As every one of us faces a new and strangely foreign reality resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and the growing number of COVID-19 cases, one thing is certain. Our world will never be the same.
As a child, I recall hearing adults speaking of and fearing a third world war. Some speculated that with weapons of mass destruction, we would never survive another world war. Many thought it would result in global extinction. However, what no one could have predicted back then is that the third world war wouldn’t be country against country, with soldiers in battle on the ground and in the air. Instead, it manifested as the entire world fighting against a virus. Globally, exhausted healthcare workers are tending to the ill and dying, many in makeshift hospitals and morgues. Our world is surreal on every level. People are experiencing a range of emotions, including shock, fear, grief, and anger.
While everyone’s personal needs and feelings differ, there is one need that takes precedence during times like these – the need for RESILIENCE. Resilience is defined as the ability to quickly recover from or adapt to radical shifts caused by untimely or unexpected catastrophic events. Events like these have the potential of causing numerous types of adversity, tragedy, and deep trauma. Now, more than ever, resilience is key to survival. The good news is that resilience can be learned! With determination and practice, anyone can pull themselves out of the mental quicksand of toxic emotions that are triggered by catastrophic events.
In my experience of working with clients, most people are continually focused on the negative. Much of this is due to a lifetime of conditioning validated through the inundating of negativity on social and news media. These individuals are blindly putting themselves in harm’s way because focusing on the negative turns on the fight-or-flight response. When that happens, the immune system is compromised, which leaves the person vulnerable to disease and illness – precisely the opposite of what we want and need to stay well during this pandemic.
Right here on this website, there are resources intended to assist you in maintaining a firm-footing while trudging through the muck and mire of this crisis. However, without taking action to change toxic behaviors and attitudes, these resources are nothing more than words on a page. It’s also not enough to just get rid of negative thoughts and feelings. Sometimes it’s not even possible, especially considering circumstances that can become completely overwhelming such as this pandemic. When the standard self-help solutions fail us, we need to dig deeper and examine our innermost thoughts and feelings. That’s where journaling comes in.
Since nearly the beginning of time, people have been writing and drawing to record events. Writing has always been essential to humanity. Journals and diaries, like that of Anne Frank who was hiding from the Nazis in the 1940s, allow us to look into the deepest, most delicate and intimate thoughts of another. Anne received her first diary on her thirteenth birthday. Unknown to her at the time, her writings would become historic.
I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear,
my courage is reborn.
— Anne Frank
Click here to learn more about The 2020 Resilience Journal Project.
Today, we know that journaling, in many forms, from writing to painting, can be therapeutic. Journaling often leads to significant insights. It can be as beneficial as talking to a trusted friend. Now that you know, I recommend you grab a journal and start writing today. Your written thoughts, and the insights that surface from them, will assist you in developing resilience and could positively impact future lives.
Resilience Journaling goes a bit deeper than just recording your deepest thoughts and feelings. Resilience Journaling also documents nine key areas of daily life that require your attention if your goal is to achieve and maintain resilience. Those areas are health, exercise, nutrition, fun and enjoyment, community, gratitude, spirituality, contribution, and rest and sleep. As I hear many clients and friends forgetting what day of the week it is due to the inactivity of life right now, daily recording of these key areas will help you stay present and focused during this crisis and beyond. So, grab a journal and start writing now!
Don’t Give Up! We Can Rise Together. Healing and Support are Here!
For more information on resilience through journaling, visit The 2020 Resilience Journal Project web page.
Then join The 2020 Resilience Journal Project on Facebook for community support and free resources.