Resilience is our most important emotional and psychological resource at times of uncertainty, crisis and disorientation. Resilience is the ability to cope psychologically and emotionally with crises and disasters in ways that allow us to maintain as much emotional equilibrium and internal personal balance as possible. Of course, we know that there is no way we can be internally in balance all the time, but resilience is the set of attitudes, skills, and resources that enable us to bounce back from those painful moments as quickly as possible.

Our resilience depends on several factors: our personalities, our ability to embrace new ways of coping, and the social and material support we have access to during and after a disaster. The coronavirus pandemic is taxing our tolerance for isolation, our capacity for adjusting to disruption of normal life patterns, and to manage profound levels of fear, anxiety and other powerful emotions.

Research on community resilience after natural disasters shows greater success when the community comes together and recovery involves the whole community. Individually, it means being there for our family and friends, especially those who may be suffering the most. On the larger level, this means working with the sacrifices all of us are being asked to make right now to control the pandemic and doing everything in our power to meet the practical needs of our most vulnerable citizens. We can offer hope and emotional support to others, while also caring for ourselves.

Questions to Consider:
1) How vulnerable or resilient are you at managing your own psychological and emotional equilibrium through this time of chaos and uncertainty?
2) Have you experienced any major losses during this pandemic? Friends or family, who are ill or have died? Shortages of necessities, etc.?
3) Are you generally a resilient person or someone who has trouble maintaining equilibrium in difficult life circumstances?
4) What has worked for you in enhancing your own resilience, and how have you been able to contribute to others’ well-being?

All rights reserved © 2020 Beth Firestein, Ph.D. Wise Women Group