When we think back over everything that has happened in the past five months or so, it can be easy to focus on the negative. We’ve suffered so much loss. More people are experiencing depression. We’re tired of being stuck inside. But just for a moment, I want us all to think about some of the positives that have come from the era of COVID-19. Think of the ways we’ve seen our community come together. We saw neighbors deliver groceries to those who might otherwise go without. Local companies and organizations pivoted to make protective gear for frontline workers and provide meals for families in need. During a time filled with confusion, anxiety and fear, we saw the Kansas City community come together to take care of one another.
The past few months have shown me just how resilient our community is. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of “resilience,” it means you’re able to adapt to adversity or trauma. It’s about being able to bounce back and grow from difficult circumstances.
Anyone can be resilient. It’s not a personality trait that some people have and others don’t. Resilience is something we all can and should work toward. It will take time and intentionality, but it is achievable. The four steps outlined below can help you become more resilient.
It starts with building relationships. Find individuals or groups of people you feel comfortable with and who will support you. These people will become your support system. They can help validate your experiences and keep you moving forward.
You also need to be taking care of your body, as well as your mind. This includes eating foods that are good for you, exercising, getting enough sleep and taking time for yourself. These practices will better equip you to handle stress and feelings of anxiety or depression.
It’s also important to find a purpose. Set realistic goals and take tangible steps toward achieving them. Find something that brings you joy, whether it’s volunteering with a cause you care about or just supporting a friend. Finding purpose in your daily activities can empower you.
Finally, embrace healthy thoughts. You can’t always control what happens to you, but you can control how you react. We need to remember to learn from the past and be hopeful that better days are ahead.
I know the past few months have been tough, but you are resilient and this community is resilient. We have found ways to grow and we are going to keep pushing forward together. Use this time to build your resilience so we can come back stronger than before.