By Lyn Worsley.
Originally posted on www.theresiliencecentre.com.au in March 2020.
There is no other time where resilience is more relevant than when a crisis hits us. Given the current global crisis we are facing, it is time to review what is resilience and how to implement the strategies that we have researched, taught and set up in our lives.
What is resilience?
Resilience is often used as a way of describing someone however it is more like a verb. It is an interaction of a number of factors and one of these is going through crisis, difficulties, or adversity. What better time than now to practice what we have learnt.
The process of resilience involves, social navigation. The personal competence that we learn in the process of this social navigation, during tough times, set us up for life, helping us to cope with future difficulties which are inevitable. Basically, from studying people who have been resilient during crisis, we see they connect more, they share resources and seek support and have a commonality with others around them. They have a team of people who “have their back” and in turn they support others.
Is a virus resilient?
Virus’s also have their own process of resilience which also resembles psychological resilience. Resilient viruses have a mode of spread that make the hosts move closer together, talking, sharing contaminated objects and causing body reactions such as coughing and sneezing. The resilience process actually evokes a response by the hosts to connect more. This resilient process increases when there is panic in the hosts, as they talk to more people, (even strangers), talk faster (contaminated droplets spread further), and reach out to touch common surfaces (shopping centres, handrails, mobile phones etc). The result is a resilient virus that spreads quickly.
Psychological challenges with isolation.
This presents us with a challenge. How do we build our resilience, while at the same time, reduce the resilience of the virus by isolating ourselves, and slowing the spread of the disease? Isolation can cause people to go stir crazy. The term cabin fever was not just a phenomenon on a cruise boat. Solitary confinement was used to break people in the worst circumstances. So how do we become resilient when the skills of connecting cannot be utilised? How do we become resilient when the very factors that we need are disabled?
The Resilience Doughnut suggests that three factors, involving connection with others, link to build a resilient response. So now it is time to be creative with our Doughnut connections. Recently a youtube video was circulated from an isolated Italian town. They were playing music on their balconies and singing to each other with their windows open (in harmony). Now that is what we call an Italian Doughnut Moment, linking three factors such as music skills, community and family.
But what about Australians, how do we connect?
Australians love humour. We make jokes out of anything, from the sublime to the ridiculous, humour has got us through. We also have a history of making the most of difficulties and supporting the underdog. Adversity is in our DNA, so now is the time to rise up and start to think of ways to connect together without touching, sneezing, coughing and spreading the droplets.
Some isolation tips.
• Start a neighbourhood WhatsApp group. • Make a family plan to connect through board games, movies and slow cooking. • Share books, board games, on-line games, jokes with the neighbours. • Make an isolation survival kit to give to friends (toilet paper, pack of cards, tim-tams, a favourite novel, tips for a good TV series, and a home scavenger hunt). • Open your windows and play beautiful music so others can hear. • If someone local is sick and can’t get out, check they have supplies or order online for them. • Make sure the neighbourhood has a check in for each person (in case an elderly person is sick and needs the doctor). • Communicate in whatever way you can with the people around you, without spreading germs. • Remember it will be over and the best thing is that you have a closer group of people around you.
Finally think of the best-case scenario from the global crisis. What if each of us end up with more caring communities, who know each other? What if we reach out for others rather than stockpile for our own benefit? What if the time in isolation makes us slow down and consider the more important things in our lives?
Is there an individual, group or organisation going the extra mile to support others within your community during the #Corvid19 outbreak? Share your stories, photos and videos to inspire our community.
How are you staying connected during the #Corvid19 lockdown or time in self-isolation? Share your stories, photos, videos and suggestions to inspire others in our community. Remember to tell us which Resilience Doughnut factors you are activating too! #stayconnected