The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives. We hope you can use their post to start a conversation with your adolescent.
‘Tis the season for families to come together and for more love than usual to spread across the world… or, at least that’s what’s supposed to happen. This year looks different. In 2020, we can’t see our friends and family in person, and for those of us whose love language is either quality time or physical touch, it’s very difficult to be able to feel loved.
And there is a lot of sadness and anger in the world right now, too. With more than 250,000 deaths in the U.S. just from the pandemic alone, a lot of families will have empty chairs at the next holiday they get to spend together. There’s also the high probability that families are financially struggling, especially now with the holidays coming and the pressure to give a lot of gifts being so high normally. The United States is completely divided politically and families become victims of that due to opposing points of view driving a wedge between members who voted differently. How is it that 2020 has become the worst year of so many people’s lives?
We read these points, and many other negative ones, and think that there is no possible way for us to be able to function normally again. There’s too much damage done. There’s no way to heal from the hurt, especially when it’s more mental and emotional hurt than physical. Seeing and hearing things like “this too shall pass” or “just think positively” or “be thankful you’re still alive” doesn’t really help, either. So what does?
First, knowing and accepting that EVERYONE is struggling this year, in one way or another. Even Jeff Bezos, one of the richest people on Earth, had to emotionally deal with his divorce that took place in 2019. It’s hard to always hear “we’re all in this together,“ but in reality, it’s true. We are all hurting. Empathy is one of the best glues that can hold human relationships together. If we all take a step back and recognize that we are not alone in our struggles, it becomes a little less lonely.
Second, asking for help has become so much more vital to everyone’s survival this year. With so many job losses, and decreasing overall health of a lot of people, it has become essential to be okay with asking for help. For me, and a lot of other people, I started therapy. I recognized that I cannot hold all of the weight I put on myself emotionally or mentally, so I need help carrying it. Asking for help, whether it be for your health or financially, is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s normal, necessary, and important.
Lastly, having patience with yourself and others, as well as looking towards the future, seems to be a good way that people are coping with the current circumstances. The “this too shall pass” saying has become a cliche because it’s so applicable to what’s going on in the world and everyone’s circumstances. I love the metaphor that there’s always going to be another mountain to climb because it’s true. There’s always going to be an uphill battle for something but when that battle comes to a close, you’re stronger, wiser and better than you were before. You just have to keep going. It will all be worth it in the end.
Have you given any advice to your child about how to cope with this year? Has your child gone to you upset about anything that has happened to them this year? What advice have you given them? What of the advice here do you think would help your child?