Building Resilience in Tough Times: Do We Have It in Us to Move Forward?
Back in February, I didn’t realize the timeliness of the article I wrote about resilience and the lessons we learn that help us bounce back from difficult days.
Here we are now, in a crisis bigger than any of us imagined a month ago. The Coronavirus blew into our lives like a tsunami. It set us back on our collective heels, threw us into varying degrees of loss and grief, and robbed too many of us of our health or, worse, of people we love.
Everything changed. This is a lot to bounce back from.
We’ve never been asked to fight this kind of battle. In the coming weeks and the following months, we will continue to manage uncertainty and learn to navigate new waters.
And the truth is, we don’t know what life will look like when this war ends. So, since no one has a crystal ball, what do we know?
We know we have Right Now. We know we can build resilience muscles. And we know that, during this unsettled time, we do that minute by minute, day by day.
When Life Is Uncertain, Take Care of Yourself
Our culture teaches that, when problems arise, we’re supposed to figure out the answers. But when really big events happen, like this pandemic, trying to figure things out is the last thing we need to do, not the first.
Thank goodness there are experts and helpers working tirelessly to provide a solution for us. And there are trusted sources we can go to for information. The rest of us can give ourselves a break as we follow the recommendations and guidelines. Our job right now is to do what comforts us and calms us.
Many of us find solace in a spiritual practice or in adopting that practice to this environment of social distancing. Many of us are reassured by routine, creating simple structure, and performing daily rituals. Practicing gratitude and noticing small things that spark joy are universally comforting.
Whatever you choose to do that quiets the mind and nourishes the rest of you is okay during the first stages of big change. We return to our center of Peace not by making giant leaps but by taking small steps. The time to “figure it all out” will come. We’ll be stronger when it does if we’ve put ourselves first for a while.
Creativity Brings Possibility
Unstructured time can be considered a creative white space. That space is fertile ground for the “makers,” the artists, the teachers. And that includes each of us, whether or not we’ve ever practiced art as a profession.
Your inner creative self might wake up! When she does, she’ll probably bring lightheartedness and playfulness with her.
She may come through in traditional ways like writing or music. But she could appear in the form of a new furniture arrangement for the living room. Or baking a cake from scratch. Maybe she wants the colorful scarf you bought to celebrate Spring to be worn around the house!
Creative pursuits show us what’s possible. When we see what’s possible, we become hopeful about what’s next.
Authentic Connection Carries Us Through
The world feels smaller than ever.
I appreciate what late-night talk show hosts are doing – broadcasting live from home and winging it a little. And I love the musicians who serenade us online from around the world, unplugged and without the glitz. It feels personal and real.
If this current situation teaches us anything, it will be the positive impact of genuine connection. Uncertainty has allowed us to fearlessly reach out. It’s stripped down the pretense and made us brave enough to make that phone call, send that email. Use Zoom!
The more we connect in the coming weeks, the stronger our bonds will become. And, thanks to those bonds, we’ll be ready for what’s to come.
Do we have it in us to get through this? We certainly don’t have a rulebook.
But we do have the resilience we brought with us into this situation. We have the capacity to become stronger. We have each other. And we have Right Now.
I’m hopeful that’s a recipe not only for bouncing back but for moving forward, however that will look.
Do you have it in you to move forward in difficult situations? What do you think it takes to build resilience in tough times? When the world closes in around you, what keeps your mind open and active? Please share with our community!