Mind Body Resilience during COVID & Beyond

Resilience: African American Artist as Agents of Change, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, 2019, Romare Bearden, The Blue Pond

Stress is an invisible factor that impacts all aspects of our well-being: physically, mentally & emotionally. Stress directly affects our immune system. To keep the viral load down to reduce infection and complications, finding ways to deal with stressors that come with the pandemic is paramount. It is just as important, if not more so than vitamins & minerals, food & plant medicines that help to keep your defense system strong. Our mental & emotional health is directly tied to our physical health. We need to implement a game plan on how to keep the stressors of COVID from pulling us under. The CDC reported a significant increase in adverse mental and behavioral health conditions among adults 18y/o+(see figure 1) in June 2020. The number of reported adverse events are up significantly from 2019.

According to the American Psychological Association, resilience is "the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress— resilience involves “bouncing back” from these difficult experiences, it can also involve profound personal growth." In search of key ingredients to foster resilience, the following characteristics can be cultivated to keep our immune systems strong and help each other get through this pandemic, thriving! While some are natural at resilience, these are attributes that can be learned by everyone, including children.

Self Care & Connectedness

Isolation and a sense of things being out of control along with fear of undesirable outcomes are very present for many of us at this time. It may be exacerbated by the holidays increasing the desire to be connected to love ones, the grieving of the loss of loved ones, the lack of funds; job/business loss. Discipline through the care of self is a pull-up and stay afloat! we have little reign over anything but ourselves. Regain control starting with you! Take this downtime to connect with the inner aspects of yourself. This is the first step to having deeper, richer relations with others. Set personal goals to strengthen yourself in every way. This is a way to honor the connectedness you have with the innermost parts of yourself. Love and care for yourself in this way. Disengage from self-destructive behaviors. If your body is tired, surrender! Facilitate your body getting the best quality sleep possible. Create quiet time for self-reflection; journal, practice presencing to become increasingly aware of your feelings, your surroundings. Don't let artificial intelligence (AI) set your agenda all the time. You have a choice. Turn it off!!! Meditate, envision, make rituals of self-care be your way to love yourself throughout the day and night. Nurture yourself! Engage in something you love to do/experience; a nice hot