The Resilience You Built This Year
by Madeline Vann, NCC, M.Ed. at White Cloud Therapeutic Services
Has anyone told you today that you are resilient? Well, let me be the first. You’re resilient – and so is everyone reading this. How do I know?
First of all, a definition – resilience is, in brief, the ability to bounce back after something unpleasant, tragic, unwanted or grueling has happened. It’s the ability to roll with the punches and come up fighting.
I think that as we come to the end of this pandemic school year of 2020-2021, we can claim resilience. That doesn’t rule out that we may also be exhausted, sad, lonely, angry, and facing (perhaps) the challenge of overcoming some habits, such as addiction or disordered eating, that cropped up over the past year.
You can have all of that, and also take a moment to appreciate whatever it is that makes you uniquely resilient. It’s actually vital that we have this conversation with ourselves, our partners, and the young people in our lives. The resiliency factors you identify now can be carried forwards, like tools in a toolbox, and used again and again in difficult situations. Building and noticing resilience can help buffer against the impact of trauma and loss.
Here are a few of the resilience factors I am seeing right now, which will serve all of us well moving forward:
– Flexibility. We all had to pivot and try new things, which is going to be a valuable practice in the future. Adapting to new ways of working and learning will always be a valuable tool in the toolkit!
– Learning new things. Many people took advantage of the past year to learn a new hobby or skill, whether for pleasure or out of necessity.
– Exploring cultural heritage. Learning more about your family and your roots, and reconnecting with extended family, all boosts resiliency.
– Building nurturing connections. We know that children and teens who have at least one nurturing adult in their lives fare better than those who do not – and all of us benefit from connection. Hopefully you’ve been able to deepen relationships over this past year. For many, however, the importance of relationships is one of the takeaway lessons, because there were so few relationships available.
Here I am telling you about your resilience – and also encouraging you to get counseling. A good counselor can help you identify your strengths and resiliencies – and help you grieve. A good counselor can help you and your partner or family celebrate what is working well – and help you improve the things that are hard. A good counselor can be a listening ear in a safe, confidential space as you process everything you’ve just been through. A good counselor can help you unpack the impacts of past trauma, losses, addictions and regrets – so you can build the life you want.
For information about appointments, please contact White Cloud Therapeutic Services, LLC, at 757-503-7917. To learn more about all our clinicians and services, visit www.whitecloudtherapy.com
Article was written and sponsored by Madeline Vann, NCC, M.Ed. at White Cloud Therapeutic Services