How I’m Getting Out of My 2020 Funk
If 2020 hasn’t been a challenging year for you, that’s great news. But for me, like many others, this year has been a lesson in overcoming adversity, whether it’s due to sheltering in place from COVID-19, losing a job, or facing a mental health crisis. It feels like the weight of the world finally caught up with me and put me in a funk, sapping my motivation and making me apathetic to my future.
But lately, I feel like I’ve been on the mend, thanks to encouragement from my family and friends. By forcing myself into a routine, rethinking my goals and aspirations, and reminding myself why I’m here in the first place, I’ve felt more in charge of my life.
Establishing a consistent routine is the best thing we can do when the world around us is uncertain. We can’t predict what might happen tomorrow, but at least we know when we’ll wake up and eat breakfast, and what kind of work we’ll accomplish.
The moment I know I’m done for the day is when I wake up and begin scrolling through Twitter. When I don’t accomplish something immediately in the morning, such as taking a shower, it’s hard for me to get anything else done during the day. Taking a shower seems like nothing, but it’s step one in the process that gets me to my desk and working.
Once that morning habit is nailed down, you set yourself up for success every day. Think of it like Pavlov’s dog: Completing your routine leads to more productivity. Like the dog who starts salivating before his food is in the bowl, you’ll get in a motivated mindset once you complete whatever routine you have. Establishing a routine adds consistency to our lives and helped me get out of my 2020 funk.
The other day, I was confessing to my friend that I didn’t feel like doing anything anymore. It wasn’t that long ago that I was in college, taking four classes, working at the school news outlet, and participating in social events. Even thinking about my college antics stressed me out. I wondered what had changed in that year and a half, but in hindsight, it was pretty obvious: I lost sight of my aspirations.
I was like the plastic bag Katy Perry sings about in “Firework:” “Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again.” I didn’t know where I was going, but then I thought about why I pursued journalism in the beginning. It wasn’t just for myself — I wanted to help people through my writing and reporting and show the world what someone with a disability is capable of. Doing nothing was like snubbing the life I wanted for myself.
The thought rekindled the same motivation I had for all of these years. I’m not working for a good grade or the praise of others anymore. I’m working toward a goal that is bigger than myself, an A, and even a job. That’s what I’ll remember when I don’t feel like doing anything. It’s a purpose that will throw me a rope to climb up when I find myself in a hole dug by the world around me.
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