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Resilience During a Global Crisis

5 ways to be kind to yourself – and others – as we strengthen the muscles needed to persevere.

child's drawing of a rainbow

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, small and large changes have drastically altered our everyday lives. A serious crisis persists. We feel the weight of it. And yet a “new normal” has already set in.

We miss live music and theater so we watch streaming events. We use video conferencing instead of meeting friends in a café. Online chefs help us take a virtual look in our fridge and make a new recipe. We sweat in the living room, instead of at the gym, while the trainer broadcasts a fitness class live. 

This ability to remain physically and mentally healthy over a long, demanding period is called resilience. It describes the ability to face a difficult situation without being overwhelmed by it. Resilience can protect us from stress, depression or anxiety.

Resilience is more than just having a good attitude or “bouncing back.” We humans have developed a natural ability to, in a short period of time adapt so that new situations are more predictable. We adjust our behavior patterns in stressful situations because it helps us stay strong, marshal our resources and above all: to persevere.

Think of your resilience as a kind of muscle. Just like a muscle, you can “train” your resilience. But muscles don't get stronger overnight. It takes effort over the long term. Fortunately, similar to gym workouts, there are many ways to do it. Here are a few:

  1. Pause and think before acting. In a time when conditions are changing, that pause can help you think through all the consequences. Thinking a minute longer could prevent a mistake and save you hours of work. In a work environment like one of CSL Behring’s manufacturing facilities, that pause can even keep you safe and protect the safety of others.
  2. Be patient and stay positive. Find and appreciate the simple things, celebrate small success stories. Look ahead to brighter days. And be patient, both with yourself and with others.
  3. Connect with others. Talk with friends and family about what concerns you. It can help to know you’re not alone with your thoughts and worries. CSL Behring, like a lot of employers, also offers an Employee Assistance Program when extra help is needed. Don’t hesitate to reach out to these resources.
  4. Do good for others. Some, such as healthcare workers, are doing this to an extreme, winning the respect and gratitude of millions. But you can do good in small ways, too. Do an act of kindness for a neighbor. Hang a rainbow in your window so passersby see this sign of hope. Don’t refund your concert ticket; let it stand as a donation. Support a fitness instructor’s paid course on Zoom. Do your part for local restaurants by getting food delivered.
  5. And the most important thing: Be good to yourself. Listen to music you love. Chat with a friend who makes you laugh. Practice self-care by getting a healthy amount of sleep, fresh air and sunlight. Little by little, we can build our resilience and get closer to the brighter days ahead.