFO embargo grew up in Sarasota - Sarasota Herald-Tribune - January 4th, 2021
- Six ways to reboot your brain after a hard year of Covid-19 according to science - iNews - January 4th, 2021
- Neuroscientists explain six ways to reboot your brain after a hard year of COVID-19 - PsyPost - January 4th, 2021
- Nithiin starrer Check first glimpse will leave you intrigued about his character | WATCH - Republic World - January 4th, 2021
- Good News Stories That Actually Made Us Smile in 2020 - Newsweek - January 4th, 2021
- Irelands modern druids: There is hidden knowledge you are asked not to share - The Irish Times - January 4th, 2021
- Keep Calm and QAnon - Slate - December 31st, 2020
- Beginners by Tom Vanderbilt review it's never too late to learn - The Guardian - December 31st, 2020
- Literature alights that was once burned books | Dec. 30 - Jan. 5, 2020 - Real Change News - December 31st, 2020
- Google DeepMind unveils AI that can master chess without even knowing the rules - The Independent - December 29th, 2020
- Coronavirus: Latest updates on COVID-19 crisis around the world - Outlook India - December 29th, 2020
- Chess Market 2020 Future Growth Analysis With Focusing Key Players | The House of Staunton, ChessSUA, CNCHESS, ChessBaron - Factory Gate - December 29th, 2020
- Counter-UAV (C-UAV) Systems Market Research Report (2020-2026): Key Trends and Opportunities |Lockheed Martin, Thales, Boeing - Factory Gate - December 29th, 2020
- Kwanzaa in Louisville on heels of social justice movement - Alton Telegraph - December 29th, 2020
- The New China Challenge Stems from Beijings Old Ambitions - The National Interest - December 29th, 2020
- International Chess Market Opportunities And Forecast Analysis up to 2026 | The House of Staunton, ChessSUA, CNCHESS - The Monitor - December 29th, 2020
- WHO: Learn from COVID Pandemic, It Wont be the Last - Voice of America - December 27th, 2020
- How 'The Flight Attendant' and 'The Queen's Gambit' Are the Same - GQ - December 27th, 2020
- Online shopping is here to stay in 2021: Refinitiv - Yahoo Money - December 27th, 2020
- Many Jews refrain from learning Torah on Christmas Eve and call it Nittel Nacht. Here's my family tradition to spread light. - JTA News - Jewish... - December 26th, 2020
- Global Chess Market Demand, Revenue, Trends, Profit Analysis and Landscape Outlook to 2026|| The House of Staunton, ChessSUA, CNCHESS, ChessBaron -... - December 26th, 2020
- The kings gambit: Viswanathan Anand enters a different phase of his career - Sportstar - December 26th, 2020
- 19 Calm Coffee Places In Beirut Where You Can Focus While Working - The961 - December 26th, 2020
- DeepMinds Latest AI Can Win Games Without Knowing the Rules - Beebom - December 26th, 2020
- Chess Table Market Size By Type, By Application, By Geography, By Top Companies And Forecast To 2027 - LionLowdown - December 26th, 2020
- Impact Of Covid 19 On Counter UAV Industry 2020 Market Challenges, Business Overview And Forecast Research Study 2026 - Factory Gate - December 23rd, 2020
- Bellamy Richardson The Williams Record - The Williams record - December 23rd, 2020
- Between the sacred and the secular - New Statesman - December 23rd, 2020
- In a winter of change, Eagles are learning that Jalen Hurts is no snowflake - NJ.com - December 22nd, 2020
- PhD grad uses math to explore the brain - ASU Now - December 22nd, 2020
- OPINION: Sometimes it's good to have a team - Arkansas Online - December 22nd, 2020
- Business is continuing its cloud migration. Train to become an Azure and AWS tech professional - The Next Web - December 22nd, 2020
- Staying On Top: How Chess Masters Study The Game ... - December 20th, 2020
- Struggling local entertainment venues: Its time for the state to show it CARES - Buffalo News - December 20th, 2020
- The best series and shows on Netflix in 2020 - RNZ - December 20th, 2020
- 21 Ways to Greater Well-Being in 2021 - Newswise - December 20th, 2020
- The Best Video Games of 2020 - The New Yorker - December 18th, 2020
- Memo to Blinken: Protect the brains of State Department employees - Federal News Network - December 18th, 2020
- Chadwick Boseman Gives His Final Performance in 'Ma Raineys Black Bottom', and It's Gut-Wrenching - Glamour - December 18th, 2020
- Chess Course for High Performance: Grandmaster Package - December 17th, 2020
- Reasons to study international studies and diplomacy - Modern Diplomacy - December 17th, 2020
- Global Chess Market Demand and Opportunities 2026|| Break Down by Top Companies, Countries, Applications, Challenges, Opportunities and Forecast -... - December 16th, 2020
- What is a 'Flow State' and How Can MTBers Get Into It More Often? - Singletracks.com - December 16th, 2020
- This is why you make bad decisions on the golf course (and how to fix it) - Golf.com - December 16th, 2020
- Author Sophie Cousens talks about her book, 'This Time Next Year' - Yahoo! Voices - December 16th, 2020
- The board games market by revenue is expected to grow at a CAGR of approx. 13% during the period 20212026 - GlobeNewswire - December 16th, 2020
- The Queen's Gambit: 10 Times Beth Is The Heroine Fans Needed - Screen Rant - December 15th, 2020
- Chelmsford High School October Students of the Month - Wicked Local - December 15th, 2020
- Struggling Museums Are Increasingly Relying on the Generosity of Artists to Convince Private Donors to Bail Them Out - artnet News - December 15th, 2020