We’ve all heard the saying, “no pain, no gain.”
Well, most of us have been through a lot of pain over the last year. The COVID-19 pandemic rocked the entire world and impacted almost everyone’s lives in some way. Maybe you lost your job, maybe you knew someone who contracted the virus, maybe you contracted COVID or lost a loved one. No matter what, life changed. Things became more difficult. Everything seemed uncertain.
Now, it seems as though there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks to the vaccine rollout, things are opening up again. But, it would be silly to say that everything is “going back to normal.”
Instead, we have to live with a “new normal”—something that’s been changing throughout the pandemic for better and worse. Because we’re continuing to deal with this new sense of normalcy, we’ve also learned a lot about resilience.
So, how can we apply the “no pain, no gain” principle to the pandemic? What has it taught us about how to get through hard times?
Life is About the Long View
There has been so much uncertainty throughout the length of the pandemic. Most people thought that mask-wearing and staying at home would only last a few weeks and working from home or having your children home from school was only supposed to be for two weeks! Instead it lasted well over a year.
It seemed as though things changed every week in the pandemic. There were different rules to follow, different numbers to process, and different things to do that would keep you from getting sick.
Needless to say, that kind of constantly changing information is a lot to deal with. There are many lessons learned over the past year and as each day seemed to bring new challenges, the pandemic has taught us to focus on the long view. Life changes rapidly and the goal has always been to get back to some semblance of normalcy. People had to focus on that to get through the darkest and most difficult hours of lockdown.
It’s Okay to Adapt
Because the pandemic caused things to feel so uncertain, most people had to learn to become more adaptable. Resilience and adaptability go hand-in-hand. Without being adaptable to ever-changing situations, resiliency becomes more difficult.
Being adaptable doesn’t mean accepting things that are wrong. It also doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stand up and fight when you can. But, when something is out of your control and is going to happen whether you like it or not, it’s best to be flexible. Fighting against the inevitable will only make you frustrated and less resilient.
Resilience and Gratitude
Resiliency is the ability to get back on your feet when you’ve been knocked down. In this case, the pandemic knocked almost everyone down with one sweeping blow. There were times that were harder than others for everyone. But, if you were able to keep getting back up even when things weren’t easy, it’s important to be grateful.
Gratitude goes a long way in difficult situations. You can look for the silver lining in almost anything and find something to be grateful for.
If you want to be more resilient, start with being more grateful. One good idea is to keep a small journal or notebook with you. Consistently jot down things you’re grateful for and make a point to do it more often when you’re facing a difficult situation. Taking even just two minutes at different times throughout your day to acknowledge what is going well in your life will improve resilience.
No one knows exactly what the “new normal” will look like in the months to come even though most people can breathe a sigh of relief now. Things continue to change on a regular basis.
No matter what, we can’t deny the fact that we learned some valuable lessons throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including how to be more resilient. Keep that in mind and carry what you learned with you, so you’ll be fully prepared to handle whatever difficult situations come your way.