Resilience is a popular concept at the best of times. During this difficult and uncertain period brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s now being used to describe everything from supply chains to toddlers.
But what does being resilient really mean and how can we identify and incorporate resilient traits in our own lives?
Resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic means we are mentally and emotionally able to cope with these difficult and uncertain times and are prepared to return to our pre-pandemic state once the crisis has passed. When we look to resilient people they tend to have three common traits:
- They are realists and are able to accept their current circumstances. This means we need to accept that we are in the middle of a difficult period, that there is uncertainty surrounding our futures and frankly that we are scared. But it also means we need to recognize that this is a common experience, that there are many ways we can perceive this reality and that there is hope that this period and how we feel about it will change.
- Resilient people are able to find meaning and purpose in their lives even during trying periods. A famous example and development of this ability is the story of Victor Frankl (Man’s Search for Meaning) and his ability to cope in a concentration camp during the 2nd World War. In our case, and at this time, it means we need to focus on those things that make us feel valued and whole. Meaning and purpose take many forms but it can be as simple as maintaining healthy working and eating habits and staying connected to your family and colleagues. Try and identify those things in your life that don’t bring meaning and purpose to it, now is not the time to focus on things that steal your energy and sap your self-worth; this period may be a great opportunity to get rid of them for good!
- Finally, resilient people are improvisers and one of the tiny benefits of the COVID-19 pandemic is it is forcing us all to improvise and find new ways of living. The ability to shape our environment and resources to meet our true needs is a skill that will last longer than the pandemic. So maybe you’re becoming a Zoom expert, learning how to workout in your home, becoming a creative chef or an educator within your family? It doesn’t matter, if you’re doing your best with what you have and finding new ways to get things done then you are improvising, a key element of being resilient.
We here at LAPBC are doing our best to be resilient too. We are here to support you and encourage you to reach out anytime. If you are available and are interested in supporting your peers, please check out Lawyers Helping Lawyers. LAPBC could not exist without the support of hundreds of volunteers from the BC legal community.