Rebounding From Chaos in Uncertain Times - COVID-19
Resources for coping and strengthening your resilience
Posted Mar 26, 2020
You’re moving along in your life and then: Uncertainty. Changes. Chaos.
As I write this, all of us are indirectly or directly impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic. There is much we don’t know about the virus itself and how it might affect our individual lives, our loved ones, our country, and our world.
This pandemic is already causing suffering for many people. At the same time, as difficult as these times are and will be, these challenges can also offer fertile ground for growth and transformation on many levels.
How we respond to things matters. How do we navigate these challenges? How can we be resilient and re-energize during this difficult time?
Resilience is the ability to bounce back from life’s challenges (APA, 2000). Resilience helps us strengthen our emotional, social, and physical well-being and discover solutions to move forward. Building resilience is not a one-and-done activity, but rather coming back again and again—like a ball bouncing up and down—toward who we are and who we can become.
Resilience involves making the most positive choices we can, figuring out what we can change, what we cannot change, and navigating our attitude and responses in situations as they arise. Asking: What am I doing that’s working? What am I doing that’s not working? What can I do differently?
Importantly, research indicates that resilience is a common human response—it is not extraordinary or unusual to be resilient (APA, 2014). An example of human resilience is the way millions of Americans responded to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Thus, all of us have the capacity to respond to adversity with resilience.
Resilience doesn’t make our challenges go away, but a resilient mindset can help us learn from our experience, move forward, and live more fully.
Resources for Strengthening Resilience and Well-Being
Here are a few resources to assist you in coping and strengthening your resilience during these uncertain times:
- Former astronauts share ways to cope with social distancing and isolation
- Achieving resilience and accepting change. Weil, Andrew.
- Building your resilience. American Psychological Association (2020). Washington DC.
- Compassion meditation: Strengthen feelings of concern for the suffering of others. Greater Good in Action—Science-Based Resources for a Meaningful Life.
- Flourish! 12 tips to improve well-being and resilience. Ilene Berns-Zare.
- Managing anxiety and stress. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- 27 resilience activities and worksheets for students and adults. Positive Psychology.com. Ackerman, C.E.
American Psychological Association (2020). Building your resilience. Washington DC: American Psychological Association.
American Psychological Association (2014). The road to resilience. Washington DC: American Psychological Association.