Resilience Aplenty in 2020

When I wrestled with my OneWord for 2020, I prematurely chose evolution. I had my vision board in place and my accountability partner meeting on the calendar for January 2. I should know better than to rush these things. It wasn’t like evolution didn’t have significance – after all my plan was to take years of personal growth under themes of release (’17), attention (’18), and victorious (’19) and move that into action and evolve. 2020 was going to be the year!

But evolve wasn’t sitting right. My runner-up word: resilience kept popping up. After days of meditation on this message from the universe, on January 9 I declared resilience as my OneWord for 2020. I am grateful. For 2020 is shaping up to be a year like no one could have ever predicted and the quality and practice of resilience have never been more necessary.

Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, toughness; and its defined by four things: a positive attitude, optimism, ability to regulate emotions, and ability to see failure as a form of feedback. The elements of resilience can be cultivated.

How have you encountered situations this year that demand resilience? As we enter into month six of quarantine and social distancing in the U.S., I wanted to share this with our community: you can cultivate resilience and you are not alone in this effort.

Throughout quarantine, which is now in its shortened form of “quar” is being mixed with any noun you like, I’ve been noting phases. The first months of reeling with the extreme unknowns of the virus, followed by the murder of George Floyd and heightened unrest to demand justice, to political insanity rising up through it all. I can trace my personal path from a shutting down of sorts – low productivity and motivation; to an insatiable drive to do all the work – attend protests, consume Black stories, and become woke; to a settling in of sorts in routine and realization that we’re in for a long fight.

In any typical year, I’d seriously revisit my vision board in July (the six-month mark!) and attend a two-day personal retreat to reflect and reset. In this year, full of its gifts and opportunities shall we say, I embraced the calling to continue the routine of this revisit despite the chaos. On August 1, I did a mental and spiritual reset (listen to this Art of Living Well podcast with Stephanie, Marnie and Jasna to jumpstart your shift).

I am increasing my mental toughness and taking back what I can control. I booked that two-day retreat Aug 31-Sept 2 with a dear friend and accountability partner, Camille. I’m addressing the #QuarTen (what I’m calling the 10lbs gained in a steady 2.5lb per month gain over Apr-Jul; also known as #Quarantine19 if you’re pushing 19lbs) with intermittent fasting, meditation (Deepak Chopra’s 21-Day Abundance series; email me to get on the free course on WhatsApp staring Mon, Sept 14), nutrition focused on curbing sugar cravings (GC Control), 5-6x workouts daily (has actually been a consistent throughout for me), and a few more walks (intro the personal/biz #walkandtalk offering) and getting out in nature (this experience was sorely lacking in early quarantine for me).

2020 is just layering it on. It’s going to continue to get uncomfortable and outrageous. Here are some ways you can show up for yourself, your family and friends, and your communities.

Give yourself grace: Start here. This is no easy task as most of us are the harshest critics of ourselves. We hold ourselves to ridiculously high standards quite often. Recognize the incredible forces of change at work. It’s absolutely necessary to sit with those and anything you deem as a failure. Process it all for the good of your mental health and stamina.

Focus on what you can control: Amazing how we led such structured lives pre-Covid isn’t it? I continue to marvel that I had a morning routine (driven by the time I needed to be out the door) and everyone in the family miraculously got to their places on a daily basis (Rise and Shine with a Morning Routine).

Now, schedules are all over the place – teens sleeping til noon, Zoom calls at all hours, etc. This calls for grace (see tip #1) and adaptation. For example, my pre-Covid morning routine has evolved to a daily routine. I have my list of activities, the time they take, and I work through them on a daily basis. My non-negotiable is getting in a workout 5-6 days a week before noon.

Build resilience: Conversations are not easy. Working your full-time job is not easy. Caregiving for loved ones is not easy. And homeschooling/ distance learning is not easy.

Go back to the official definition of resilience (above) and apply it with a modern-day lens to all areas of wellbeing in your life. How can you:
1. show up with a positive attitude
2. employ optimism as a rule (of course there are exceptions – acknowledge and seek help when needed)
3. regulate emotions (this doesn’t mean not have emotions, rather, feel them all and process them in healthy ways)
4. See failure as a form of feedback (what’s worked in the past may likely not work now, how can you learn, shift and innovate)

Optimistically speaking, 2020 is the beginning of the Great Pause (#TheGreatPause, see my LinkedIn post referring to futurist Cecily Sommers video to frame the vast impact of world affairs). A reminder that we are in it for the long haul and for the betterment of society and our children’s future. We must be resilient and rise together. Reach out for support and community through Empowering All Wellness or friends and family as no one should have to go it alone. Build resilience one day, one conversation at a time.