Resilience is a word that we use frequently in the mental health field to convey the capacity of humans to recover or adjust in the face of extreme stress or times of s
ignificant change. Derived from the Latin word “resilire”, meaning to “leap back”, before we began broadly applying this term to the human condition, physicists defined it as “the power or ability to return to original form after being bent, compressed or stretched” or “the ability of an elastic material to absorb energy and release that energy as it springs back to it’s original shape.”
Many of us are feeling the extreme strain of the collective impact that we are experiencing in the face of COVID-19. Our minds, emotions, and wellbeing, are being compressed, stretched and bent to the point where we may feel a sense of coming close to breaking. Every day holds numerous unexpected challenges that each of us continue to face as we navigate both personally and professionally how to stay grounded.
This is why, now more than ever, we must have faith in our personal and collective resilience,
and trust that the capacity to adapt and leap back from even the most painful and challenging circumstances is within us.
Trusting in our own resilience doesn’t mean that we should be able to consistently maintain hopefulness and optimism. In fact, we will have moments, days, or weeks where we feel overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, “bent” to the extreme and unable to comprehend a return to our original state. We are living in one of the most difficult collective experiences of our time and cannot expect that we will come out of this unchanged or unaffected.
Part of the resilient mindset is the recognition that we have been changed somehow and affected by the circumstances around us.
It is so important that we invite patience with ourselves and those around us, and acceptance and hope that our elasticity or resilience will allow us to return once again to a state of wellbeing.