Though times remain uncertain with the pandemic it’s important to remember that we are all still, even at 18 months in — discovering what resiliency means to us individually.

“Resilience is the capacity for adaptation,” says Dr. Lesley Wiesenfeld, Psychiatrist-in-Chief, Sinai Health.  “While we can be understandably preoccupied with the many stresses and challenges to our resilience, it can help to reflect on our strengths and growth through these demanding times as well.”

Pandemic coping is an important skill and stance that takes practice, intention and attention, notes Dr. Wiesenfeld. Some days, you may have low resilience and on others, you may have high resilience.

As you reflect on your strengths and strategies, Dr. Wiesenfeld offers these helpful prompts and goals via three Cs:

  • Connect authentically: Who are my closer contacts? Who can I speak honestly with? Who can I listen to? Who have I missed?
  • Contribute meaningfully: How can I offer kindness to others, share support, feel of service?
  • Control realistically: What can I control, even within the uncertainty of the pandemic? 

She also suggests that we recognize the many aspects of life we can strive to master, even within uncertainty, and to consider these statements:

  • I can control how I care for myself: how I get rest, exercise, go for a walk.
  • I can control how I strive for compassion: how to have empathy especially for those who think differently.
  • I can control how I try to calm my mind: for example through mindfulness or meditation.
  • I can control how I consume information: I can get useful information from credible sources, while also monitoring my ‘information diet’ so I consume information in healthy moderation.

If you begin to feel low resilience, consider: What am I doing too little of? Of connecting? Contributing? Controlling what I can? Letting go of what I can’t control?

Dr. Wiesenfeld and the Psychiatry Consultation Liaison Service team, as well as colleagues in Spiritual Care and Wellness, have been offering resiliency coaching throughout the pandemic.