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Optimism in 2021: Professor of Psychology at Texas A&M University - Central TX shares thoughts

Sunset over Killeen
Posted at 5:19 PM, Jan 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-01 18:19:59-05

KILLEEN, TX — Although the New Year is finally here, with a year like 2020 being so traumatic for so many people, it can be difficult to just forget about it and forward.

Many people are still just picking up the pieces following 2020.

Between record high claims for unemployment, businesses closing their doors, and millions of Americans being furloughed or fired due to Coronavirus restrictions. One Killeen woman says despite the past, she’s hopeful for what the future holds.

“2021, I'm looking forward to it, I'm not going to lie. I'm walking into it positive, but I'm tip toeing because you just never know what’s going to happen! 2020 was rough for me personally,” said Shekeya McCallister.

No one is more excited than McCallister to say goodbye to 2020. While the year may be new, she's hopeful.

“Still haven’t been back to work, I’m still not getting unemployment, I’m not doing anything, so I’m looking forward to stepping back into the workforce, and doing what I love.” McCallister added.

”The first step, I think, will be to just kind of pause, and reflect, on how tough this past year was, if you’re still here, recognize that’s a victory, you made it, you survived,” said Dr. Sam Falia.

Dr. Fiala, Professor of Psychology at A&M Central TX shares it's okay to feel negative emotions when you reflect on 2020, but it's important not to let that hinder your progress.

“Hoping for the best, but excepting that, when you have those bad feelings, it’s OK to have them. Experience them fully, and then, that allows us to move on and feel something different whenever our circumstances do change.” Dr. Falia said,

When it comes to those New Year's resolutions, Dr. Fiala said, “If you find after the first week of January, that you’re not doing those things, it doesn’t mean I can’t do it. It just means, oh I haven’t done it yet, but I’m going to keep trying.” he shared.

Dr. Falia says having a positive perception, and affirmative self-talk, could turn your year around.

McCallister says, things could always be worse.

“Even though I know personally, I don’t have a job, and no, I’m not working, I can see that I’m thankful that I do have a business, and I’m thankful I still have a roof over my head, I’m thankful for getting up every morning because some people are not able to do that,” McCallister shared.