Everywhere you look online, the Coronavirus (or COVID-19) pandemic is mentioned. It has been in every headline, every news outlet, on Facebook feeds, even in every email in my junk inbox. As an online therapist and life coach, my clients have been asking, “How do I adjust to this current situation?” Today I want to provide you with the same advice I share with my clients on resiliency in the face of chaos. Don’t forget, we are here to offer you the help and support you need!
When It’s Out of Your Control
The world has faced other health and public concerns, however, it has never experienced one on this large of a scale. It’s scary to read all of the headlines, especially when positivity is rarely reflected in the articles. Many people are wondering what they can do to stay sane in a crazy world.
Facing a global pandemic and navigating life through COVID-19 is uncharted territory for all of us. Never before has an entire society had to worry about school closures in the middle of the semester, grocery store outages, and heavy financial stress. Understandably, this could leave us wondering what we should do with our anxiety.
There are so many new challenges that we are all facing; many of these challenges are simply out of our control. How do we individually and collectively move into a new way of doing things when discomfort and uncertainty surround us?
Focus on the Positive
I want to point out that never before has society been so connected in terms of education and communication. Never before has our local and state communities come so closely together, offering to help. Never before have I seen so many people step up to help their friends and families during this uncertain time. [Read: Building CommUNITY During Social Distancing and Self-Quarantine for more on community during COVID-19]
What COVID-19 is teaching us as a community is that we are resilient and that resilience in the face of chaos allows us to focus on the positive and find gratitude even in uncertain times.
What is Resilience?
Resilience is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. Even traumatic situations can be an invitation for personal growth, betrayal can cultivate a desire to find people who are trustworthy and struggling with anxiety can lead to wanting to find strategies for fearless living. Resilience can even be called “toughness.” Looking at the world on a global scale, it is in our nature to be resilient. As a collective, this kind of resilience feels more natural as we support one another. However, on an individual scale how can we personally develop resilience in the face of chaos?
Acknowledge and Accept
What I practice with my clients is the acceptance of personal feelings or emotions that may feel otherwise uncomfortable. Acknowledging and accepting that you feel scared, worried, confused, angry is a great first step. Please know that these are all okay and valid emotions. The important thing to remember is that you will not feel like this forever – things will get better.
Focus on Your Journey Ahead
While staying grounded in the present is an excellent way to overcome feelings of anxiety. Thinking about your personal journey and where it is leading you can encourage a sense of comfort. Know that your goals and dreams are still yours; they are still valid and real.
Here are a few questions that you can ask yourself in order to build resilience in the face of chaos:
- What are my hopes and goals for myself moving forward?
- What can I hope to learn from this experience?
- Where have I found meaning and how can I help others in similar circumstances, even if it’s not the same?
Look for Inspiration
What gives you a sense of hope? Focusing on the things that offer you hope is a great way to boost your mood! Online, pictures spread about animals returning after decreased human activity. Although there is no solid proof of this yet, it does inspire and give us hope in the times we need it. Nature is resilient and hopeful!
In Spain, you can see people conversing and even exercising with each other from the balcony.
In Italy, there are videos upon videos of the community gathering through song and music, showing the world that despite this uncertain and scary time, we can continue to come together and show each other kindness and comfort.
Here in the USA, stores are changing their hours to help the vulnerable populations get a headstart on shopping. There are local businesses and volunteer organizations offering food, child care, and even tasks such as getting the mail.
Shift Your Way of Thinking
This isn’t to say that the news shouldn’t be taken lightly or that the impacts of COVID-19 are minimized. Instead, trying to shift from a panic mentality to a resilience mentality can help both in the short and long term. [Read: Intentional Living – How to not Panic in the PANIC for more…]
In the short term, during this season of social distancing and isolation, it is also necessary to be thinking about the future and how you are growing.
In the long term, it will be important to recognize the impact that this pandemic has caused and use it to move forward with helping yourself and helping others.
Right now we are in the midst of a forest fire. It seems like everything will be destroyed and yet, new growth begins to happen again. We are growing, we are coming together, and we will rebuild.
P.S. How are you building resiliency in the face of chaos? Share with me in the comments below!