This year was tough, and it seems like everybody can tell you a different, personal reason why.
The Root’s Editor-in-Chief Danielle Belton struggled with loneliness as social distancing measures increased. LA-based entertainment staff writer Tonja Renée Stidhum was unable to see her mom who lives in Chicago at all this year. And senior reporter Terrell Jermaine Starr lost friends and family members due to COVID-19.
“If I had to describe 2020 in one word, it would stressful. Stressful AF,” said Belton. Yet even in the midst of a global pandemic, the team managed to prioritize their mental health and keep on pushing.
Danielle did exactly that by sleeping a lot.
“They’re like ‘stay woke,’ but I was like, ‘stay sleep’ in 2020,” said Belton.
“I do my 10-minute meditations and I start my day,” said Stidhum, who uses the Insight Timer app to center herself and focus on the current moment. Starr, on the other hand, finds yoga, running, and exercising to be what he needs to remain positive. He even hopes to go to the point where he can run a mile in less than five minutes.
Terrell offers this advice to others in quarantine dealing with overwhelming emotions.
“Find something that physically or mentally helps your body,” said Starr.
According to the CDC, people of color—among other groups like young adults, “essential workers, and unpaid adult caregivers”—had their mental health disproportionately negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the video above, members of The Root’s staff share what kept them motivated during this particularly difficult year, what they want to leave behind in 2020, and what message they want to send to those watching as this long and arduous year comes to an end.