As we navigate this unprecedented worldwide health crisis, it’s helpful to evaluate not only where we are in the process but also where we hope to be when the worst is over.
We’ve all anticipated the worst as the COVID-19 pandemic erupted and began racing across the globe, and reacted to its impacts. Some have paid the ultimate price, but all of us have been affected.
Maybe you’ve wondered how we will ever get back to normal, whatever that looks like. In a recent essay in the American College of Surgeons journal, the chair of the University of Florida’s department of surgery suggests it comes down to a combination of growth, resilience, intensity and tenacity. In a word, grit.
People, he says, persevere despite adversity because of a belief in something bigger than themselves. He offers five steps to build your own grit and optimism to prevent depression during these trying times.
First, maintain your positivity. As humans, we try to avoid the negative more than we embrace the positive. Focus on the good.
Second, focus on helping others. Volunteer to make facemasks for health care workers, bring meals to the elderly or needy families. There is always something to be done.
Third, improve your personal skills. Just as successful athletes envision making their shots before they take them, see yourself becoming a better person. Then go do it.
Fourth, remember that effort counts as much as talent. If you feel you’re not up to homeschooling your child, that’s OK. You’re doing your best, that’s what matters.
Lastly, pursue a higher meaning and purpose in your life. Use this time to reprioritize the things that are important to you. Who knows? The “new normal’’ may mean a better you.