As we all struggle with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis, I have been encouraged by the ways our staff and students have risen above the challenge and found a positive outlook about this experience.
Resilience is defined as the ability to bounce back from a negative experience or difficult challenge. As our community, state, nation, and world struggle with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, it is the resilient individuals who are able to feel encouraged by what this experience has taught them or who can identify a benefit they have gained.
Here are the “silver linings” that people have shared with me.
- Appreciation When something is suddenly taken away from you, it makes you realize that we need to appreciate the here and now. We need to be grateful for the people in our lives and for the small everyday things that we often take for granted.
- Time Our 21st Century culture is fast-paced. Most of our lives have been jam-packed with activities and obligations. We rarely slow down. The mandatory “stay at home” orders forced us to stop as activities were cancelled and many places closed down. The time we gained allowed us to reconnect with family and to find other ways to use our time.
- “To Do” Lists Being less busy allowed people the opportunity to do things they had been putting off for a long time. How many people have cleaned out junk drawers or did some spring cleaning? Organized a closet? Read a book?
- Relationships Spending more time with family members is frequently cited as a positive. There was a chance to do more things together, even if it was just taking a walk. It also made us realize the importance of having a support system during a crisis.
- Service Many have used this time to reach out to others who were facing a challenge greater than our own. The generosity of the Frederick community has been evident throughout the crisis.
- Wellness During a time when everyone is very aware of the increased stress being felt, it has helped many to focus on wellness. Engaging in physical activity and practicing mindfulness are a few of the things that people say have improved in their lives during this crisis.
- Reflection As a high school senior shared with me, being quarantined gave him the time to simply think. Not something we typically build into our day, but a powerful tool to help us gather perspective, boost our creativity, and remember the many things for which we can be grateful.
In the words of a very wise senior, if we focus on the things that we can control during this crisis, then we can develop the positive outlook that will help us get through it. Resilience!