“2020 has actually been the best year of your life. You’ve faced challenge after challenge. You’ve adapted and overcome. 2020 has forced you to grow exponentially. Don’t take that for granted?”

Can you believe that this is now the quote/meme that is circling around on social media everywhere. Who really has the balls to write this crap…… Sorry to be so blunt. 2020 has not been that best year of everyone’s lives. I know everyone is sick of talking about the pandemic, but another thing that I am so sick of is toxic positivity that is constantly being thrust down our throats. The quote above is a prime example of toxic positivity. We can all agree that this year has caused many people and businesses to adjust, but that doesn’t mean that we need to be thankful for the stress, anxiety, and the physical, mental or financial distress that year has brought.

Everyone experiences toxic positivity at some point. There is a huge difference between being uplifting and being toxic. For those of you who don’t know what the definition of toxic positivity is, it is defined by the Psychology Group as the excessive and ineffective overgeneralization of a happy, optimistic state across all situations. The process of toxic positivity results in the denial, minimization, and invalidation of the authentic human emotional experience.

I wish we could normalize that negative/uncomfortable emotions are OKAY! WE ARE ALL HUMANS! WE HAVE REAL AND RAW EMOTIONS! It is okay, EVEN healthy to feel all ranges of our emotions. If this pandemic has made you feel like you are a tidal wave of emotions IT’S OKAY!  YOU ARE NOT ALONE! You do not need to feel guilty, ashamed, or even question if you should be more positive during this time. You do what you need for you!

If you are looking for a place to help you feel more genuine positivity, I would highly recommend Aerial Dance WI. Even though I had to step away from the studio, I was never on my own. My aerial sisters were there in chat groups, virtual get togethers, and plain old phone conversations. The friendships created at Aerial Dance are built on a foundation of trust, understanding, a listening ear (not intending to fix you, but will be there for you). Remember ladies, it is okay to not be okay!