RESILIENCE IN THE TIMES OF COVID
As I sit to write this column, the newspapers are reverberating with India’s biggest-ever single-day COVID spike. We’re already exhausted and pushed to the limit by months of social distancing, and the news that cases are climbing in most states is especially scary. While many of you may feel like ripping off your mask and travelling with your friends, there are more productive ways to deal with the challenges we face. Though staying home and social distancing is still the best course of action to fight the pandemic, it’s also a good idea to learn and practice resilience. What’s resilience, you may ask. Merriam-Webster defines resilience as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” While some researchers suggest resilience is hard-wired into one’s personality, others say it can be learned later in life. Amidst all this, it is also critical to take care of yourself — physically, mentally and spiritually. Physical activity not only promotes health but also uplifts your mood; if gyms are closed, try yoga at home or go biking, walking or taking the stairs to your flat if it is on the top floor. But remember that the worst hit by the pandemic are little children. Generally, children are ill-equipped to handle life’s unexpected setbacks. Be honest about the uncertainty; teach them that all emotions are normal. And remember that children are like sponge in what they see around them, especially in adults. So how you respond to stress is how they will think of responding to theirs. Don’t forget, too, that resilient children become resilient adults. As we continue to navigate uncharted waters, this is an opportunity to cultivate resilience during the pandemic.